Working with women and fertility, we focus all our attention on menstrual cycles. We focus so much on length of the period, quality of the period, timing of ovulation, signs of ovulation, etc. that we forget how babies are actually created. Last week, I had a patient report that she didn’t think that she and her husband were having enough sex–she said they were barely having sex once a week! This patient also told me that her husband resented having to have sex at specific times and felt as though he had to “perform on command”, which is a mood-killer to say the least. This scenario is incredibly common for couples trying to conceive. Sex loses its spontaneity and excitement and becomes a means to an end. Instead of an expression of love for your partner, sex ends up becoming manual labor.
Remember the days when you first met your partner? What an exciting time when you are getting to know each other and beginning to bond. Remember having sex back then? Back when making a baby was the farthest thing from your mind? Can you tell the difference between sex these days and back then? If you are on a fertility journey, I am sure those two experiences are completely different. When couples are very committed to conceiving, its common to lose focus on the pleasure that used to come from sex and as a result, more stress arises. (How ironic–something that used to be an emotional release is now something that can cause stress!) We all know how stress affects the body in terms of raising cortisol and adrenaline levels and putting the body in “fight or flight” mode. Think of how it affects the body while we are trying to conceive! From a traditional Chinese medical perspective, stress causes the energy to constrict which leads to a lack of nourishment of the tissues by energy and blood. This is inherently unproductive when it comes to creating and supporting a healthy pregnancy. When we are more relaxed, our body and energy is more open to possibility versus when we are stressed and overwrought with worry that we literally begin to close our energy. If both women and men were able to relax more when it came to sex, rather than worrying about cycle days or cervical mucus signs, it would create a more favorable environment to create a new life. I like to remind people that children are pure joy and love and it is no wonder because they historically have come into being through joy and love.
I once had a teacher whose fertility advice was to “enjoy your husband”. Of course there are many factors that are involved, however this is one tip that should not be completely ignored or overlooked. There are so many difficulties and heartbreak on the road to conception that it is important to find as much happiness as possible.
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