Trying to conceive doesn't have to be boring. Here's how to shake things up.
By Holly Eagleson for Parents.com
There are two truths about people who say they can never get enough of sex: 1) They're beyond annoying. 2) It's highly unlikely they've ever had trouble getting pregnant. Anyone with issues trying to conceive can tell you that after a few months of constant sex, "business time" may truly feel like a grind — and not the good way that used to get you all hot and bothered.
When the romance disappears from baby making, serious issues can crop up in its place. In one Stanford University study, women with fertility problems were 15 percent more likely to experience sexual dysfunction. They also reported significantly lower satisfaction with their sex lives. To sidestep potential problems, try these expert tips for stoking your fertility and libido simultaneously.
Get busy for no reason
On a strict schedule of baby-making intercourse, both members of a couple may derive lot less pleasure from the act. "Men often start to feel like they're just sperm donors, while women get anxious about failing to conceive every month," says Pamela Fawcett Pressman, a licensed professional counselor specializing in infertility and a certified sex therapist in Voorhees, New Jersey. "Both scenarios can lead to performance issues on either side." To make matters worse, you might start to observe that you're not enjoying sex as much and your imagination may run wild. "That's when people they start to make interpretations that are inaccurate, like 'Maybe I'm not as attractive to my spouse. Maybe I've lost my desire,'" says Sheryl A. Kingsberg, Ph.D., chief of the Division of Behavioral Medicine at University Hospitals Case Medical Center and a professor of reproductive biology and psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland.
An easy fix is to start having sex at times totally outside ovulation, when there's little chance you'll get pregnant. "Lovemaking that's not performance-driven helps you reconnect to your sensuality," says Mindy R. Schiffman, Ph.D, clinical psychologist and sex therapist at New York University's Fertility Center and in private practice in New York City. "It also has an interesting way of taking the pressure off the times you need to make love and helps you avoid 'tonight's the night' syndrome."
Set the mood
You don't have to go overboard littering rose petals throughout the boudoir, but take time before sex to unwind and shake off your day. "There is some interesting data from cognitive research that the mood you're in, even your facial expressions, does influence how you interpret situations in a relationship," Dr. Kingsberg says. "If have a scowl on your face, that may carry over in your ability to relax and relate to your partner." Take a half hour to decompress before you get down to boot-knocking. Dr. Schiffman recommends lighting a candle or running a bath with a little mood music in the background. You could even whip up a few mocktails using fertility-friendly foods like watermelon or apricot puree for a deliciously romantic preamble.
Focus on foreplay
In addition to making time for intercourse that's not about baby making, make a priority of sexual connection where there's no endgame. "Massage and sensual touch are really important to maintain closeness and bond of couple so that sexuality doesn't become only about the goal of conceiving," Pressman says. And don't forget the lost art of kissing! A little PG action beforehand can make the X-rated stuff white-hot.
Remix the classics
Every couple has a few reliable positions that knock their socks off. "Improvise on old favorites by throwing in new moves like twisting your pelvis to maximize sensation," says Jill Blakeway, a licensed acupuncturist, co-owner of The YinOva Center in New York City, and co-author of Sex Again: Recharging Your Libido. You can also squeeze vaginal muscles in unexpected timing or switch up the angle of your legs (say, from bent to elevated) to shift your pelvis in more pleasurable direction. "Even staying perfectly still can be a major charge, as it builds anticipation," Blakeway says. Keep Reading...
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- Can Your Sex Position Make It Easier To Conceive?
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- 13 Signs You May Be Pregnant