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How to keep sex enjoyable when trying to conceive

Before Baby Week 1: Sex & Relationships

Sometimes trying to conceive can take away the joy of the spontaneity that makes sex exciting. As a sexual health physician, Dr Terri Foran provides some tips and tricks to keep sex enjoyable as you embark on this new journey together.

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Dr Foran's top tips:

  1. Limit stress as much as possible and lean into the things that make you happy and improve your overall health and wellbeing.
  2. Stress hormones like cortisol inhibit the brain’s main sex hormone which can affect ovulation, sperm count and libido 
  3. Think about introducing some basic relaxation exercises into your life- maybe meditation, mindfulness or yoga
  4. Time for yourself can also include working out what you like the most in the bedroom, so that you can bring that information back to your partner later
  5. Introduce some variety into your sex life. Just because you are trying to conceive on a certain day doesn’t mean you always have to do it in the bedroom or at the same time. If the budget extends to a short break or staycation this can be a great way to re-ignite the sexual spark
  6. Try some different positions or a new sex toy
  7. Vary the time of day - an early morning liaison may be a better option compared to late at night when both of you are tired after a long day at work
  8. Get creative and incorporate all the senses in your lovemaking, such as spritzing the sheets with perfume, playing your favourite music, incorporating massage, feeding each other strawberries or chocolates in bed, or using a blindfold to heighten the senses.

A note on foreplay

Women vary in how much foreplay they need to rev up for orgasm and what sorts of sensations they enjoy. Oftentimes, women need foreplay longer than their male partner thinks, and foreplay often gets skimped upon in a longer-term relationship. This is the perfect time to reignite foreplay in the bedroom.

Adequate foreplay and arousal are also important in avoiding painful sex. Though lubricants can help, foreplay, massage and orgasm also play an important role in raising oxytocin levels, which bond a couple to each other and eventually to their baby.

All of this helps to reduce stress, too. So don’t forget, foreplay is not to be forgotten!

A few more myths

Have you heard of any of these common lines of advice?

  • Missionary (or insert position of choice here) will increase likelihood of pregnancy!
  • Lying still for 15 minutes after sex will help!
  • Put a pillow under you to lift up your hips to help the sperm travel!

None of these myths are actually true. There isn’t one position that will magically help you conceive. The sperm will be travelling happily through the cervix a few mere seconds after ejaculation.

The best advice is to simply have sex when you want to, in whichever position you like, a few times a week to help you conceive. One position Dr Foran recommends, however? Cuddling after sex. But only because it will bring you both closer together!

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