Maintaining Sexual Harmony While Undergoing IVF

When trying to have a baby via a fertility treatment, sex can sometimes becomes mechanical rather than an act of pleasure. In this situation, it’s hard for couples to maintain a healthy sex life. Intercourse can become strictly organised, and depending on the fertility treatment, the couple may even be asked to have sex at a precise moment of the cycle in order to increase their chances of becoming pregnant.

These rigorous schedules and rules can have a negative effect on a couple’s love life. Additionally, when trying to conceive become an obsession, sex turns into a means to an end, rather than a source of pleasure. Sensuality and spontaneity, as well as sexual desire, can easily be forgotten or deemed less important.

Sometimes, the attempt to conceive can last for several years. This begs the question: how to maintain sexual harmony within the couple during this time?


loving couple lying bed together

Why is sexual desire lower during fertility treatment?

The lack of sex drive is common during fertility treatments, and especially during IVF. Both heterosexual and homosexual couples are affected. However, this issue doesn’t concern everyone. Indeed, many couples experience no change whatsoever in their level of sexual desire.

Nonetheless, trying to have a baby for two, three, four or more years, and being forced to deal with several failed attempts, can be really hard on morale. Sexual desire is directly impacted by these negative feelings.

Not being able to have a baby, as well as the need to rely on a fertility treatment, can be a cause of shame and sadness for many couples. Being infertile is often really hard to accept. Feelings of helplessness, depression and other emotions such as stress can occur. Additionally, women sometimes tend to feel uncomfortable with their bodies. It’s not uncommon to gain weight during IVF. Men may feel that they are not sufficiently virile, whether donated sperm is required or not.

The high doses of hormones used to stimulate the production of eggs can also affect a woman’s mood, as well as causing her pain, fatigue, and discomfort. All of the medical appointments, as well as reliving that transvaginal ultrasound that occurred earlier in the day, can also be traumatizing and reduce libido.

Additionally, as mentioned above, some fertility treatments require organised and pre-arranged sessions of intercourse at a fixed moment of the cycle, to improve the odds of conceiving, depending on ovulation. This rigorous regime leads to a lack of spontaneity, which can affect sex drive.

After trying to get pregnant without success for a long time, sex becomes strict, forced and mechanical. Making love stops being fun and spontaneous, and instead becomes simply a means to an end or a process.

How to re-associate sex with pleasure?

Fortunately, there are solutions to this lack of desire. Knowing that these reactions are perfectly normal during a fertility treatment and trying to conceive is the first step.

Sex therapy and talking can help couples to deal with their lack of interest and desire. Consulting a specialist is a great way to rediscover sexual harmony while undergoing in vitro fertilisation or another fertility treatment.

Attempting to let it go and to stop thinking too much about conception for a while, to instead re-focus on pleasure, will help women and men to feel better in their mind and body. In fact, stress is known to reduce a couple’s chances of conceiving. Learning to relax can help women to become pregnant and in turn, enable them to rekindle their sexual desire and put an end to their lack of libido.

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