For newly married couples, after almost three years of trying to get pregnant, the feelings that go along with that could be very stressful. Yes, a couple could stop connecting deeply like they used to when both are busy with tests, fertility charting, timed intercourse, and medical procedures, the mood altering, fertility drugs and the financial strains may render the couple both physically and emotionally down while their communication skills may totally seize due to the fear of hurting each other with the reality of talking about their challenges.
Infertility, therefore, may cause stress not only on the couple but also on their relationship, sex life and eventually on their marriage as a whole. But Sex Therapist and Fertility Counselor, Mrs. Tola Ajayi of Nordic Fertility Centre, says this could be avoided if couple would talk, as regular as possible, about sex and their sex life during a period like this so that they can keep sex fun while trying to conceive.
At an open forum organised by Nordica Fertility Centre and with the theme, ‘Sex and Fertility’, where the aim was basically to sensitise couples on how to keep the spark in their sex lives even while they are trying to make babies, Ajayi said, infertility is such a major life stressor that usually wreaks havoc on a couple’s sex life. She said therefore that it was pertinent couples talk about sex as regular as they can in their marriage in order to revive their sex life.
Taking the audience through the tips for a better sex life when dealing with infertility, Ajayi said: “There are issues with sex that people don’t talk about. There are some problems with sexual activities that need help and for us to be able to have a good relationship and a good marriage, sex is very important and we find that because people are not really talking about it, so many marital relationships are suffering. So it is important that we talk about sex. We know that in Nigeria, it is almost like a taboo to talk about sex. That is why we feel that it is important for us to start talking about it at Nordica, more so because in course of our managing fertility challenges, we have come to see a lot of problems associated with sex and yet couples are afraid or ashamed to talk about sex.”
The sex therapist explained further that when there is no communication with each other, one partner may be assuming what the other partner is thinking and feeling instead of actually taking time to communicate what is being experienced and felt and thereby oblivious of what the other is going through.
“When a couple with fertility issue come to us and are asked how many times they have sex in a week and then they are looking at each other, then you know that there is a problem. And sometimes, you hear some say, we don’t even have sex again – young couples no longer having sex? So we want them to realise that with or without children, they still have each other. Even when they have children, these children would grow up and leave the house and just the two of you alone.
So what is going to happen to your sex lives if you are not working on it now? So we preach that fertility challenge should not be an issue that will bring about separation in a home. There is no reason couples should not enjoy sex even in their 70s. Sex is not only for young people and menopause is not a reason why a woman should not have sex. So when issue of sex arise in marriage, couple should talk about it otherwise there would be relationship issues in such marriage,” noted.
Stressing on how good sexual relationships between couples will boost fertility, the relationship counselor said, “Sex is a natural instinct, it is acceptable in the Bible and society accepts it. We are talking about the husband and wife here; if you don’t talk about sex, then you die in problem. Reason being that if you don’t talk about it, you end up having relationship issues because you are not enjoying sex. Sex is supposed to be enjoyed and not to be endured. So if you don’t talk about your problems you would not be able to identify the solution to them and then you would not be able to solve your problems.”
Ajayi who was completely raw all through her presentations on this very sensitive topic, advised that couples in course of their fertility journey should endeavour not to allow their sex routine to become so technical with all the charting, timing and reporting back to doctors but rather they should endeavour to make sex as passionate as ever by being more creative in love making, like trying other sexual activities with each other that have nothing to do with making a baby.
Ajayi insisted also that, “Even if you need to use sex toys to overcome your problem, you got to use them,” adding, talking freely about sex amongst couple is the taboo that we want to remove. If we can talk about every other thing, so also we can talk about sex so that it will help couples with fertility challenges as well as those without fertility challenges.”