Most couples anticipate that going through treatment for infertility will be difficult but few realize just how invasive and intrusive it can be. Even basic diagnostic testing includes evaluating your sperm count, analyzing your wife’s menstrual cycle and discussing your sex life. As you get into treatment, you’ll be told when to have sex and when to abstain and it can be easy to get caught up in the “we have to have sex tonight because the doctor called” cycle. There are ways, however, to keep the passion and spice in your intimate life while going through this process.

  1. Plan romantic nights out. Don’t forget to work on your romantic relationship by planning date nights or a special time for just the two of you. If you already have a child, leave them with a babysitter one night a week to take your wife out. If not possible, plan an at-home date for after bedtime. They don’t have to be expensive either if you’re short on cash. Try picking her up from work for lunch, having a movie night at home complete with popcorn, or even just a long walk through your city. One of my favorite dates with my husband was an afternoon spent at an animal shelter playing with the dogs – simple, but a lot of fun.
  2. Try something new. If you find yourselves settling into a routine, introduce something new into your repertoire. Whether it’s watching adult movies together, trying new positions or bringing props into the bedroom, spicing things up can make your sex life more fun and boost your relationship.
  3. Help her out. It may be a cliché, but it’s true. Tackle some of the housework and her to-do list, and she may be less stressed out and more in the mood. Give her a night off and do her chores so she can just relax. Make sure that she doesn’t feel like you expect sex as a reward for helping her out – just do it because you love her and want her to take some time for herself. Even if it doesn’t work the first night or even the second, keep it up – she’ll definitely appreciate your effort.
  4. Have patience and be creative. There are times during treatment and early pregnancy where abstinence will be required. Clarify with the doctor if all types of sex are prohibited, or only vaginal penetration. If you have permission, explore other forms of sexuality. If the doctor says that she can’t be intimate in any way, be patient and remember that it won’t last forever. Be understanding and recognize that she is probably upset and insecure about being on restricted activity as well.

Above all, remember to have fun and communicate. Talk to her in a non-confrontational manner when these issues come up and make sure to listen when she talks. Just because your sex life feels like it’s on display to your doctor and his staff, doesn’t mean that your intimacy as a couple has to end.