Couple Feeling the Pressure

Pressures of baby-making can put men off sex…

A vitally important fertility issue that is often overlooked when it comes to helping couples conceive has been highlighted today.

Couple Feeling the PressureWe know that trying for a baby can be a rollercoaster of emotions for women, but it can be incredibly stressful for the man too – and this can really impact not only on a couple’s relationship, but also on the man’s fertility. Sex is the most important factor in trying for a baby, but so many men suffer from performance anxiety that can really have a negative impact not only on your relationship, but on a couple’s ability to conceive. Reproductive healthcare experts Zita West say, ‘It’s so hard for men – I see so many guys who are very anxious that there is something wrong with them, but the reality is often that they are simply suffering from performance anxiety. Being able to talk as a couple and make use of techniques from hypnotherapy and counselling to an in-depth health-check to overcome this can make a huge difference.”

Here are Zita West’s top tips for setting your passion for each other alight and helping to improve sperm health:

1. Passion – Testosterone is the hormone of desire. Sex can become an issue between partners when they’re trying for a baby or if they’ve done endless rounds of IVF, and it’s easy to see why sex becomes mechanical. Focusing on getting a good sex life back is key to sperm health. Arousal is important as it affects the amount of sperm you will produce and you’re not helping yourself by having mechanical, passionless sex.

2. Pressure – Take the pressure off one another when it comes to wanting a baby. Pressure causes performance anxieties in men. A man doesn’t need to know everything that’s going on in a woman’s body to be ready for sex. He doesn’t need to know when she’s ovulating and he doesn’t need the pressure to perform.

3. Relationship – So often we see that the relationship is tense due to trying for a baby, which makes it harder to have sex. Sex can become a subconscious currency between couples, especially if there’s too much focus on the woman’s fertile time. Trying for a baby and going through IVF challenges any relationship.

4. Sex, sex and more sex! There are so many myths around sex when trying for a baby, and the most common questions we’re asked are about how often to have it and whether it’s better to save the sperm up. Firstly, you should be having sex as much as possible, at least three times a week. The idea of saving sperm is a myth as it will die after a few days. Research shows that the more fresh sperm there is, the better the quality, but the man needs the right support to achieve this if he’s having issues.

5. Lifestyle – Make sure you get a sexual health screen. It’s well-documented that alcohol, cigarettes and recreational drugs affect sperm health and increase free radical damage, which affects the DNA of the sperm. Being overweight or underweight can also affect fertility, so it would really help to take a good look at your exercise regime and your diet.

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Jonathan Smith-Squire

Jon Smith-Squire is a reporter at Sell Your Story UK, The Magazine. A psychology graduate, he has a special interest in real life stories, human emotions and how we perceive the world around us.

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