You and Your Partner

Find a Support Group

Find a Professional

How is Infertility Affecting Your Sexuality?

"What sexuality?" you may be thinking. Going through an infertility work-up can desensitize even the most sexually active couple. All of a sudden you are thrown into a situation where any sense of privacy is thrown out the window.

Someone was recently recounting her hysterosalpingogram: the physician had trouble injecting the dye into her so at one point six people were in the room trying to figure out what to do. "Hello, anyone else want to join us in here, my uterus is on display."

It is understandably difficult to go from that to making love with your partner. Naturally, infertility not only increases normal levels of stress, but it can put a damper on our sexuality. Men and women alike suffer the consequences of infertility treatment. When it becomes imperative to have intercourse at specific times, making love becomes baby making. What was once an intimate moment can become very clinical. Going into a sterile room with a cup, under the pressure of performance, can harm even the strongest ego. For decades this issue has been brushed aside. No one really addressed the scientific understanding until recently.

A study conducted at Duke University Medical Center, and presented at ASRM by Dr. Jennifer Norten, examined “sexual satisfaction and functioning in patients seeking infertility treatment.” Dr. Norten proved what many suspected, and in doing so validated our feelings. “The results of this study suggest that women undergoing infertility treatment experience significant changes in various aspects of sexual desire, arousal, orgasm, length of foreplay and frequency of intercourse.”

Related Articles: