There has rarely been a time since I became sexually active that I did not want sex. It is safe to say that I have a very high sex drive. However, several years ago I found myself not wanting to do the deed, at no fault of the hubby. This was a side effect of infertility treatments.
It has been over ten years since the hubby and I decided it was time to expand our family. I had suspected for some time that this would not be an easy task. With unpredictable cycles, and having several symptoms of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), I just knew we likely had a difficult road ahead of us. This didn’t mean I gave up hope. We kept trying the old fashioned way, and had fun while doing it. Eventually the time came for us to see a specialist.
At first my sex drive didn’t suffer. Granted, the medications I was taking did a number on my mood, and caused the depression I already struggled with to deepen greatly. After months of trying to time sex just right and being poked and prodded by medical staff up to three times a week – including several procedures that were very intimate in nature – my sex drive plummeted. Not only did my desire for intimate relations with the hubby drop significantly, but also my urges to masturbate. Before infertility treatment, masturbation was often a daily occurrence – if not more frequently! Even now, several years after we ended all of the medical treatments, my sex drive is still much less than what it was before.
Much of what affected my arousal levels was psychological. The multitude of doctor appointments, the focus on sex for procreation, and the failures of the assisted reproductive therapies all affected combined to make a mental block against sexual desire. Instead of having sex purely for enjoyment, we were having sex purely out of duty. While I enjoyed the deed, I wasn’t able to climax because I couldn’t separate sex from our desire for pregnancy. The whole ordeal didn’t affect our feelings for each other; just our feelings towards sex – especially my own.
How did I overcome this? Firstly, acknowledging that there was an issue and that it could be overcome. I talked with my husband. And I discussed it a bit with Sylvie (as she has a lot of useful knowledge about marital aids from her time as a pecker peddler). Sylvie recommended an arousal cream that helped increase my sexual pleasure. This helped to revive the enjoyment that had disappeared.
When you are going through fertility treatments, you hear the stories about how the medications can affect your hormones and, therefore, your moods. You hear about the invasiveness of procedures, the heartbreak of failed attempts and losses, and the joys of successes. What you don’t hear much about, though, is how fertility treatments can affect your relationship with your significant other. There are couples who don’t make it through fertility treatments. In our case, it made our relationship even stronger. Yet we still encountered a rough patch in our sex life – something that isn’t talked about on the message boards.
Hopefully this isn’t something you will ever have to encounter; however, if you do, please remember: You are not alone.