Most couples who are attempting to have a baby are instructed by their doctors to have timed sex. It’s a fact that infertility treatment is very exhaustive from the physical and mental viewpoint and the one other impact is that couples also find that their sex drive takes a downward trend. Before they jumped onto the “want to have a baby” bandwagon, sex was something they did for the enjoyment they derived from it and that was one way to connect with each other.

Many couples also feel that once they have made a decision to have a baby, they can be more carefree, forget about conception and just have sex; but when the pregnancy test comes back negative, this feeling undergoes a complete change. Patients don’t really discuss this very openly while a consultation is in progress, but some do ask why they feel like sex seems more like a chore for them.

Take a look at why this happens…

If you feel that your sex drive and your relationship with your partner have taken a beating, know that you aren’t alone. Take a look at how this happens:

  • Sex Becomes Frustrating- When you are trying for a baby, sex can become a source of frustration. It’s something that constantly reminds you about how things aren’t working out the way you thought they would. Before you know it, sex ceases to be the stress reliever and becomes the cause for stress.
  • Having Sex Feels like a Chore- When infertile couples are having sex with the aim of having a baby, it seems like something that is totally impossible to achieve. The couples just feel that they are being asked to complete some homework, when they are told to have timed sex and they lose the connect they have with each other at that point of time.
  • A Matter of Shame- In most instances couples who are dealing with this issue of infertility feel a lot of shame and that they aren’t attractive to their partner. It’s not uncommon for women to feel that they are somehow “damaged” and that they are less womanly. Men too feel that them not being able to father a child makes them less masculine. While men struggle with feelings of shame, women get depressed.
  • Anxiety & Depression- These feelings are very common in people who are struggling to deal with infertility and it takes a toll on their sexual relationship. All the anxiety and stress leads to further sexual tension and depression and this decreases their sexual desire.  While some men end up suffering from erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation and performance anxiety, women can have problems with lubrication, as they aren’t sexually aroused, and are just going through the motions. This can lead to dyspareunia (pain during sex), and it becomes a big turn-off.

In closing

Most infertile couples who are trying to have a baby, go through phases of depression, frustration, anxiety and constant stress. The tests and the treatment take a physical toll on them and have a negative impact on their relationship. The silver lining is  that this situation doesn’t stay that way forever.

Once the couples find the solution they are looking for and they get  pregnant, adopt or decide to live  childfree, their relationship moves back into gear. Though things seem very tough at  that point of time, once they  move through all the turbulence, the skies do shine more brightly  than before

Not happy with the attention you are getting from your IVF clinic? Need more information? Please send me your medical details by filling in the form at www.drmalpani.com/free-second-opinion so that I can guide you!

Authored by : Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD and reviewed by Dr Anjali Malpani.

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