For many couples who've decided that the time is right to have a baby, the preoccupation with not getting pregnant is quickly supplanted by a preoccupation with getting pregnant, particularly when several months come and go with nairy a little blue line. As the months pass it's easy to start thinking about sex only in the context of babymaking: Whereas in the past you probably preferred a little romancing to lead up to sex as the grand finale, you may now feel more inclined to skip the appetisers and go straight to the main course, paying less attention to the emotional side of sex along the way, which can be damaging to your love life and relationship.
While it may be exciting at first, and more in line with what men usually seem to want, this 'sex on demand' can become a big turn-off for your other half and trying too hard can start to put you both off sex altogether - not conducive to making a baby! So here's some tips on how to keep lovemaking fun and relaxed when you're actively trying for a baby.
Broaden your repertoire
Sex for babymaking needn't just be about babymaking, you can also take the opportunity to try out new positions and get yourself out of a sexual rut. There are a few positions that are said to be 'optimal' for conception, because they allow deep penetration and so deposit sperm closer to the cervix, these include the missionary position and rear-entry (whether lying or on all fours). Some experts recommend against positions that require the sperm to move against gravity or those that are likely to lead to more sperm leakage, such as woman-on-top, particularly if there is a problem with the man's sperm. However, while everyone knows that the male orgasm is crucial to making a baby, the female orgasm is also helpful in drawing the sperm up into the uterus, so there's a good argument for using whatever position does it for you if your partner's sperm are healthy.
If you are using conception-friendly positions to help you conceive at your most fertile times, then be sure to mix it up with different positions at other times in your cycle to keep things interesting.
Know when to keep schtum
While running from the bathroom waving a stick and crying 'Quick, take me now!' might make for some entertaining lovemaking at first, the chances are that the novelty will quickly wear off. If you are tracking ovulation then a more subtle approach might be in order at times, so instead of always initiating lovemaking by telling your partner it's a 'good time', try keeping quiet about whether or not you're ovulating and reprise some of your tried and tested methods for getting your man in the sack.
Rekindle the romance
If you have fallen off the romance wagon in your sex life why not introduce a bit of old-fashioned seduction with a good dinner, a couple of relaxing glasses of wine, candle burning or maybe using aromatherapy to get you both in the mood. Some women swear by burning clary sage oil as an aphrodisiac: simply put a few drops of the oil with water into an oil burner where you plan to be for the evening and let it burn for an hour or so.
If sexual foreplay has fallen by the wayside then make an effort to bring it back to the fore, taking time to indulge each other rather than rushing through to the critical moments.
Do make sure that ovulation sticks, charts and thermometers are tucked safely out of sight - you don't want anything to suggest an ulterior motive and spoil the mood.
Spread the effort
If you concentrate all your sexual attention and effort on the time when you're most fertile then your partner is likely to notice and may start to think that you're only interested in one thing from him. And nothing dampens the enjoyment of sex more deftly than one partner feeling used. Seeking out sexual intimacy at other times should help keep things on a more even keel.
If your other half is already starting to feel a little too much like a glorified sperm donor then try taking the focus off full intercourse for a while and pay attention to each other ways. Cuddling, oral sex, mutual masturbation and other forms of intimacy needn't lead to full sex and can put the emphasis back on giving pleasure to each other, rather than supplying chromosomes.
Make a date
The more time goes by, the more likely you are to be preoccupied with babymaking throughout your cycle. Your partner may want to talk about your efforts to conceive as much as you do, but it's more likely that he'll feel you want to talk about it too much while you may feel that he doesn't want to talk about it at all. Either way it's helpful to both your relationship and your sanity if you know where to draw the line and don't lose sight of the fact that it's just one part of your life together. If you find that the topic is creeping into too many conversations then make a conscious effort to avoid it by arranging regular date nights where you go out together and baby talk is strictly off-limits.
It's well documented that stress isn't conducive to conception and what's more, being tense and uptight probably won't do much to light your partner's fire for you either. So if you work yourself up into a fluster every month you won't be doing your baby making chances any favours. 'Just relax and it will happen' might be a sentiment that you're bored of hearing by now, and it certainly is easier said than done, but it's not impossible. It may be as simple as making time to see friends, go to the theatre or keep up with your sports - just make time for whatever gives you downtime and relaxation. For many women a bit of pampering with massages, facials, beauty treatments or just a long soak in the tub can relax and reinvigorate - and if it brings out the irresistibly sexy diva in you at the same time then who's complaining?
Get away from it all
If you're suffering from baby-making stress then organising a holiday can be the ultimate, although admittedly expensive, stress-buster. Whether it's a romantic sojourn in sunny climes or an activity-packed visit to the great outdoors, choose something that will be relaxing for you both and allow you to enjoy new experiences and simply spending time together. What better way to take your mind off things and give you both a change of scene and, hopefully, a new lease of sex life.
Take real time off
If you're charting or using ovulation tests to time intercourse then it can help to take a complete break from it every few months. If you want to continue charting so that you have a complete picture of your cycles then you can, but make a conscious effort not to time sex and don't talk about pregnancy or conception with each other at all. It might be that you both use the time to step back a little from sex and concentrate on other aspects of your relationship, or you might find that taking the pressure off leads to sparks flying and reminding you what lovemaking is all about.