Infertility Takes the Fun Out of Sex

Infertility takes the fun out of sex.
Yep. It's true.
Don't believe me? Then you don't know.
And yeah, I’m sure you’re thinking, “but sex IS fun and it feels SO good!”
Well, yes. I can't argue with that. In the beginning months of our marriage, I wouldn't have been able to agree with you more! Sex is a wonderful, fun, and pleasurable experience- there's no denying that.
But when you start trying to have children, something switches and all of a sudden, it's not as fun as it used to be. Pretty soon, you're using pre-seed lube to get the swimmers a fast track to where they need to go or using ovulation kits to test when you're most fertile. Condoms become a thing of the past as they collect dust in a drawer and pretty soon, you're buying your worth in boxes of pregnancy tests.
Yeah, sex feels good. But you wanna know what DOESN’T feel good?
Having your doctor schedule your sex times. "You can have sex every day in this time frame, but DON'T have sex in THIS time frame. We need the sperm to be on their best behavior for the upcoming IUI."
Having sex when you don’t want to. Yeah, you read that right. Because maybe it’s been a week where you've had multiple ultrasounds or checks and you're just like- "if one more person sticks something up there one more time, I’m gonna LOSE IT." Or maybe you feel like a ball of bloated crap from all the hormones you’re on and naked sexy sex is the last thing you wanna do.
Not being present in the intimate moment because you can’t stop praying and hoping that THIS is the time. But then you start stressing because you’re stressfully praying instead of enjoying it. Which then leads to you being worried because your body knows you’re trying to trick it and you’re really not calm so it won’t work so you keep telling yourself STOP FREAKING OUT AND JUST ENJOY THIS. But sadly, you still can't.
LOGGING YOUR SEX. Because you KNOW that the doctor is going to ask you how often you’re doing it and when the last time was- which is actually very important to remember, by the way. 
Thinking that all of the poses after sex will magically work. Legs in the air, butt elevated on a pillow, hanging upside down, laying on the couch for two days. I know it worked for your cousin and all, but stop telling me to do that because it ain’t gonna work here. 
The pressure of thinking that THIS has to work. If it doesn't work this time, then we both know we're moving on to IUI or IVF. Please, please, PLEASE let this work.
Watching the ovulation test like a hawk. You sit and you wait. You sit and you watch. You sit and you hope that line will get darker and- Oh! It’s dark! BABE WE GOTTA HAVE SEX 54 TIMES TODAY! 
Or, finally, the one I hate the most:
Uncontrollably sobbing after sex because it sucks that the most beautiful and intimate thing on this planet doesn’t work for us the way that it’s supposed to. 
. . .and then realizing that none of this worked anyways, so now it's time to prepare and pray for next month.
I’m gonna be real honest. I stopped enjoying the thought of sex in mid 2017. And I’m not sure if I’ve fully gained that enjoyment back.
It takes a toll on you and you better BELIEVE it takes a toll on your marriage. Because you’re both battling demons of your own and it’s really freaking hard to explain to the person you love that you don’t want to have sex, but it has nothing to do with them, it’s just this sucky situation.
I tried to be super open with Alex about everything I was feeling and it made me feel so much better when I realized that he was feeling the same things too.
It always seemed like it was one thing after another.
When we began trying naturally, we bought out the whole dang family planning section of Target. I mean, ALL of it. We tried it ALL. But none of that seemed to work. Then came all of the after sex positions I named earlier. And yeah, there's a lot more than you think. One of the tackiest ones was laying on my back on the floor, butt elevated, and my legs flat against the wall. I sat that way for 15-20 minutes after sex and I was always worried that maybe it still wasn't enough time.
Looking back now, I realize that none of those things really made a difference. I could've sat like that for 30 minutes to an hour after sex and it wouldn't have made the slightest change.
When we began doing IUIs, the scheduled sex began. The bloat and hormonal rollercoasters from Clomid began. The multiple trans-vaginal ultrasounds began. And it always seemed to be that on the days we couldn't have sex, we were super in the mood and on the days we had to have sex, we were both exhausted and weren't feeling it. Which then added more pressure because you want your child's conception to be through a sweet and intimate moment. Not a tired sleep-fest that you both entered begrudgingly.
