Undergoing gynaecological exams (such as pap smears or fertility related procedures) is commonly somewhat uncomfortable.
It’s normal to feel some awkwardness or nervousness before and/or during these intimate exams. Fair enough – these are necessary but invasive procedures. And sometimes with a complete stranger.
It is also common to feel some physical discomfort – the equipment may be cold and hard, you may be feeling tense and find it hard to relax your pelvic muscles, a swab may poke in a sensitive spot.
For some people though, gynaecological procedures are very uncomfortable, painful and distressing. Pelvic pain can impact in a variety of ways and may be caused by a variety of factors. These include: Continue reading Painful Gyne Exams: First Steps to Good Care
For most men, the idea of providing a sperm sample during their IVF workup or treatment is a bit awkward and uncomfortable. And fair enough – this is far from the ideal situation of making-love to make a baby from the comfort of your own bed.
All of a sudden, the whole scientific community is in your bed, and you have to masturbate into a cup.
But for some men, the idea may be particularly anxiety provoking and distressing.
Why does collection day cause anxiety?
Here are a few reasons why:
- You may be worried about “performance anxiety” in a strange and clinical environment, and not being able to arouse yourself to ejaculation;
- You may have been fine when you did the initial semen tests, but now feel the pressure of providing sperm on the actual big-day of treatment;
- You may have had issues in the past not being able to ejaculate in sexual or medical situations;
- You may not actually be familiar with masturbating on your own – you may be used to having a partner with you for all sexual stimulation; or
- You may have religious reasons for not masturbting.
Continue reading Andrology Angst: What are my Options Doc?
Part of my work involves counselling with couples who are undergoing assisted reproduction such as IVF, donor sperm insemination, and donor egg and embryo use.
From this work I have noticed some key things about sex and reproduction:
- Sex can be unproductive;
- Reproduction can be unsexy; and
- Reproductive treatment can be downright sexually demoralizing.
Continue reading Reproduction Can be Very Unsexy
As I was wondering around the fertility clinic I work at today, I noticed a copy of Sex at 6pm, by Annarosa Berman. I’ve heard of this book many times but have never read it.
As I was flipping through the pages I found an excerpt that stood out to me, about a couple rushing home to have sex by 6pm in their desperate efforts to conceive.
I get home at 5:55pm, tell the taxi driver to keep the change and run up the stairs. In the bedroom, Charles, in his silk dressing gown, is reclining on the bed. He has arranged white lilies in a vase and poured red wine in crystal glasses. Continue reading Sex By Numbers (aka Sex By Ovulation)