Trying to have a baby can be, well, trying.
For couples trying to conceive, staying up-to-date on monitoring ovulation, charting basal body temperatures, and timing intimacy can take a steamy bedroom setting into the cold.
For couples pursuing fertility treatment, it is very common for emotional and physical intimacy to decrease. Going through fertility treatment can be emotional, grueling, and exhausting for couples. Life’s everyday challenges can cause any couple to hit bumps in the road. When infertility is added to the mix, couples may feel overwhelmed with how to overcome this challenge as a strong, balanced unit.
“Treatment can take couples through a rollercoaster of emotion,” explains Dr. Jane Nani of Fertility Centers of Illinois. “Couples find great help in speaking with a counselor, and often find their relationships are stronger at the end of the journey.”
It is important for couples to understand they are not alone. Working together equally during the entire process – learning about infertility, supporting each other, and making treatment decisions – will strengthen your relationship.
With a little creativity, couples can make a swift u-turn back to the romance they once had.
1. Recall Your Most Romantic Moments
What was it that made you fall in love? What were the most “swoon-worthy” moments? Close your eyes and imagine those moments all over again, but don’t keep them to yourself. Write a love note to your partner recalling the reasons and events that made you fall for him or her, and seal it with a kiss.
2. Get Your Heart Pumping
Working out decreases stress, improves health and increases happiness. Go for a walk or hike together, or try a new physical activity together. Partner Yoga at Pulling Down the Moon on February 15th is a perfect opportunity – couples of any experience level will learn how to stretch and breathe away stress, while reconnecting the body and mind – together. Learn more or register on their website.
3. Set A Fun Goal Together
Want to have a weekly date night for the next month? Have you always wanted to ballroom dance? Want to finish a 5k in the summer? Want to start a couple’s food and entertainment blog? Studies show that the more couples invest time in doing fun things together, the happier they are in the long-term. In the name of science and happiness, pick a fun goal that you can work towards together, and focus on achieving it.
4. Mum’s the Word on Trying to Conceive
Taking a break from infertility talk can give you the strength to revisit treatment with new resolve and optimism. What you are going through as a couple can be tough, and everyone deserves a break. Make a 48-hour rule to take a break from infertility, and focus on fun instead.
5. Get Out of Town
Changing your environment can shift your mental outlook, allowing the head space you need to gain perspective, release stress, and have fun. Take the weekend to ski in the Rocky Mountains, drink wine in Napa Valley, or surf the waves in Florida. Kick back, relax, and focus only on enjoying each moment together.
6. Love Me Tender
See where your partner is truly at and what they need, both in life and in the treatment process. Infertility can affect your partner’s self-esteem and depending on the diagnosis, can make a man or women feel “defective” or “incomplete.” Discuss where you’re at, what you need, and how you can help each other. If treatment has caused challenges, being tender and attentive can help put a relationship back in balance.
7. Recreate A Movie Moment
Kiss under a full moon, hold hands as the sun sets, embrace in the middle of a rain storm, watch the clouds while holding hands during a picnic lunch. Who says that romantic movie moments can only star John Cusack or Ryan Reynolds? Make your own!
8. Double Date
Spend some time with another couple — preferably one without children. Go on a double date, and spend the evening having fun together, discussing current events, upcoming travel plans, and the latest in entertainment.