With every passing month and as the negative tests began to stack up, sex became even more of an action and no longer an emotion.
By the time we got to IVF, sex didn't feel like sex anymore. Sex became more of another step in the scientific methodical process that was IVF. During STIMS, I honestly couldn't stand the thought of having sex. I was going to the clinic multiple times a week for trans-vaginal ultrasounds and I was getting stuck with a needle twice a day. So, even when the thought of sex came up, I would twinge. I was tired of being picked and poked. I didn't want another thing going up my vagina and I didn't even want to be touched in an intimate way. I felt like I was slowly, but surely, losing my personal space and it drove me insane.
The longer that STIMS went on, the more and more bloated and uncomfortable I became. So, yep, you guessed it. When I felt that way, I most certainly was NOT in the mood for intimacy. My uterus felt like a dang storage unit and I couldn't handle the thought of something else being added to that. Then came egg retrieval- which was a super sensitive time and we already had to worry about my ovaries recovering from the hormones and retrieval. Sooooo, sex wasn't really welcome there either.
And I think it's super important for me to stop here and say: please make sure you are talking and being honest with your spouse. I know this stuff is messy and hard and uncomfortable and it shouldn't be this way. But, I want to encourage you and let you know that you guys can do this! 💪🏽 You're sooo much stronger than you think and your marriage will become stronger after all of this is said and done, I promise.
So, I'll say it again: yeah, infertility takes the fun out of sex.
Sex is supposed to be beautiful and intimate. God created it to bring babies into the world and I had a really difficult time handling the fact that it didn’t work for us. I wrestled with this idea for a good while.
Why was it able to work for so many other people, but not us?
Were we not supposed to have kids? Were we not doing it right? Were we missing something?
I don't really know the answer to those questions and I'm not sure that I ever will. All I know is that we've been diagnosed with unexplained infertility and well, that's where we are. We've tried to embrace the journey that we've been given and not worry too much about the things we cannot control.
I know that infertility robs you of a lot of joys. Why would sex be any different?
It's something I, myself, am still trying to get over. Like I said, I lost the enjoyment for the whole thing long ago and I'm still working on getting it back. But there are a lot of PTSD moments with infertility and sadly, infertile sex PTSD is kind of a thing. Getting pregnant and having a baby doesn't just magically change that. Especially when we know that the next time we want to have a child, our first step needs to be calling the fertility clinic and not diving head first into a hot and steamy sexcepade romp in the sheets.
I don't have all of the answers and sadly, I don't have a whole lot of help on how to miraculously make sex during infertility any better.
I'm just here to say that if any of this resonates with you, you're NOT alone. That sex and infertility are like oil and water- they'll never be able to peacefully coexist. But just in the same way, maybe they can coexist for but for a beautiful and blissful moment.
Because regardless of what purpose it doesn't serve, it does still serve the purpose of bringing you and your spouse together in a wonderful moment when the rest of the world can fade away.
If you can allow yourself to surrender all of your expectations, wants, and needs for just a simplified sensual moment with your spouse, then that's what matters the most.
You and your spouse loving each other in a way that only you can. Creating a strong bond that will help you to get through all of the hardships that exist in and out of that moment.
I guess what I'm trying to say is this: infertility makes sex hard, but don't let it rob you of the genuine love and appreciation you have for your spouse. Make sure you spend time together, even if it's just snuggled up in one another's arms- no sex involved.
Try looking for other ways to pour into one another when sex gets too complicated or tough. Things like extended hugs, kisses, or snuggle sessions. Keep the communication alive and don't be afraid to share how you're feeling.
I know this stuff is hard. I know that it's weird and uncomfortable. And I totally get why people don't want to talk about it. It's not exactly the best conversation to have. But, I do believe that this topic deserves a seat at the table when we discuss infertility because infertility affects every part of your life.