Conception sex: The best laid plans
November 10th, 2011
07:12 AM ET

Conception sex: The best laid plans

Ian Kerner, a sexuality counselor and New York Times best-selling author, blogs about sex on Thursdays on The Chart. Read more from him on his website, GoodInBed.

If you have kids or are hoping to get pregnant, you know all too well that trying to conceive is one of the few times when sex isn’t just about pleasure for pleasure’s sake.

In fact, unless you’re one of those couples that get pregnant right away, conception sex can become downright stressful. As a father of two boys, I understand that trying to conceive can start to seem pretty, well, trying.

According to one British survey, the average couple has sex 104 times before getting pregnant: four times a week on average over the course of six months. No wonder sex can start to feel like work. Here’s why:

You’re stuck with a schedule. Part of what makes sex so fun is that it can be spontaneous: Even if you’re always doing it in bed, at night, you at least have the option to have a hot hookup in your parked car or a little afternoon delight during your lunch break.

But when you’re trying to conceive, you become beholden to a schedule - one that’s dictated largely by biology and ovulation. This sense of pressure can make sex seem less like a decision based on desire and more like a boring chore to be checked off your to-do list, says Hilda Hutcherson, M.D., author of “Sex and the Baby Years.”

You have to do it on demand. For many guys, the idea of a woman who wants a lot of sex all the time sounds great, right? And that’s how it seems when you start trying to conceive. After a while, though, this approach can get awfully old, and you can say goodbye to foreplay and any sort of emotional connection.

You might even start to feel like a sex object, as if she wants you only for your sperm. The same British survey confirms that experience, with 11% of men saying that conception sex made them feel “completely used." And it’s no easier for women. The free pass for constant sex can initially be a boon to women with high sex drives.

“Eventually, though, you may just start to view sex as a means to an end,” says Hutcherson. “One of my patients actually described yelling at her husband, ‘It doesn’t take that long! You don’t have to enjoy it! Just ejaculate!’”

You’re both under stress. Unless you get pregnant early on, the whole process of conception sex can start to wear on you both. You might end up having less sex - and less-pleasurable sex - as time passes. And if you can’t conceive right away, visits to your doc­tor for invasive fertility testing and treatments can make conception sex extra stressful.

One recent study published in Fertility & Sterility found that women who underwent treatment for infertility reported being less satisfied with their sex lives, had sex less often and felt less sexual desire than those with normal fertility. Other research suggests that coping with infertility and its treat­ments can have negative effects on a couple’s emo­tional well-being and can create relationship tension.

Your bedroom routine gets routine. No one wants to constantly do the same thing, the same way, at the same time and in the same place. If your sex life is starting to feel like the movie "Groundhog Day," it’s time to mix things up, even as you continue to try to get pregnant.

So what should you do? First, don’t limit sex to a woman’s fertile days.

“Some people believe that they should ‘save’ the man’s ejaculate until ovulation. That’s a myth,” says Hutcherson. “In fact, storing up sperm can decrease its motility.”

So enjoy sex whenever - and wherever - you want it. View conception sex as a time to build a solid foundation for your life as parents: Trust me, you’ll be facing even more challenges to your sex life then!

soundoff (667 Responses)
  1. RV Maintenance Near Me

    I blog often and I truly thank you for your content. The article has truly peaked my interest. I will book mark your site and keep checking for new details about once a week. I subscribed to your Feed too.


    May 17, 2021 at 15:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. oc collision center

    I wanted to thank you for this wonderful read!! I certainly loved every bit of it. I've got you book marked to look at new stuff you post…


    May 17, 2021 at 15:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. RV Couches California

    It’s hard to come by experienced people about this topic, however, you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks


    May 17, 2021 at 16:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. RV Beds Orange County

    Greetings, There's no doubt that your site may be having browser compatibility problems. When I look at your site in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping issues. I simply wanted to give you a quick heads up! Aside from that, fantastic site!


    May 17, 2021 at 17:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. collision experts lemon grove

    Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thank you so much, However I am having difficulties with your RSS. I don’t understand why I am unable to join it. Is there anybody else getting similar RSS issues? Anyone that knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanx!!


    May 17, 2021 at 17:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Maserati Mistral

    Great post! We are linking to this particularly great content on our website. Keep up the great writing.


    May 17, 2021 at 22:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. the truck shop orange county

    You have made some really good points there. I looked on the internet to find out more about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this web site.


    May 18, 2021 at 03:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. rv repair near me now

    This is the right blog for anybody who really wants to find out about this topic. You understand so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I actually will need to…HaHa). You certainly put a fresh spin on a subject that's been written about for years. Wonderful stuff, just great!


    May 18, 2021 at 08:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. what does fashion colour mean in hairdressing

    May I just say what a relief to discover someone who truly understands what they're talking about on the internet. You certainly know how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More and more people must look at this and understand this side of the story. I can't believe you are not more popular because you definitely possess the gift.


