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    Sexual dysfunction and infertility

    You’re not alone!

    If you have found having enjoyable sex is more difficult when you have infertility, you’re not alone. In one study almost one in four infertile couples had that complaint. Infertility and the treatments required are extremely stressful. Add in the stresses of your jobs, everyday life, and having to perform on a schedule even if you don’t feel like it and it’s “the perfect storm” for sexual difficulties.

    What can we do?

    First, realize that fertility treatments can be a long-term project. If success occurs in the first few cycles, as it often does, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. It’s just too emotionally draining to invest your psychological resources into thinking that every cycle has to work. That is the number one reason couples fail to achieve success. Even in states or countries where all fertility treatments are covered, couples give up because they can’t stand one more failed cycle. 

    Second, don’t feel you have to perform on a rigid schedule. Around ovulation it is recommended that having relations every one or two days is optimal. Just don’t let three days pass during that time. 

    Which brings us to the third point- what do we do when we don’t care to have sex every one or two days during that crucial time around ovulation? survival of the firmestThat usually depends most on the quality of a man’s erectile function and his level of sexual desire, which are complex issues covered in detail in a book called "Survival of the Firmest" available at Amazon/kindle or itunes. There are many things discussed there that will increase his function and desire, and the best part is that most of those same factors will also improve his sperm quality. Male sexual function and fertility are very closely linked. That may be because increased blood flow to the genital organs improves erectile function and also increases production of high quality sperm and secretion of testosterone by the testicles. There is also evidence that antioxidants and omega-3’s directly improve sperm function. 

    Having sex more often itself improves erectile function (Koskimaki, 2008) and may increase the number and quality of sperm produced. Studies have shown relatively little difference in semen quality with more frequent ejaculation, which of course means that more total sperm are getting where they have to go and more likely at the right time! Sperm DNA is less likely to fragment with more frequent ejaculation because the sperm spend less time in the collecting system where they are exposed to damaging oxidative products. Even before insemination or IVF, the male should ejaculate every one or two days. The decreased frequency of intercourse with aging may be one of the reasons why older male age significantly contributes to decreased success. 

    How do I know if I need better erections?

    If you’re not enjoying sex or desiring it frequently enough! It is very likely if you do all of the things recommended in the book "Survival of the Firmest", available at Amazon/kindle or itunes, your erections, sexual enjoyment and desire will markedly improve. Studies have shown that improved erectile function results in marked increases in female sexual function and satisfaction. It may be difficult for any man to know how good he is at this, but one thing you will both know for sure is when he is better! And again- those same things will improve sperm quality and contribute to your fertility. And you will be less likely to develop erectile dysfunction and vascular diseases as you get older.  Now that’s a no-brainer.

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