Sex and infertility …….how does this work? Can sex during infertility really be sexy? Not only do you have the normal stresses of everyday life intruding on your sex life, but now you have…..infertility stresses ruling your sex life. Your face is red and dry, your stomach is bruised (well, maybe yours isn’t, but my shot giving skills are below amateur status, and my poor stomach has the war wounds to show for it), you’ve put on a few pounds from all the hormones and stress, your libido hits as far as the queasy notch on the love-O-meter, and every time you think of sex, you think of the once fun, carefree thing you and your husband used to do, but now is a reminder of the life you cannot create, and the rigidness, calendars, Dr. appointments and finances that goes a long with trying to.

For the the first few months of battling infertility (and still every now and then) sex was something I was not excited about. Mentally it was a constant reminder that creating a child was not going to be a fun, flirty, romantic event, and for a while, the pain of not being able to naturally conceive came with it. It quickly became scheduled, position focused (you know, whatever angle works the best to get those little guys swimming in the right direction), and cuddling or relaxing was not possible afterwards, as making sure my hips were elevated to ensure the “ spermies” hopped on the direct route, not the scenic route - straight to the egg.

Luckily though ,this is not a guaranteed impact of going through infertility. Sex can still be fun, stress free and fulfilling, it just takes a little work (no not the stressful kind, the fun kind). It might be inevitable to many that a sexually lacking phase might take place, but it is not inevitable that it has to stay that way. So let’s stop talking about the lacking part, and let’s get to the fun part.

  • Put your sexy on - shave your legs (though they are probably already shaved from the 18 Dr. appointments you went on this week), put on a skirt or whatever makes you feel your sexiest, do your hair, apply a little make up, find those heels your husband adores and that make you feel like a sexy woman, and start feeling sexy again.
  • Maybe you are feeling extra bloated or heavy, and the bruises and shot marks on your stomach are causing a little insecurity about how sexy you look to him. Remember - he’s not looking there, and if he is, he is thinking how strong you are for enduring all you are going through. So strut your war wounds with pride. And if you still can’t do it, put on one of your husband’s undershirts to cover anything you want covered and a pair of panties you feel most sexy and womanly in, and let him know the shirt stays on…..who knows, you might just eventually want it off.
  • Set the mood - Nope, not in the romantic music and candles way, although that does not hurt. Set the mood for enjoyment, not for success. So many times sex becomes a planned event because we peed on a stick and it said, “you're ovulating, go have sex now or in the next 24 hours, do not pass go, go directly to sex”. So we forgo the spontaneity, put on a determined face to “be in the mood”, and give baby making one more try.
    • This time, try something different. Skip trying this month, throw out the ovulation kit, set the mood for a romantic date with your honey so you can reconnect on a normal “pre-infertility” level, and if sex is a result, than wonderful (and don’t slip in any elevated hips or specific positions, just let it be). If not, release the control of the ovulation pee stick from your life for just this month. It will feel incredibly freeing…..and the reconnection with your man will be well worth it.
  • If you don’t feel sexy, act sexy and in the mood, the feeling will follow. Dr. Laura gives this advice whenever people are having feelings that inhibit their life. It works with sex….it really does. Start with the actions, the feelings will follow. I recommend trying this when you are not ovulating. It will allow you much more focus on feeling in the mood, and less distraction with what you “should” be doing.
  • And if the pain is still to raw, and the desire is just not there, take a break, embrace your empty feeling and the seriousness to your lack of desire, talk about it with your spouse and give yourself a little time to get back into the swing of things. In these cases our men feel helpless, and want to know how to help us, in any way possible. If giving you your sexual space for a little while is what you need, my guess is that he will be very okay with being able to help you . Take his help, embrace your sadness, and climb out of the darkness and back into your mans arms so you can feel like a married couple again…… not an infertile couple.