Can you relate to the idea 'I don't want sex with my husband after IVF'? Or any part of the fertility journey - even if it didn't include IVF? I can.
It's a tough pill to swallow. Let's face it, the chances are that you were probably already feeling disappointed in your female body by not being able to conceive naturally or by continually having miscarriage (like me).
But when you start to think along the lines of 'I don't want sex with my husband after IVF' or at any other point, it brings fertility stress to an entirely new level.
When making love feels good, you can almost pretend infertility is ok. But when that lubricant evaporates from the relationship and you are feeling sensitive, even sharing a bed can be sand paper on your soul. Because it reminds you of what is really (not) going on....
Prior to that, the sense of 'we' or 'us' helped in some way to cope with the infertility journey. But when the person you are trying to have a baby with no longer ignites your passions or triggers the opposite, something needs to change.
But that's not necessarily true at all. So if you are thinking 'I don't want sex with my husband after IVF', I invite you to read on as I share 3 tips that can support you and your relationship now.
This audio and article came about in response to a message I received from Athul on this subject. What follows is an extract from that:
It (in) directly affected negatively my awareness of my own body and sexuality somehow … and for the first time I even have a kind of aversion to having intercourse with my husband.
In previous cases our intimacy usually helped me to heal my pain, but this time I feel a kind of distance and tension....
What does that mean? I am afraid of losing interest in sex, Deirdre.
I love my body very much and I am thankful to my body for serving me well, but I somehow feel uncomfortable in it after what happened..."
Thank you so much Athul for reaching out. The first comment I would like to make with the intention of supporting you now, relates to the awareness of how the perception of your body and sexuality was affected negatively by your doctor's comments.
In our male, patriarchal world, we are well used to feeling negated, invalidated or judged as women - especially in relation to our bodies. It's so familiar indeed that, feeling inadequate in our bodies - to some degree or another - has become the background noise playing through our feminine experience .
So it is no surprise that you decided to proceed with this fertility clinic even though you felt worse about yourself after the consultation. Because we have come to accept this as normal, Athul, and it is in patriarchy. This is what we have been trainded to do - ignore your feelings and get on with it.
Hindsight is 20-20 as we know but the reason I am bringing this up now is because you can intend (Tip 1) to allow this experience to empower you greatly as a woman going forward in your life. Let me explain.
Contrary to what we have been taught, even very minor fluctuations in how we feel contain important information Athul. They represent powerful, personal guidance from your feminine wisdom - steering you in the direction that is aligned with what you truly desire as a woman.
Feeling worse about yourself following that interaction was feminine guidance inviting you to take a step back, take a breather and possibly gather more information. What good is that to you now?
Well, Athul, for the rest of your life you will continue to receive these nudges of guidance and I am inviting you to learn from this experience.
Intend that from here on in, you will tune in much more deeply to what is going on with your feelings and emotions and how people, situations and ideas really affect you. Intend also to allow that to guide you one baby step at a time.
Because by letting this become your default response, your feminine wisdom will lead you where you truly want to go as a woman. What has that got to do with sex? Well, I'm inviting you to continue listening to what you are truly feelings because clarity will come...
The second part I want to address is feeling an aversion to having intercourse. I am inviting you to (Tip 2 ) tell yourself a different story around this. Instead of perceiving an aversion or interpreting this as 'I don't want sex with my husband after IVF', remember this....
You have just been through IVF again Azule (that's several times over the last few years). And even IVF if it is a wonderful gift of science, it is nonetheless an extremely invasive experience for a woman.
As if the invasion of personal privacy when divulging your fertility history wasn't enough, so many other levels of a woman (skin, cervix, vagina and eggs) are pierced and punctured with foreign instruments during this procedure.
The thought of 'I don't want sex with my husband after IVF' is a reflection of the fact that you need boundaries now.
Your being has been penetrated extensively, over and over, and your feminine wisdom is informing you that you are not able for any more of that now.
This is not so much about your relationship Athul, as it is about you as a woman. What feels like an aversion, is actually your feminine wisdom helping you to create that space - so that you can return to your wholeness.
Next, I'd like to share some of my own personal experience around this topic as I know what it is like when you are not to be able to meet your partner in sex. Tip 3 when thinking 'I don't want sex with my husband after IVF' is to consider sharing this with him using language such as the following: (the audio below uses different words that can be valuable too).
"I don't understand fully what is going on, but my body has been through so much in the last few years. It feels like I've been invaded in so many different ways and it has left me feeling very fragile.
It feels like even being intimate and making love is too much for me right now, because something more core to my being needs to heal first
I need to give myself space to repair those boundaries and I am asking for your understanding around this. I know it is really hard for you too and I really appreciate your support."
I remember sobbing my heart out when I was communicating this to Julian, because I never imagined that I would ever need to express something like this in our relationship. But I did and it was very painful for us both.
The point here is that if you can explain this to your husband as a need you have rather than a reflection on him or the relationship, well you actually open the door for a deeper sharing.
It can be useful to put a time frame on it during which you would like that sex would not be on the agenda (3 months or 6 months for starters). This may well bring up your partner's insecurities and fears (because of patriarchal expectations we have about relationship).
But it can also be an opportunity to hold each other in a different way - as you process changes and vulnerabilities that surface. Be patient. It's the road less traveled Athul, but it can be a doorway to a lovely new kind of relating too. Honour the truth that you need boundaries now and make room for your partner to process authentically too.
Take one baby step at a time and be open to this being an expansive experience for you both - like it turned out to be for us.
I hope there was value in this for you and would love to hear your comments on this post or your experience of "I don't want sex with my husband after IVF". Please share below because your feminine contribution here really, really matters.
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