sad couple looking pregnancy test

Trying to conceive may ‘kill’ one’s sexual life

The moment a couple decides to have children is very nice. But how easy is it to conceive? 85% of women that have contraception free intercourse become pregnant within a year. But when the first months pass without the desired result, the sexual life of the couple changes, sponateity is replaced by planning and sexual satisfaction with the achievement of conception.

If the woman gets her menstruation (period) disappointment covers everything. Not infrequently, the stress to conceive turns into anxiety for sex, which is now experienced under conditions in which the sex toys replace thermometers and ovulation tests, while the erotic initiative becomes obsessive and demanding.

That is when the problems start: the man who is asked to achieve an erection on specific days and times fails. And she doesn’t even want to hear about sex on does other than her fertile days since conception is the aim.

In an attempt to estimate the problem, it seemed that 40% of women who visited an IVF center were experiencing a sexual problem. The problems reported most were decreased sexual desire and arousal difficulties.

Concerning men, 1 out of 10 were experiencing some sexual dysfunction. The most common problem was difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection, and decreased sexual desire.

The relationship between sexual problems and infertility can be bidirectional! Sexual dysfunctions may be the cause of the inability to conceive. Also, trying to conceive may cause sexual dsyfunctions.

Sexual dysfunction often have occurred before the onset of the fertility problem. In fact, many couples seek treatment for infertility but not for the sexual problem. However, a relatively high frequency of sexual intercourse is necessary for conception.

The psychological effects that often accompany the diagnosis and treatment of infertility are intense anxiety, decreased self-esteem, and even symptoms of an underlying depression. Also, difficulties in conception often lead to tensions in the relationship of the couple and the recurring failed attempts create additional psychological burden. These in turn reduce sexual satisfaction and mood and maintain sexual dysfunctions.

The restoration of the sexual life of the couple should be an integral part of the treatment of infertility. Data suggest that couples who maintain their sexual activity during assisted reproduction treatment, not only better manage the problem, but have significantly higher probability to conceive.

Millheiser LS, Helmer AE, Quintero RB et al. (2010) Is infertility a risk factor for female sexual dysfunction?

A case-control study. Fertil Steril 94: 2022-2025.

Monga M, Alexandrescu B, Katz SE et al. (2004) Impact of infertility on quality of life, marital adjustment, and sexual function. Urology 63: 126-130.


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