Shady Grove Fertility Patients Find Ways to Keep the Romance Alive While Trying to Conceive

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Intimacy is healthy for patients undergoing treatment

Women undergoing fertility treatment this Valentine’s Day can feel confident that intimacy will not interfere with their treatment cycles. Doctors at Shady Grove Fertility Center encourage patients to “listen to their bodies” when it comes to having sex with their partner.

Dr. Melissa Esposito of Shady Grove Fertility’s Frederick, MD office explains. “There is nothing unsafe about having sexual intercourse while undergoing fertility treatment cycles. Some women who are using injectable medications may experience side effects which might make intercourse uncomfortable. However, normal relations are perfectly fine if it's not pain-inducing."

She explains that there are only a few times in a treatment cycle that intercourse is discouraged.

The first is when the male partner is asked to produce a semen sample for either a semen analysis or for an Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) or In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). It is recommended that the man abstain from any form of ejaculation for two to three days prior to collecting to insure a complete and reliable sample.

The other time is following an embryo transfer during an IVF cycle. This period called "pelvic rest" is recommended anywhere from five days to two weeks after transfer – when a pregnancy test can be reliably administered. This rest gives the embryo optimal time to implant into the uterine wall. Most IVF patients can resume normal sexual activity a week or two after their embryo transfer, but always check with your doctor or nurse prior.

During an IUI cycle, doctors may encourage the couple to have intercourse the evening after the insemination. This not only provides the couple time to be intimate, but it also may help increase the chances of fertilization by adding to the sperm that had been introduced during the insemination.

Sharon Covington, Director of Psychological Services at Shady Grove Fertility says it’s important to communicate with each other, and to find ways to stay romantically connected. "When sex goes from being fun to work, it will play havoc on your relationship -- but partners can take the wheel and consciously steer their marriage back on track. Talking openly with your partner on this subject is crucial to a couple’s relationship.”

One patient remarked in a recent Shady Grove Fertility survey when asked ‘how do you keep the romance alive during treatment’, “We plan romantic dates, and make the effort to work on our feelings by texting romantic messages all throughout the day to put us in the mood.”

Dr. Esposito heartily encourages patients not to lose sight of their relationship’s need for intimacy during fertility treatment. She adds that sex is a normal part of a couple’s relationship and that you shouldn’t be embarrassed to talk with your physician about being intimate during your treatment cycle.

About Shady Grove Fertility
Shady Grove Fertility Center is the largest and one of the most progressive fertility and IVF Centers in the United States. Twenty-three reproductive endocrinologists, as well as PhD scientists, geneticist, and 350 highly specialized staff care for patients in 12 full-service offices throughout the Washington and Baltimore metropolitan areas. Shady Grove Fertility conducts clinical research in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health and is part of their subspecialty training Fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology. Shady Grove Fertility has pioneered a number of nationally and internationally recognized programs, such as Shared Risk 100% Refund Program, Shared Donor Egg, International Donor Egg, and Shared Help among others. Since Shady Grove Fertility’s inception in 1992, more than 20,000 babies have been born to its patients. Shady Grove Fertility is a member of the Attain Fertility Network.

To learn more about treatment programs available through Shady Grove Fertility or to schedule an appointment, call 888-761-1967.

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Maria Young

Allison Metzger
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