In part one and part two of this series, we covered important aspects of baby making, including going off birth control and ovulation. In the final part of this series, we will discuss potential sexual difficulties while trying to conceive.
Sex might have been fun and exciting, spontaneous and unscheduled, but now you find yourselves watching a calendar, timing the right day(s) to have sex in the hopes that this time will result in a baby. And then you find sex is boring, hurts or even impossible due to erection or ejaculation difficulties. Before you freak out, this is normal; especially for men!
This is not about sexual dysfunctions prior to trying to conceive, but when sexual difficulties arise during the time that you are trying to conceive. Performance anxiety is a common issue faced by many couples when they are trying to conceive.
Most common for men to experience is erectile difficulties, both getting and maintaining an erection. However, men may also experience ejaculatory emissions difficulties, such as inability to ejaculate during penetration, premature ejaculation and delayed or even anejaculation, the inability to ejaculate altogether. Women may experience a lack of orgasm or vaginal pain due to high levels of anxiety and decreased lubrication. Both men and women might experience a decrease in or complete lack of sexual desire.
So what helps? Below are several suggestions to help decrease sexual difficulties when you are trying to conceive.
- Make sex fun again.
- Play around with different positions (research has found that position of sex does not tend to matter regarding conception)
- Utilize role play
- Practice the art of seduction. Ladies- if you are ovulating soon, instead of announcing it, try putting on lingerie or sending an sexy text to your partner.
- Create a challenge or some other method that might help him get aroused and/or orgasm. For example, many couples I know employ the blowjob for babies method or something similar.
- Don’t tell him every detail about your cycle. In fact, in some cases, it may be best to not tell him when you are ovulating, at all.
- The One Month On/One Month Off approach. This is fairly self-explanatory, but you might have one month tracking ovulation and having sex during the time, but then the next month don’t track and have sex spontaneously.
- Use a lubricant. If you are experiencing vaginal dryness, trying using a lubricant to help with the slip. However, research shows that water-based lubricants can hinder the ability for sperm to swim and oil based lubricants or lubricants that are made to enhance the speed (such as Pre-seed) are recommended.
- Utilize stress and anxiety management techniques. Meditation, acupuncture, wine and a bubble bath, etc. are a few such techniques. Use these techniques even when you or your partner are not ovulating to help your body feel more relaxed overall. Relaxation is the key to being able to orgasm.
- Communicate with your partner. Talk to one another to create a plan together on what you both think might help. Please note this plan may need to be reorganized. On the note of communication, you may decide that you can’t talk about certain things and that’s okay. For example, women may need to talk to a therapist or friend about the anxiety they are feeling at not being pregnant yet, and men may need to talk to a therapist or friend about the fears they are experiencing.
For most couples, these sexual difficulties are not long lasting and sex will often resume to normal; however, if they persist be sure to see your doctor and/or a sex therapist. Good luck and happy baby making!!
Written by: Jennifer Reeves MA, LMFT, CST-Candidate