Sexual Intercourse During IVF: Does Sex Affect IVF Success?Fertility Treatment
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is a popular assisted reproductive technology (ART) that has helped many infertile couples have children. This infertility treatment involves a complex series of stages in the journey to get pregnant. The process and stages of IVF are pretty long. Therefore, it's not unexpected that couples undergoing the IVF program have many concerns and questions. For instance, many IVF participants wonder if they can have sex during IVF treatment.
Although there is no definite forbiddance about having sex during IVF, many doctors do not accept this matter. The reason is that having sexual intercourse can potentially increase the possibility of complications and influence the success of embryo implantation.
Sexual Intercourse Before IVF Treatment
Fertility doctors usually recommend that the male partners abstain from intercourse, including masturbation, for 2 to 5 days before providing a semen sample. A semen analysis is to determine sperm quality and motility and specifically look for proper quantity and motility before starting IVF. Women who undergo IVF are not usually required to avoid sex.
Sex Before IVF Egg Retrieval
Sex before IVF egg retrieval is not advised as women's ovaries may become enlarged and cystic due to fertility medications. Also, sexual intercourse can lead to cyst rupture or ovarian torsion. Additionally, sexual intercourse before IVF egg retrieval can increase the risk of introducing bacteria into the reproductive tract, which could potentially lead to infection. It is important to maintain a sterile environment during the egg retrieval procedure to minimize the risk of complications.
Is it OK to Have Sex During IVF?
Sexual intercourse is generally safe during IVF in the case of using a barrier contraceptive such as a condom or diaphragm. However, it is important to follow the doctor's recommendation regarding sexual intercourse during IVF, especially as the ovaries may become enlarged and cystic during the stimulation phase. Avoiding unprotected sex during IVF stimulation can help prevent complications such as cyst rupture or ovarian torsion. However, these risks are rare. This also ensures that a natural pregnancy does not happen during IVF when an embryo is implanted.
During Embryo Transfer
The embryo transfer phase is a critical period where the fertilized embryos are carefully placed into the woman's uterus. Any activity, such as having sex that may increase the chances of complications and affect the success of implantation is generally discouraged.
After Embryo Transfer
Couples are advised to avoid sex post-embryo transfer from 5 to 7 days after transfer. This is to allow the embryos to implant successfully in the uterus as well as reduce the risk of any potential complications. Most IVF patients can resume sex after a positive pregnancy test.
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Can Sex During IVF Lead to Twin Pregnancy?
There is no correlation between having sex during IVF treatment and the likelihood of having a twin pregnancy. The chances of a twin pregnancy in IVF are primarily determined by factors such as the number of embryos transferred and the quality of the embryos. In some cases, multiple embryos may be transferred to increase the chances of successful implantation, which can increase the likelihood of a twin or multiple pregnancies.
If you want to know more about twin pregnancy, read this article.
How Long to Abstain from Sex During IVF?
The recommended duration of abstinence from sexual intercourse during IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) can vary depending on individual circumstances and the specific instructions provided by the fertility clinic. In general, doctors advise couples to abstain from sexual intercourse for about 2 to 5 days prior to egg retrieval.
When Is It OK to Have Sex After IVF Treatment?
It is recommended that couples wait for sex until the pregnancy test or blood test confirms whether the IVF treatment was successful. This usually occurs around 10-14 days after the embryo transfer. Keep in mind that it is better to consult with your doctor before any action.
How to Maintain Intimacy Throughout the IVF Journey?
Every couple's IVF journey is unique, and it's essential to find what works best for you and your partner. By prioritizing communication, support, and understanding, you can maintain intimacy throughout the IVF journey and strengthen your relationship along the way.
Here are some tips on how to maintain intimacy throughout the IVF journey:
- Communicate openly;
Talk to your partner about your feelings, fears, and hopes regarding the IVF process. Sharing your emotions can help you feel closer and more connected.
- Set aside quality time;
Make an effort to spend quality time together, even if it's just a simple date night at home or a walk in the park. This will help you stay connected and strengthen your bond.
- Explore non-sexual intimacy;
Intimacy is not just about sex. Find other ways to connect emotionally and physically, such as cuddling, holding hands, giving massages, or simply spending time together without any distractions.
- Be patient and understanding;
Understand that the IVF process can be physically and emotionally demanding for both partners. Be patient with each other and offer support and understanding when needed.
- Seek professional help if needed.
If you find that the IVF journey is putting a strain on your relationship or causing significant distress, consider seeking professional help from a therapist or counselor who specializes in fertility issues.
IVF in Iran
Annually, many patients come to Iran for IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) treatment. Iran has a well-developed healthcare system and offers IVF treatments in various fertility clinics and hospitals across the country. There are several reasons why individuals may choose to undergo IVF treatment in Iran, including affordable costs, high IVF success rates, advanced medical technology, and skilled fertility doctors.
Here at Raadina Health, we understand that couples going through infertility and IVF treatment will have a lot of challenges and questions. Schedule an Online Consultation with our dedicated experts. They can help you to make informed choices on your personal fertility journey.