Monday, August 3, 2009
Most couples using fertility procedures to help them become pregnant have followed the belief that abstaining from sex prior to ovulation cycle can help increase sperm count and the chances of becoming pregnant. A new study from Australia presented to the 25th annual European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology meeting in Amsterdam, supports that quality is better than quantity.
Dr. David Greening took 118 men with high levels of DNA sperm damage and had them sexually relieve themselves at least once daily for seven days. The results supported his hypothesis that men who increase sexual activity have decreased levels of DNA damage in their sperm. The decreased damage was in amazing 81% of the men. The belief is that the sperm has less time to get damaged in the body before being released.
The question is how this news can affect a couple’s relationship. The study suggests that couples should have sex for at least a week before the ovulation date. At first thought this sounds great. But as a person dives into the psychology of a couple dealing with fertility treatments the news may not be as jovial as one thought.
The stress a couple is already facing in this relationship can become compounded with the added layer of responsibility. The prescription to have sex seven days before ovulation date takes away the romance and connection a couple generally feels in intimacy. Frankly speaking it can become a chore and further stress the couple out. In worse case scenarios this stress can cause performance anxiety.
While there is still some work to be done in seeing how this can affect a woman getting pregnant; the study has merit and value in the fertility world. But understanding should come into play regarding the stress levels and the effects this can have on an already strained relationship.
Some suggestions to help reduce stress would be:
• Meditation is always a good way to reduce stress. You can use different meditative techniques which include yoga and tai chi.
• Keep a journal and write positive thoughts, affirmations, and what you are thankful for.
*Laughter is the best medicine; this statement rings true in regards to relieving stress. Laugh with your partner and make life easier on both of you.
• Exercise is a great stress reliever. Some people like to exercise in a gym, exercise in the great outdoors or even participate in extreme sports. Find what works for you and let your mind focus on something other than the pressures of getting pregnant.
• Communication is a great stress reliever. Many people bottle their emotions, feelings, and thoughts up inside themselves and allow these components to build on top of each other. Learning to effectively communicate with your partner can make the relationship better and also reduce stress.
The thing to focus on is that for couples struggling to get pregnant and spending thousands of dollars on fertility treatments this is really great news. This suggested treatment is fun and free. There is still more research but in my estimation fertility treatments are moving in the right direction. Back to good old nature.