Trying to conceive can sometimes turn intimacy into a chore rather than a pleasure. But baby-making sex doesn’t have to be boring.
Here’s how nine couples kept the spark in their sex lives even when ovulation determined the timing.
Sex is supposed to be fun, right? Unfortunately, when it’s for the purpose of procreation, the fun part often gets lost. “When sex becomes a means to an end, it can really put pressure on a relationship, says Laura Berman, Ph.D., director of the Berman Center, specializing in female sexual health, in Chicago, Illinois. “Making love often changes from an intimate and pleasurable experience to something full of pressure and inadequacy.” And when conception isn’t quick and couples need medical help to conceive, the effects on their sex life can linger long after conception. “Even after a couple has finished fertility treatments, sex can often still feel stilted and unsatisfying,” Berman says.
So it becomes crucial for couples to keep the lines of communication open and find ways to keep sex hot and steamy, even when trying to conceive. Here’s some advice from other couples on how they kept things boiling in the bedroom.
“The whole notion of sex for procreative purposes really killed the mood, for both me and my husband. Without fail, the moment the little ovulation test stick told me it was the right time of the month, the stress escalated, the pressure was on, and we would wind up in a fight. Ultimately, after trying for a while, I scheduled an ovulation-timed trip to the place we went right after we got married—Santa Ynez (where Sideways was filmed, in California wine country).
I disregarded everything I was told about not drinking while trying to conceive and got nicely toasted; and we had the most fun we’d had in a long time. Less than three weeks later, my pregnancy test was positive.”
“After trying to conceive for so long, I began to look at my husband as just a sperm provider, and I forgot the handsome, funny, charming guy I married. So one day I took some time to write down the moment I knew he was the man for me—the day I met him. I closed my eyes and pictured him standing there in his blue pinstriped suit, and tried to remember the smell of the pink and yellow roses he was carrying. And I could literally feel how my face flushed when I took the flowers from him. So from then on, whenever I was ovulating, I re-read my journal and I was able to reconnect to those romantic feelings.”
—Kristen Magnacca, 42, mother of two children ages 7 and 2, and author of Love and Infertility and Girlfriend to Girlfriend: A Fertility Companion.