When you’re actively trying to conceive, sexy time can kind of lose its appeal and passion can wane, especially after a few months. Here is some advice from a sex therapist on how to get back on that horse and rediscover some intimacy when you’re trying for a baby.
Many of us have been there, you’re ovulating or close to it and it’s on like Donkey Kong. But after a while things can become a little routine and the pleasure is zapped from the experience.
The Pressure Is Real
Sex therapist and relationship counsellor Desiree Spierings from Sexual Health Australia says it’s common for romance to fly out the window when you’re trying to conceive.
“The pressure is on to make sex happen around the time of ovulation. This often coincides with the use of various bells and whistles in order to predict your fertile window,” she says.
“These measuring tools and the timing of sex knock out all spontaneity and sex can become a bit of a weary chore, only to happen when the time is right.
“Not surprisingly then, we tend to forget about letting our feelings guide us, and whether we have a sexual urge or a spur of sexual desire or not, sex has to happen on those days, period.”
Affects IVF Couples Too
But it’s not just something couples trying to fall pregnant conventionally come across; it can affect couples going through IVF as well.
Spierings says intrusive medical tests and physical examinations can influence the way we think and feel about the most intimate parts of our bodies.
“The sole purpose of these intimate parts was to bring pure joy and pleasure and they were destined for your partner’s eyes only,” she says.
“But now they start to serve a more functional purpose, and we may never quite view them in the same way again.”
Additionally, she says the more actively couples are trying for a baby the more sex is purely seen as a means of procreation.
“So, elicit sex becomes a vague memory and something of the past. In turn, this will decrease your libido even more and hence will lower the frequency of sexual encounters, which is not going to help you reach your goal of conceiving a baby,” she says.
“It will also have an impact on intimacy and romance in your relationship.”
And this can have devastating consequences in the long run because maintaining a strong and lovable bond with your partner is vital for a lasting relationship.
Timing Is Key
So what can be done to make sexy time enjoyable again without it interfering with your chances of falling pregnant?
Spierings says it’s important to know that when trying to conceive, there are two main ingredients worth remembering in the bedroom.
- The timing of intercourse
- The frequency of intercourse, including the frequency of ejaculation.
“When talking about timing of intercourse, it is a fact that most couples who are actively trying to conceive and who are having regular sex will become pregnant within one year. The emphasis here is on regular,” she says.
An egg is fertile for about 12 to 24 hours after it has been released and sperm can live up to 3-7 days in the fertile cervical mucus present in a woman’s cervix and vagina.
How Much Sex To Have
She says in order to fall pregnant you do not have to have sex at the exact moment of ovulation and there seems to be a four-day window of opportunity.
As such, instead of focusing too much on calculating your exact fertile window it’s suggested couples shift the emphasis on regular playful sex.
“Because having sex every two to three days throughout your cycle will ensure that a supply of sperm is in the right place at the right time,” she says.
“Simply knowing this and then allowing yourself to stop focusing on calculating your fertile window and all the mechanics that come along with it, may bring back some of the spice and excitement in the bedroom.”
Spierings says in addition, this means couples have three weeks where you are less likely to fall pregnant.
The Best Time To Focus On Sensual Activity
It’s her belief this is the perfect time to focus on more sensual and romantic physical activity.
“Think along the lines of giving your partner a nice massage and a long passionate French kiss,” she says.
“Or why not organise a candlelight dinner or a spontaneous picnic in the park to rekindle the romance.
“This will make him feel desired and wanted for more than just his seed. More importantly, it will bring back the closeness in your relationship and strengthen your bond.”
The Frequency Of Ejaculation
Spierings says Australian research by Dr David Greening has found that ejaculating daily substantially improves the genetic quality of sperm, without lowering sperm counts enough to impair fertility.
She believes this is another reason to not only focus on intercourse, but to also pay some attention to outercourse.
“Besides the fact that pursuing your partner for astonishing sexual encounters will make him happy and is good for the quality of his sperm, it can also do wonders to your own libido,” she says.
“A common statement used when talking about sexual desire is; ‘when you use it, you won’t lose it’! So, you might start to realise that after a while your lust for breathtaking amore kicks in every day.
“This in turn will increase your chances of falling pregnant and most of all for it to happen in a loveable and passionate way.”