Caution: Men Under Pressure
Scheduled sex and the pressure to perform when trying to get pregnant may lead to impotence and infidelity in some men.
Do you get a text every time you ovulate? Does your partner? This kind of “precision baby-making” may boost your chances of getting pregnant, but a study found that men under pressure to perform when trying to conceive may be more apt to experience impotence—and more likely to cheat on their partners.
In the study of over 400 men actively trying to start a family, after six months of “timed intercourse” or calculating when to have sex based on a woman’s ovulation and optimal fertility window, at least four out of 10 men suffered erectile dysfunction or impotence—and many more tried to avoid having sex with their partners at the allotted time, the UK Daily Mail reports.
Perhaps even more disturbingly, one in 10 men admitted to extramarital affairs at the same time as their conception efforts, claiming this action was the result of performance pressure with their partners.
Science can at least offer a plausible explanation for the impotence part: when men feel stressed or pressured, they tend to release more cortisol, a stress hormone that reduces testosterone levels (one of the main hormones responsible for libido and sexual function in men). A scientific explanation for cheating? Researchers still don’t have one.
Studies like this may not reflect the reality of your baby-making efforts, but if conception sex feels more robotic and less satisfying, a short break may be a good way to bring back the fun of making love—for both of you. After every three months of trying, researchers advise couples to consider a little vacation from scheduled sex as a way to keep stress levels to a minimum.
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