A common fertility treatment which assists couples who’re having trouble conceiving is IVF. A common question most couples ask during the initial consultation is related to sex during the treatment. Here are a few answers to the question.
Sex during semen analysis
Men who are lined up for semen analysis are advised to abstain from any sexual intercourse or ejaculation for 2 or 3 dayshttp://embryobanking.com.au prior to the day of testing. Semen evaluation is done either to test quality or for use in IUI, FET, IVF or donor egg treatment. Again, abstinence is limited to 2-3 days; anything longer can deteriorate semen quality.
Sex and fertility treatment
In few fertility centers, assisted conception is achieved through administration of fertility drugs and timed intercourse. The doctor provides a chart of likely ovulation period and couples are instructed to have intercourse on those days. Due to hormonal stimulation, intercourse could be painful for a few women. In such cases, the couples are offered an alternative to conceive.
Women who are undergoing IUI treatment are restricted from having intercourse till the completion of the procedure. Intercourse is strongly discouraged the day after the ‘trigger shot.’ Trigger shot prepares the egg to achieve maturity and sets in ovulation in the fallopian tube. Couples can engage in sexual intercourse on the night of trigger shot.
Abstinence is recommended on the day between the IUI and trigger shot (36 hours). The gap enables sperms to re-accumulate and produces healthy semen. However, intercourse is highly recommended following IUI.
Sex after embryo transfer
In animals, exposure to semen is known to improve chance of implantation and embryo development. In humans, a study conducted in 2000 by Tremellen et al., concluded that intercourse after embryo transfer increased the likelihood of early development and implantation. Participants of the study were randomly segregated into groups of abstinence and those who could indulge in vaginal intercourse, in women availing thawed and fresh embryos. In terms of pregnancy rate, there was no significant difference between the two groups. The proportion of transferred embryos which remained viable after 6-8 weeks was significantly higher in women who were exposed to semen.
To rule out any chances of failed pregnancy triggered by semen exposure, most fertility clinics advise couples to abstain from sexual intercourse for 2-3 weeks after embryo transfer. On detecting a reliable pregnancy, couples can resume their sex lives.
The idea to wait 2-3 weeks after embryo transfer is because of the possibility of failed implantation from an orgasm. During an orgasm, uterine contraction could affect implantation.
All sexual activities after a successful detection of pregnancy after IVF treatment should use protective contraception. Multiple pregnancies are avoided should there be an unexpected ovulation. Apart from vaginal intercourse, couples are not restricted from getting intimate. Intimacy need not be singularly restricted to intercourse for women need to feel loved to have sex and it works the other way for men!
Speak to your doctor for detailed instructions and guidelines.