Reducing TTC Sex Fatigue | Sponsored Post | myMindBodyBaby
Ok – THAT got your attention! We get it. When you are trying to conceive (TTC), especially if it’s taking a long time, sex can go from something fun and spontaneous to feeling like a not-so-sexy scheduled meeting within your fertile window. Am I right?
Sex Fatigue is real
We polled our Instagram and Facebook communities to ask what percentage of you are experiencing, what we have coined, “intercourse fatigue”. An overwhelming 75% percent answered YES! The other 25% are probably employing a few tactics to keep the flame alive while TTC – we will share a few of those tips at the end.
Let’s back things up.
When should you be having intercourse if you’re trying to get pregnant? An egg can survive for up to 24 hours after ovulation. Sperm, on the other hand, can survive a few days in the body. Since you need sperm present at the time of or just after ovulation, it’s imperative to ensure you are timing intercourse properly. Sounds simple enough, right? But, it can be tricky to determine when ovulation is happening. So, to ensure sperm is present once ovulation occurs, and knowing ovulation can vary slightly month to month, it is recommended that you have intercourse every other day starting five days before you think you ovulate, up until the day after ovulation. This is called your “fertile window” – the five days before + one day after ovulation.
Your fertile window
Your fertile window is the period of time within your menstrual cycle where you have a chance of getting pregnant. But unless you are carefully monitoring your bloodwork and having daily internal ultrasounds conducted at a fertility clinic, it’s hard to determine exactly when you ovulate. If you are a tracking ovulation on your own, there are a number of different tactics you can try – some more accurate than others. The more accurate the approach to determining ovulation, the better chance you have of pinpointing your fertile window (and thus, reducing your “sex fatigue”!).
Many people (falsely) assume that they ovulate half way through their cycle. In this instance, if you have a 28-day cycle you would presumably ovulate on day 14. This, however, is not the case for most. Research has shown that ovulation only occurs on days 10-17 for about 30% of women. So how can you tell when you ovulate?
The role of LH
Each month, on average, a woman ovulates a single egg. A rise in follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) helps the egg mature, and once mature, luteinizing hormone (LH) triggers the release of this egg. Ovulation predictor kits (OPK) use a sample of your urine (similar to a pregnancy test) and test for the presence of LH.
This sounds great, in theory. But most OPKs are only testing for the presence or absence of LH, and LH can take longer to peak for some than others. So, it’s possible that you could get a high reading, and still be a few days away from ovulation. What does this mean for your intercourse fatigue? Well, more sex.
Some of the more advanced OPKs can test the relative difference in LH from day to day, but they aren’t accurate for women with PCOS or other endocrine disorders. This is because the baseline levels of LH in women with PCOS is often higher, so there may not be an adequate change in levels to test, or it may peak multiple times, giving a false OPK reading. The incidence of PCOS is 5-10% of women – that is a lot of women with inaccurate OPK readings!
We were super pumped when Zergo reached out to us to tell us about an amazing new option for in-home hormone testing. Launching next summer, the nanotechnology engineers and scientists at the University of Waterloo have created an at-home LH testing system that uses a revolutionary method to quantitatively test your LH levels.
To geek out a little, most of the at-home options use a qualitative measurement system which is far less accurate, and, as described above can give false readings for those with endocrine disorders. Not only can Zergo be used by those with endocrine disorders, but Zergo has an imprecision level of 8%. To put that in context, the existing lab standard for measuring hormones via bloodwork has an imprecision level of 7.5%. So, basically lab quality testing – from the comfort of your home! BOOM! You get the results – real, hard numbers – on your smartphone in under 10 minutes. Talk about empowering people with their own health data. We deserve to have this data, to know our own levels and not have them hidden behind lines, plus signs and cutesy little smiley faces.
This level of accuracy not only helps pinpoint the fertile window (and in turn intercourse fatigue), but for the millions of women suffering from endocrine disorders, is one of the only options to actually detect an LH surge indicative of pending ovulation. Pretty amazing, right? This level of information is incredibly valuable in working with your healthcare provider or tracking your ovulation over time.
Now, it’s still recommended you have intercourse every other day leading up to and one day after ovulation. But if you’re accurately identifying your window then that significantly reduces your scheduled TTC “meetings”. It can also help reduce some of your TTC stress, and not only is stress less than ideal for your fertility (more on that here!), but it can negatively impact your libido (making TTC intercourse even more burdensome).
So, how can you get your hands on this amazing little device? Be sure to sign up for their waitlist, exclusive discounts, and more information on this advancement in fertility here -> Zergo.com.
Sex, Love and TTC
Ok, now back to those 28% that are keeping it hot and heavy while TTC (btw, we are impressed). What are their secrets? We asked Amira, MSW & RSW from @healinginfertility, for a few tips on supporting your relationship while trying to conceive.
Plan a date night and focus on being present
Try to create a life outside of trying to conceive. If you are struggling with your fertility, this can be challenging when you aren’t feeling your best. A regular date night without fertility discussions can help remind you of life and love before all of this.
Get intimate outside of your fertile window
When intimacy and trying to conceive intertwine, the fun often goes out the window. Bye bye! We have to be intentional about bringing that spark back. Intimacy can include much more than intercourse. Hold hands, massage each other’s backs, or just look each other in the eye!
Innovating to improve the patient experience
We are so excited about this type of innovation in the fertility space and can’t wait to see the official launch of Zergo hit our mailbox (remember to sign up here!). And their LH test is just the beginning. They will also be launching an early hCG test, to help detect pregnancy earlier on and after that at-home test for E2 (estrogen), progesterone and FSH. Amazing work, Zergo!