As soon as you start trying to get pregnant, the atmosphere in the bedroom changes. Someone told me recently, "Nerves are good contraception" and I think that may be true for some people. The vigilance paid to ovulation cycles overrides the attention paid to your mate's feelings and desires. Sex can become mechanical, a chore.
The pressure and tension increase when friends and relatives start asking about your plans: When are you having a baby? When are you giving that child of yours a brother or sister? Why do people feel they can inject themselves into other people's sex lives? Even without the busybodies, partners become focused on making love on a schedule to insure sperm meets egg at just the right time. Sex loses spontaneity and no longer feels like a natural manifestation of their love for each other.
When infertility enters the bedroom, pleasure can diminish further.
Secondary infertility, the inability to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term after successfully and naturally conceiving one or more children, affects millions of couples. Oblivious to the fact that more and more couples with one child experience secondary infertility, "outsiders" don't even consider that there may be a problem. They just want to know when you're having a baby, and the insensitive questions and innuendo don't stop.
"Is infertility a risk factor for female sexual dysfunction?", a Stanford University study published last month in the Fertility and Sterility Journal, backs up what many couples trying to get pregnant already know: Infertility and its treatments can ruin sexual pleasure. Using a control group of women without fertility problems, Leah Millheiser, M.D. at the university's Medical Center discovered that 40 percent of infertile women were at "high risk" for sexual dysfunction.
Couples--fertile or not--trying to conceive a baby may be going through a very difficult time. "Askers" are often unaware of the frustration, the demands of fertility treatments, the effects of medications, the miscarriages, the disappointment, the struggle, and the tears of "programmed sex." When you have one child, the niggling questions from relatives and friends that imply you better have another one soon only exacerbate an already stressful situation.
You really don't know what's going on in someone else's bedroom, in the relationship, or in the couple's heads. Be kind: Keep your questions and comments to yourself. If they want to discuss it with you, they will. In other words, mind your own business.
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Copyright @2010 by Susan Newman