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Women Have Lowered Sexual Desire During Fertility Treatment

Update Date: Nov 01, 2012 04:36 PM EDT

A new study suggests that women undergoing IVF treatment may not be interested in sex or be satisfied in their relationships. The research claims that the stress of the treatment often has negative effects and takes a toll on a couple's sex life.

The research from Indiana University, the first in America to assess women's psychology and the sexual health of couples going undergoing the treatment, found that women going through IVF had a reduced libido and also were reportedly less satisfied in their relationships.

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It was found that these women were not only less likely to attain orgasm during sex, they also felt uncomfortable and apparently, the longer the treatment went on, the worse the symptoms became.

 "Sex is for pleasure and for reproduction, but attention to pleasure often goes by the wayside for people struggling to conceive. With assisted reproduction technologies, couples often report that they feel like a science experiment, as hormones are administered and sex has to be planned and times. It can become stressful and is often very unromantic and regimented; relationships are known to suffer during the process," study co-author Nicole Smith, a doctoral student in the Centre for Sexual Health Promotion at the university, was quoted as saying by website Medical News Today.

However, fertility expert and Zita West says that many a couples trying for a baby have no clue about the negative impact it can have on their sex life, reported Mail Online.

"Rather than trying to enjoy the experience, love making becomes pressured and mechanical because it's the 'right' time of the month."

"Many men think they are suffering from ED and poor libido - but it's not that, it's just performance anxiety," she added.

She suggests that "The best thing to do is try and employ some stress management techniques, such as meditation."

According to Smith, women's hormones undergo dramatic changes during IVF which could affect their sexual desire.

Studies have established that women's attitude towards sex is different during different times in their menstrual cycle, which could be because of their hormones.

According to the report, sexual function in women did not differ with respect to who in the relationship was receiving the IVF for infertility treatment.

The study concludes those going for IVF should be told in the beginning itself about the negative effects of the treatment on sexual life and should also be guided as to how to cope with them.

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