With Valentine’s Day around the corner, we’ve got love on the brain here at ExSeed HQ. If you’re in a relationship, you’re probably aware of the strain a fertility journey can put on you and your partner – so how can you keep the love alive? Here are our top tips for nurturing your relationship – and your fertility – on the road to parenthood.
Keep Sex Fun
When you first start trying for a baby, if you’re in a male-female partnership, sex shoots up to the top of your to do list – which might sound like music to your ears! However, sexual burn out is a real thing – even for couples with the highest of libidos. Between fertile windows and ovulation tracking, you might find that you are struggling to maintain the romance and intimacy in your sexual relationship, and the stress of a fertility journey can start to take its toll on your mental wellbeing – which can leave you feeling less than up for it.
Likewise, if you are having fertility treatments or having a baby through surrogacy, sex might not seem as important – but that’s simply not true. Just because intercourse isn’t the route to parenthood for you, doesn’t mean that it should be left by the wayside. Nurturing intimacy is maybe even more important if you are going through treatments that could put a lot of strain on you both – so make sure to make time for a bit of love making in between fertility appointments!
If you’re struggling, it’s really important to talk to your partner. Don’t get bogged down in the idea that guys should have an endless appetite for sex or that you should be grateful your partner is so keen to spend time in the bedroom. Being honest about how you’re feeling will actually bring you closer and could reignite that intimacy that can sometimes be lost during a fertility journey. It’s also essential that you keep pleasure as a high priority and don’t lose sight of the fact that sex is about fun, as much as it is about fertility. You can check out some of our tips on sex when trying to conceive here!
Playing an active role
There’s nothing sexier than being a supportive partner. When it comes to making a baby there is way more admin involved than you may realise. From tracking cycles to appointments with specialists, a fertility journey can require a lot of time and mental energy – which only increases if things aren’t going as smoothly as you would like. Sometimes there can be one partner who leads the charge on these things, which can cause feelings of resentment and drive a wedge between you. Making a baby is a team sport, and you’re not going to win Man of the Match if your partner is carrying you the whole time.
Playing an active role and showing that you are willing to share the mental load will make your partner feel loved and supported – which can only have a positive impact on your relationship. That could mean taking the initiative to read up on sperm production or get your sperm tested proactively with our at home test! If you’re heading down the assisted fertility route it might mean researching treatments or getting a list together of potential clinics. Whatever you do, don’t bury your head in the sand and leave everything to your partner – this is a huge life-changing thing for you both and you should be in it together from start to finish.
Offer Emotional Support
Emotional support is just as important as the practical – and both you and your partner are likely to need a lot on your fertility journey. The truth is that friends and family will want to be there for you if things aren’t going well – but only you and your partner will truly understand what it’s like, so you are going to be each other’s rocks throughout this process.
It can be tempting to ignore painful feelings and shy away from difficult conversations – as men this is often what we are taught to do! – but your partner needs you to be there for them now more than ever. You might assume that means that you always have to be strong or have all the answers – but the truth is that being emotionally vulnerable is just as important. It can help your partner feel understood, nurture the bond between you and show them that you are on the same page – and that you want this pregnancy just as much as they do. That said, you may be reacting to the stress in different ways, and that’s ok too – it’s all about communication. Create time and space each day for you to get things off your chest and be there for each other, it will make a massive difference to your mental wellbeing – and your relationship.
Making Changes Together
Getting ready to become parents involves a lot of physical preparation as well as mental. If your partner is on a mission to support their fertility and get their body ready for pregnancy (if they plan on carrying the baby), you’ve probably noticed a lot more kale on the menu and your bathroom cabinets filling up with supplements. But are you doing the same?
Well, for guys, diet and lifestyle changes can be seriously powerful when it comes to improving your sperm health – so you definitely should be! Increasing your exercise routine and including sperm superfoods in your meal plan can really help boost the quality of your swimmers, which is going to make conception more likely, regardless of which route you’re going down.
The other thing to consider is that healthy living is easier if you do it together. There may be certain habits, like smoking or drinking alcohol, that you want to drop ahead of pregnancy, and you’re definitely more likely to stick to these changes if you’re in it together and supporting each other. It can also be a lot of fun. Whether you’re going for a joint run or cooking up nutritious meals together – being healthy can feel more like date night than a chore if you approach it as a team!