    May 18, 2021 at 16:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. what to wear to a hairdressing interview


    May 18, 2021 at 16:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. marketing coach


    May 18, 2021 at 17:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. commercial air conditioning service near me

    The next time I read a blog, I hope that it won't disappoint me just as much as this particular one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I genuinely thought you would have something useful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something you can fix if you weren't too busy searching for attention.


    May 18, 2021 at 17:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Elderly Care


    May 18, 2021 at 17:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Best Dentist Office Near Me

    It’s hard to find experienced people about this topic, but you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks


    May 18, 2021 at 19:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Meet Near Me


    May 19, 2021 at 00:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Maserati Spyder 2006

    Aw, this was an extremely nice post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to generate a really good article… but what can I say… I put things off a whole lot and don't seem to get anything done.


    May 19, 2021 at 00:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. diet pills that give you energy


    May 19, 2021 at 00:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Optometry Near Me


    May 19, 2021 at 04:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Digital Marketing Ideas

    Greetings, I do think your blog could possibly be having browser compatibility issues. Whenever I take a look at your website in Safari, it looks fine however, if opening in I.E., it has some overlapping issues. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other than that, fantastic site!


    May 19, 2021 at 06:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Digital Marketing Agency Near Me


    May 19, 2021 at 07:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Maserati Quattroporte 2004


    May 19, 2021 at 07:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. energy booster pills


    May 19, 2021 at 07:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Welding Fabrication Service

    I enjoy looking through a post that can make people think. Also, thanks for allowing for me to comment!


    May 19, 2021 at 10:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. RV Sound System Orange County

    After exploring a number of the blog posts on your site, I honestly like your way of writing a blog. I book marked it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back in the near future. Please visit my website as well and tell me your opinion.


    May 19, 2021 at 12:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. windshield repair orange ca


    May 19, 2021 at 16:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. RV Toilets Near Me


    May 19, 2021 at 18:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. rv slide out leak repair


    May 19, 2021 at 22:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. camper repair places near me


    May 19, 2021 at 23:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Social Media Marketing Near Me

    I'd like to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this blog. I am hoping to check out the same high-grade content from you later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my very own blog now 😉


    May 20, 2021 at 01:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. SEO Marketing Business

    After going over a number of the blog articles on your blog, I really appreciate your way of writing a blog. I saved it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back in the near future. Please visit my web site as well and let me know how you feel.


    May 20, 2021 at 02:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Video Marketing Consultants

    You have made some decent points there. I checked on the internet to learn more about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this web site.


    May 20, 2021 at 03:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Social Media Marketing Consultants Near Me

    This blog was... how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I've found something that helped me. Thanks!


    May 20, 2021 at 04:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Social Media Marketing Consultant


    May 20, 2021 at 04:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Internet Marketing Agencies

    I could not resist commenting. Perfectly written!


    May 20, 2021 at 06:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Local Marketing Consultant

    Hi there! This post could not be written any better! Going through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept talking about this. I will send this information to him. Pretty sure he'll have a good read. Thanks for sharing!


    May 20, 2021 at 08:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Video Marketing Business


    May 20, 2021 at 08:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Internet Marketing Specialist

    Right here is the perfect site for anybody who wishes to understand this topic. You know a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want to…HaHa). You definitely put a fresh spin on a subject that has been written about for decades. Great stuff, just excellent!


    May 20, 2021 at 10:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Digital Marketing Agencies Near Me


    May 20, 2021 at 10:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Digital Marketing Agency

    The next time I read a blog, Hopefully it does not fail me just as much as this one. After all, I know it was my choice to read through, nonetheless I actually believed you would probably have something useful to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could possibly fix if you were not too busy searching for attention.


    May 20, 2021 at 11:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. rv orange county ca

    I couldn’t resist commenting. Perfectly written!


    May 20, 2021 at 13:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. motor home furnishings


    May 20, 2021 at 15:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. rv repair near my location

    Hi, I do think this is an excellent blog. I stumbledupon it 😉 I will come back yet again since I bookmarked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.


    May 20, 2021 at 18:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. oc ac repair


    May 20, 2021 at 19:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. RV Camera Los Angeles


    May 20, 2021 at 19:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. wood repair near me


    May 20, 2021 at 22:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Content Marketing Agency

    I was very pleased to discover this great site. I want to to thank you for your time for this wonderful read!! I definitely really liked every part of it and I have you book marked to look at new stuff in your website.


    May 20, 2021 at 22:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. car headliner repair near me

    Your style is really unique compared to other people I've read stuff from. Thank you for posting when you've got the opportunity, Guess I will just bookmark this blog.


    May 20, 2021 at 23:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Chevy Van Repair Panels


    May 21, 2021 at 01:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. RV Body Shop Near Me

    Excellent site you have here.. It’s difficult to find high-quality writing like yours nowadays. I seriously appreciate people like you! Take care!!


    May 21, 2021 at 02:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Mercedes Sprinter Maintenance Service Near Me

    Right here is the right webpage for everyone who wishes to find out about this topic. You realize a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I personally would want to…HaHa). You certainly put a fresh spin on a subject that's been written about for many years. Wonderful stuff, just great!


    May 21, 2021 at 03:30 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.