When trying to conceive, having sex on a schedule by tracking your ovulation can sometimes take the fun out of the experience. Studies show that 1 in 8 couples have difficulties getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy, so take comfort in knowing you’re not alone (1). You may find that worries related to fertility, or past experiences of disappointment create a block in the road to connection. By offering one another emotional support and remembering you’re in this together, you can help ease one another’s mind. Make the process one step simpler by keeping track of the days you get down to business on the inne app, alongside identifying your ovulation period, and fertile window with inne’s at-home fertility monitoring system.
During this process, prioritising you and your partner’s sexual needs can be a great excuse to shake up your old habits and have some fun. When wanting to reignite the spark, give yourselves time to relax, exercise communication, and start seeking out some new ways to arouse those desires. Here are our top tips on how you can spice up your love life and put the joy back into conceiving.
Mind over matter
Just because you are ovulating doesn’t mean you’ll be in the mood to get down and dirty. It’s known that stress, anxiety, and pressure to perform can cause all kinds of problems when trying to have sex with a partner (2,3). Therefore, worrying about whether you’ll conceive this time around, or difficulties with sexual dysfunction can become an extra burden - killing the passion you once shared. Focus on creating an environment to help your minds relax. Whether that’s making a pot of your favourite herbal tea, sharing a steamy bath together, or shaking off the stresses of your day with some yoga, be patient with yourself and your partner. If you feel any tension in the air, address it, and discuss your feelings in a safe and nurturing way.
Vaginal dryness or struggling to maintain an erection is common, so don’t beat yourself up about it. Instead, talk through the challenges and, ladies, let (non-spermicidal) lube be your vulva’s best friend. Because the wetter you are, the more pleasurable penetration will be. It’s important to choose your lubricant with careful consideration as some have been shown to affect sperm motility and lifespan (4). We suggest researching brands such as Yes Yes Yes (the Organic Intimacy Experts), Pre-Seed, or using baby oil or canola oil if you are not undergoing fertility testing or treatment. If issues with sexual dysfunction persist, take a look at the bigger picture and see what else is going on in your life that may be causing unnecessary stress. If you are taking any regular medication, such as antidepressants, notice how that may be affecting your body's function (5). Focusing on your diet, how much exercise you’re getting, and general lifestyle choices can be a great starting point to feeling energised and up for the ride.
Feel good in your body
When trying to concieve the act of having sex can start to feel like a chore, and when difficulties arise it’s easy to blame your body. Instead of despairing over what isn’t happening, allow yourself to reconnect with your sexy side by taking time out for yourself. Whether that means dressing up in your kinkiest outfit, doing some naked sunbathing, or dancing to a feel-good playlist, feed your body with love. If you notice any insecurities arising related to your appearance then discuss this with your partner. Airing a concern is the simplest way of resolving it. Before you know it, that part you don’t like about yourself could be what your partner finds most sexy.
Raise the arousal levels
With the focus on conceiving, it’s easy to feel disconnected from the sensual experience of love-making. Try to reawaken the sexual chemistry that drew you to one other in the first place and put the “fun” back into the function. How you do this is completely up to you, but use that imagination. Try writing a list of all the fantasies you’d love to explore and share them with each other. Research sex toys for him and her and get playing. Focus on exploring how you can make each other feel excited rather than the pressure of the end goal. If you’re more of a visual person, then reinvent the idea of movie night and tune into a Burlesque show or watch some beautiful ethical porn on great channels such as Cheex. If you prefer listening to erotica, you can check out their wonderful selection of audio stories or tune into other sites such as Ferly who also focus on mindful sex. With these tools, you can start to feel more comfortable discussing what turns you on and find ways to carry that into your own routines.
Keep it pleasurable
Communication is key in regards to giving and receiving pleasure. However, the stigma and silence attached to sex can often cause discomfort when trying to explain what you want and need. Something that you used to enjoy from your partner may not be hitting the spot anymore. Don’t be afraid to express this, and allow yourself to keep experimenting with what makes you feel good. You can do this by masturbating alone or in front of one another and then discuss how you like to be touched. Let yourselves be patient and enjoy these moments of intimacy.
Kissing, playful touch, oral sex, and massage are all wonderful and essential ways of giving and receiving pleasure so whatever you do, don’t start skipping the foreplay. Keep mixing up those positions to prevent sex from becoming repetitive, and if you’re not sure what you like then schedule a night outside of the ovulation period to experiment. This way, you can explore getting as kinky as you like without any pressure to conceive. Instead, just have fun and play!
Activate your sex drive by getting out of the bedroom
With so much focus on doing the deed, you're bound to get a bit of lovemaking fatigue. Bring the passion back in by getting out of your routine. This may be as simple as treating your kitchen table to a night of lovemaking. Or perhaps you can take up some sensual rumba classes, making it a fun activity to share any day of the month. If you’re both fans of nature, why not take yourselves off for a weekend of camping. Canoodling under the stars is sure to breathe fresh air into your relationship. Simply changing up your scenery, even if it’s just for a few hours, can make all the difference. Who knows, you may feel yourself getting in the mood in the most unexpected of places…
Rooney KL, Domar AD. The relationship between stress and infertility. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2018;20(1):41-47. doi:10.31887/DCNS.2018.20.1/klrooney
Bradford A, Meston CM. The impact of anxiety on sexual arousal in women. Behav Res Ther. 2006;44(8):1067-1077. doi:10.1016/j.brat.2005.08.006
Hedon, F. Anxiety and erectile dysfunction: a global approach to ED enhances results and quality of life. Int J Impot Res 15, S16–S19 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ijir.3900994
Mowat, A., Newton, C., Boothroyd, C. et al. The effects of vaginal lubricants on sperm function: an in vitro analysis. J Assist Reprod Genet 31, 333–339 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10815-013-0168-x
Higgins A, Nash M, Lynch AM. Antidepressant-associated sexual dysfunction: impact, effects, and treatment. Drug Healthc Patient Saf. 2010;2:141-150. doi:10.2147/DHPS.S7634