Study suggests a woman’s sex life can suffer when undergoing IVF treatments

IVF treatments

Sex life during IVF treatments

Women who are dealing with infertility already have enough problems. These women are frustrated with the fact that they are having a hard time getting pregnant no matter how hard they have been trying. Some of them even end up dealing with depression on top of the infertility. As if that is not enough a new study has been released that shows women who are undergoing IVF treatments can face problems in their sex lives. This study, which is the first of its kind, used the “Sexual Functioning Questionnaire,” to find out how women felt about sex while undergoing IVF treatments.

For women undergoing IVF treatments this can come as a real blow because they are already dealing with so much, the last thing they need is to deal with relationship problems. One of the biggest side effects of these IVF treatments is that these women are not sexually satisfied, no matter how hard their partner tries. And to add to these women’s problems the unsatisfied feeling often leads to relationship problems with their partners. Women who are not getting satisfied from sex tend to stop participating, they often think if it is not making me happy what is the point. Other women will still continue having sex, but they are on what might be called autopilot, they are doing it just to make their partners happy. Whether they stop having sex or they are on autopilot this can have serious ramifications in a relationship, adding stress to an already difficult time.

The study, which was conducted by a doctoral student named Nicole Smith and an associate professor of law named Jody Lynee Madeira, reiterated the fact that a women’s hormone levels changed dramatically during the course of their IVF treatments. Women are on a myriad of different medications during IVF treatments all in an attempt to prepare the body for accepting the implanted embryo. What Smith and Madeira think based on the results of the study is that the hormones are at fault for changing how women feel about sex, such as wanting it less often or not feeling sexually satisfied once it is over.

Something else that Smith and Madeira discussed based on the results of the study was how women are viewing sex while going through IVF treatments. Everybody knows that sex is used for reproduction, but women also use it for pleasure. What researchers discovered based on women’s answers to questions asked during the study was that pleasure is often overlooked when a couple is trying to get pregnant. Women who are undergoing various treatments to help them conceive often “feel like a science experiment.” Women who are seeking medical help to conceive must carefully plan their sexually encounters, which takes all of the fun and romance out of it. This can also leave women feeling like something is missing in their sexual lives. Not to mention that majority of women undergoing IVF treatments failed to orgasm and were dealing with issues like vaginal dryness, some even reported vaginal pain.

The study used 270 women’s answers to an online survey, as well as interviews from 127 couples undergoing IVF in the attempts of having a baby, and answers from 70 health professionals, including mental health professionals.

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