Sexual Intercourse During IVF: Does Sex Affect IVF Success?

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. Read this article to know if you can have intercourse during IVF treatment or not.

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; therefore, having unprotected sex during IVF stimulation is absolutely prohibited. 

what to avoid after egg retrieval?
Read more: After Egg Retrieval: Do's and Don'ts

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 treatment, 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. However, some fertility specialists believe that having sex before embryo transfer may increase implantation rate during FET cycles.

After Embryo Transfer

Couples are advised to avoid sex after 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.

Positive Signs After Embryo Transfer
Read more: How to Know if Embryo Transfer has Worked?

After pregnancy test 

Sex after a positive pregnancy test is perfectly safe. But if you have pain or feel discomfort during intercourse, consult your doctor. 

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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?

Doctors may recommend avoiding sex during the early stages of pregnancy following in vitro fertilization (IVF) to reduce the risk of recurrent miscarriages. Reasons for this advice may include the risk of infection due to a vulnerable uterine lining post-IVF, potential trauma to the reproductive tract from sexual intercourse, and the need to maintain hormonal support provided during the early stages of pregnancy. 

It is crucial to follow the guidance of your healthcare provider regarding sexual activity after IVF to optimize the chances of a successful pregnancy and minimize potential risks. 

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.  

IVF in Iran

FAQs about Sex During IVF 

1) Does having sex help implantation during IVF?

Having unprotected sex during IVF increases the risk of infection, so it’s suggested to avoid having intercourse until after a positive pregnancy test. 

2) Does having an orgasm affect IVF success?

Some specialists believe that female orgasm causes contraction in the uterus and may impede implantation, while others believe that orgasm does not affect the IVF outcome at all. 

3) Is bleeding after sex a bad sign during IVF?

During an IVF cycle, spotting or bleeding after sex can be a sign of miscarriage or a wound in the reproductive tract. 

4) How many days should I avoid ejaculation before embryo transfer?

It is important to avoid ejaculation 2-4 days before egg retrieval. 

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