Every year on the 14th February, Valentines day is celebrated with flowers, chocolates and affection. However, for the 1 in 6 couples trying to conceive, the day can be a rollercoaster of emotions. After months or years of focusing on little else but trying to conceive, relationships can feel like a full-time job, with romance put to the side.
The good news is that no matter where you are in your infertility journey, there are always ways to make the most of Valentine’s Day. Professor Geeta Nargund, Medical Director of CREATE Fertility and seminar speaker at The Fertility Show provides her top tips on how to get through the annual holiday:
- Be spontaneous – Going through fertility treatment can make it feel like your life is on a never-ending schedule of blood tests, clinic visits and timed cycles. So, taking the light-hearted approach and going with the flow this Valentine’s Day will reduce the stress and pressure you may be under. High levels of stress can impact on your fertility, so concentrating on relieving stress is crucial. Take time out of you day to day by planning a road trip, a last-minute spa day or even something as simple as a long stroll in the park. There is some truth in the “relax and it’ll happen,” phrase.
- Take a day off from fertility talk – This means any topic related to infertility, your fertility treatments, rising expenses or your struggles in trying to conceive. Try to make this time about you and your partner and remember that the two of you came first, before any thought of a baby. It is important to prioritise your own and your partner’s mental well-being when trying to conceive and dedicating quality time to one another can help this. Perhaps shift the topics of conversation to things about each other, what attracted you to one another, and what you appreciate about your partner.
- Re-think intimacy – Naturally couples who are trying to conceive start monitoring their ovulation and can become stressed about when they should be having sex, making it become mechanical and forced. High stress levels can mean you have less sex as a result, and it goes without saying that having sex more frequently is better for your chances of conception. Sex plays a huge part in a relationship and when couples stop doing it for fun it can become a chore, especially when trying for a baby. Trying every two to three days without worrying about your ovulation window can put the romance back into sex and will take the stress out of trying to conceive.
- Focus on the positives – Fertility treatments are advancing all the time, so it’s important not to lose hope. There are a variety of options and support available to both men and women who are suffering from fertility issues. Use this Valentine’s Day as a chance to focus on what you have to look forward to together as a couple.
- Make more time for each other – Don’t forget that Valentine’s Day is only one day of the year. If it doesn’t go as planned, don’t worry, try to set aside time for each other once a month. This can involve doing things that you loved doing together before setting out on your fertility journey. Different methods, such as meditation and yoga, are great for relaxation and are popular things for couples to do together. The activity itself is less important as long as you are doing something positive together that helps you to unwind.