Sex Expert Dr. Kate Balestrieri On How To Keep Sex Fun While Trying To Conceive - Exclusive

Trying to get pregnant can put strain on even the strongest relationships. All the details involved in trying to conceive, all the waiting and wondering, and the disappointment of negative pregnancy tests adds up over time and many couples end up struggling with connection.

Trying to conceive can also start to take the fun out of having sex. Since sex has to be scheduled during ovulation and has to happen every day or so during the fertile window, sex can start to feel like a chore that has to be completed rather than an opportunity to express love and intimacy.

Sex therapist Kate Balestrieri often works with couples who are struggling to get excited about sex while trying to get pregnant, so she's got some great tips on how to rekindle the fire. In an exclusive interview with Health Digest, she shared some of those tips and explained how couples can foster intimacy while they're trying to conceive.

How trying to conceive impacts sex

Dr. Balestrieri explained that the complicated dynamics and feelings that come up while trying to conceive can change couples' perspectives on sex.

"Trying to conceive can elicit many new feelings and contexts for sex that can carry couples away from pleasure and play to goal driven motives and obligation," she said. "Couples may stop feeling special in sexual moments and can attribute fear or hesitance, leading them to ambivalence. They want to be sexual to try and conceive, but may be compelled to avoid [sex and] avoid the disappointment that may follow if pregnancy does not occur."

Balestrieri went on to say that these complex feelings can start to impact day to day life for couples trying to conceive. They may start to argue more and get easily frustrated with each other, which can make connecting for sex even more difficult. For couples who are struggling with connection while trying to get pregnant, Balestrieri typically recommends working on intimacy before working on sex.

"Create time [and] space for non-pregnancy related intimacy," she suggested. "Even during opportune times to conceive, try to create intentional moments of pleasure that remind you that you are there with each other, not just to create a human. Take each other on dates or make time for each of you to have more time for self-care and other social events."

Making sex fun again

Once couples trying to get pregnant have found time for non-baby-making intimacy, it's time to start working on making sex fun again, Balestrieri said. The first thing she suggests is planning "time to be spontaneous."

"It sounds like an oxymoron, but you can plan time to be available for sex, without a commitment to it, then if the mood strikes, you can indulge," Balestrieri explained. "If not, there is no pressure."

For some couples, but certainly not all, adding some bedroom experimentation to their sex lives can be a great way to keep things fun.

"For some, a little novelty can go a long way," said Balestrieri. "For others, introducing something new may feel like more work and make sex less interesting because it mirrors the emotional labor of focusing on the details of trying to conceive."

Before trying out some "50 Shades of Gray" tricks, couples should check in with each other and assess whether experimentation is exciting or more work than it's worth. Balestrieri emphasized that it all comes down to honest, vulnerable communication. Taking some time for a kind, loving, and truthful chat will go a long way.

Dr. Kate Balestrieri and her team are dedicated to helping people have a more expansive and integrated relationship with sex in an ever-changing contemporary landscape. Learn how Dr. Balestrieri is changing the conversation around mental health, relational, and sexual health and wellness by visiting her website – Modern Intimacy.