Four Tips for Preserving Intimacy During Infertility Treatments
Listen: you’re not reading this post because it’s a surprise that going through infertility kills your libido. You’re reading this because it’s come to the point where sex feels like a chore, and yet you want to light up that spark between yourself and your partner because it’s the love you both share that made you want to have a baby together in the first place. So, what do you do? How can you stay sexually connected to your partner when everything has become a sea of lab tests and ovulation kits rather than Barry White and satin sheets?
As we roll into Valentine’s Day, here’s four tips for keeping things spicy while you’re also navigating infertility. Not going through infertility? Lucky you. These four tips can still strengthen your emotional and sexual connection to your partner.
#1 Plan time for sex outside of the fertile window
Pretty much every expert agrees that this is one of the most important things to do when you’re trying to conceive. Having sex with your partner is an opportunity for the physical and emotional connection we all crave. The problem is when sex becomes too focused around baby-making and it begins to feel more like a chore than anything. Both parties can struggle with libido and performance here. Insisting on time for intimacy outside of the fertile window means the deed has to be focused around your connection, not just procreation.
#2 Make it Fun
Yup. I said it: clothes, props, accessories, whatever your jam is (even if that is jam). These things take some of our attention away from intercourse itself and bring it more to touch, play, and connection. All of these things have to be present to maintain a healthy sex life. What’s more is that an infertility diagnosis can all too often rob you of your sexual identity, but having a little fun brings you back into that.
#3 Make Time for Other Activities You Enjoy
You and your partner came together for a reason. Circling back to those things enjoyed together as a couple creates space for non-sexual intimacy, which not only is so desperately needed in the face of infertility treatments, but also strengthens your bond and can make sparks fly a lot more readily.
#4 Be Open and Vulnerable with Your Partner
Infertility brings with it a measure of shame, guilt, fear, and depression that affects both people in a partnership. It’s impossible to create intimacy when we’re not sharing our emotions with each other. If you’re struggling emotionally with this, your partner is too. Create space where you can share your feelings with your partner and they can share with you.
An infertility diagnosis can be extraordinarily hard on a couple, but by taking the time to place more emphasis around connection and love than just baby-making alone, you strengthen your relationship and create a strong partnership that can weather any storm.
Molly Kubinski, L.Ac.