First of all, I ‘throway salute’ for all the amazing women, who have been able to get their husbands to cooperate with the no-sex rule at certain times in the fertility treatment journey. I also salute the men, who for, well, being man enough to always see the bigger picture.
Just as I was about to write this article, was when someone mentioned the cerclage (cervical stitch) and no sex in the same sentence in the one of our groups. I must tell you, my ears perked and my eyes popped. I cleared my eyes and read again, no sex for how long? Until baby comes and I’m like….seriously??? How does this work? But it is so true, women who have been through that journey know how it feels. Men, who are also on the journey, know the sacrifices they have made and which some of them are still making to ensure that they get a BFP and keep it that way, until it is time for the baby to come.
So, for a newbie on the journey, don’t beat yourself up because you think timed sex and all other requirements of IVF procedure have reduced your bedroom action. No, it does not work like that. In fact there was a study carried out by the University of Indiana on just this situation, and it gave the reasons you and your spouse might not see as much action in the bedroom as when you were just trying naturally.
The first culprit is Stress
Couples on the IVF journey know that, there is a lot of stress involved; physically, emotionally, financially, not to mention the stress of keeping everyone else out of your business, if you aren’t telling just yet. It’s a whole bundle of stress that would ultimately affect the couple’s bedroom life. Either she is sore from a procedure, or they have to be gentle, or he has to restrain himself because he is going to have to produce a sample soon, or worrying about where the money for the next phase of the procedure will come from. All these can keep a couple awake at night and the thought of sex would never even come up.
Lack of Romance in the Baby Making Process
Another common complaint among women undergoing IVF is that they feel like a scientific guinea pig. The fact that sex and treatments are all on a timed schedule can take all of the romance out of sex, and can really be a turn off for lots of women. A lot of women feel like IVF is only about making babies, with the help of technology, and that’s it.
The other side of this factor is, some women actually feel like they are going to get a baby through assisted reproductive technology, which is all mechanical, and thus feel no need to have sex anymore. And if they are already pregnant, they see no reason for continued sexual intercourse between them and their spouse because, after all, what they were looking for, they have found.
This factor brings to mind the story I heard of a woman, who was so frigid that she and her husband rarely ever had sex. Unfortunately, the few times they got intimate did not result into a pregnancy, which made the man even more keen on having more sex with her, not for enjoyment, but to achieve a purpose. It was an ordeal for both of them; she was not enjoying it, and neither was her husband. It was just a means to an end – a baby.
The end did not come as soon as they expected, as she was always miscarrying. In the end, they progressed to IVF, and luckily for them, on the first try, they got pregnant and she was able to carry the baby into the safe trimester. That was the end of any bedroom action for that man.
Subsequently, they only ever had sex when the baby craving hits, but it still never resulted in a pregnancy. They had to resort to IVF to have all their three babies; the second time around, they got twins. While doing the procedure got them babies, it did not help their sexual life, as even after seven years of marriage, this mom of three still hasn’t found a way to let go of the psychological issue holding her bondage.
When a woman is going through IVF, she would experience lots of hormonal upheavals and emotions ranging from anger to moodiness, and everything else in between. During these hormonal changes, women may not feel like themselves or even like themselves. So, as you can imagine, sex would be the last thing on their mind. At that time, most men would be going for cover, with the “Who knows what you will say to Madam, that will set her off?” scenario.
So, for that period, their sex life takes a back seat.
IVF treatments also can cause bodily changes in women. Some women experience excessive vaginal dryness during IVF. Other women experience pain during sex, or are unable to reach orgasm. The longer a woman undergoes IVF treatments, the worse the sexual side effects can become.
Before you throw your hands in the air and feel you now have the best excuse to let your marital bed go cold, know that in this fertility treatment journey, both husband and wife have to work it out, otherwise, it becomes one lonely journey.
Baby dust to us all!
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