Couples who are going through fertility treatments often end up with problems in the bedroom. I address this in my “Love Essentially” column this week, published in Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press.
Infertility Treatment Can Take the Sizzle Out of Sex by Jackie Pilossoph
Sex is meant to be exciting and fun, and a way for couples to connect on a deep level. I think anyone would agree with that.
But what if your sex life became regulated, forced, mechanical, non-spontaneous and boring? That’s what can happen to a couple with infertility issues, according to Dr. Nicole Gerber, Psy.D.
“I’ve seen so many couples going through fertility treatments — some for years, and it affects their relationship in every way,” said Gerber, a Northbrook-based Licensed Clinical Psychologist who has been in practice for 17 years, specializing in couples therapy. “It causes huge sadness, hopelessness, frustration, anxiety and anger, and it puts stress on the relationship, both in and out of the bedroom.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 1.5 million married women (aged 15-44) in the U.S. who are unable to get pregnant after at least 12 consecutive months of unprotected sex with their husbands.
Gerber said in many situations, sex becomes a chore or an obligation that revolves around a woman’s ovulatory cycle, which becomes draining and exhausting, and which turns what should be enjoyable bedroom fun into a nightmare.
“Every month they say, ‘This might be the month!’ and when it doesn’t work, it’s devastating,” said Gerber, who holds a Doctorate from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology. “It becomes like a roller coaster.”
So, how can couples shift from baby-making mode back to what sex should really be? Here are Gerber’s four tips:
1. Strengthen your connection outside the bedroom first. That will lead to a strong sexual connection. How do you do that? By scheduling date nights where there is no talk of baby making. Instead, be nostalgic and reminisce about how you met and fell in love. Hold hands, take walks, make eye contact, hug, flirt and kiss.
Click here to read the rest of the article, published last Friday in Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press!