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Sex on a Schedule

It may help infertile couples, but who can stick to it?

Relieving the Pressure continued...

In general, infertile couples are advised to have intercourse every other day around the time of ovulation, usually around day 14 of the woman's menstrual cycle. Women can detect ovulation in a number of ways, such as by using a urine test or monitoring changes in vaginal secretions.

However, sex shouldn't be confined to the time of ovulation. Unless instructed otherwise by their doctor, couples should make love throughout the month, not just when they think they might conceive, says Leslie Schover, PhD, a clinical psychologist who has counseled many infertile couples and is co-author of Overcoming Male Infertility. That might help them separate sex from conception -- and sex will become a natural part of life again.

Sex as Recreation, Not Just Procreation

Thinking of sex not as a chore but as fun, the way it usedto be, can help. "We did our best to have a good time -- having sex in different rooms, going to hotels, going out on 'dates' beforehand," Alan recalls.

"Set a romantic mood with things like shared baths and massages," Schover suggests. It's also a good time to explore sexual fantasies and erotica.

Keep Reaching Out

Turning to professional counselors and infertility support groups such as Resolve is often useful. Couples can expect to find practical suggestions, a forum for sharing feelings, and a reminder that they are not alone. And talking on an informal basis with other couples who have overcomeinfertility can help, too. In retrospect, what helped most, Candace says, was staying positive and looking ahead to the day they would hold a brand-new family member in their arms.

Sharon Cohen is a senior editor at Shape and Fit Pregnancy magazines.


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