Trying for a baby should be a really exciting time but, unfortunately for some, that isn’t always the case. What starts as fun and exciting can start to become a chore if you don’t conceive straight away.

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, Fertility Family have spoken to Trudy Hannington, Senior Psychosexual Therapist, for expert insight into maintaining a healthy sex life with your partner when trying for a baby.

Feeling the stress of the situation?

Stress boosts levels of stress hormones – glucocorticoids such as cortisol – that inhibit the body’s main sex hormone, a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), and subsequently suppress sperm count, ovulation and sexual activity. 

Stress also causes low libido and can impact sleep. Meanwhile, a poor diet can trigger some bad habits including a higher level of alcohol intake, smoking, binge eating or, in some cases, not eating at all. 

Expert tip: Introduce some relaxation exercises, meditation and mindfulness. Yoga can be particularly beneficial, as not only does it help with stress but there are some great sexual positions to learn!

Lacking body confidence?

There are ways that both the woman who will be carrying the baby, and her partner, can help prepare the body for getting pregnant – and these can help with desire too. Looking after your body with regular exercise, eating healthy, cutting down on alcohol or stopping altogether will help it to be in the best state for pregnancy. 

Strike the right balance: being overweight or obese reduces fertility, yet conversely, being underweight can affect ovulation.

Expert tip: Exercising together can often bring you closer, promoting intimacy. Go for walks, hold hands, and talk about all the good things you are hopeful about for the future. 

Remember to communicate

Communication is key if you are worried about conceiving, or it is taking longer than you expected. 

Share your worries without the pressure or the competition of who feels worse. There is often guilt, worry and blame which can play out in resentment, agitation, frustration and arguments. It is important to give each other time to share those thoughts and feelings so that you can be supportive of one another. 

Keeping your relationship alive this Valentine’s: Date Night 

It’s important to remember that whilst you’re trying to conceive, you can find ways to break away from the typical daily routine to create special memories.

  • Dinner for two? Dress up and go out for dinner! Soak up the atmosphere of the restaurant and take yourselves back to the time you were dating. Making an effort to schedule date nights can truly keep the spark alive. 
  • Take a relaxing bath or refreshing shower and use your nice products that have been sitting on the bathroom shelf. Agree on one night where the two of you can make an effort to dress up and relive those very first dates and put your nice underwear on so that you feel sexier. 
  • What about a movie night? Turn all the lights off, choose a film, put your phones away and take some time to reconnect with your partner by spending quality time together.

Having sex just because your schedule requires you to, instead of because you want to, can be a real passion killer. Trying for a baby doesn’t have to equate to neglecting the fun parts of your relationship. 

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