Redefining Sex as an Infertile, Childless Woman

by Brandi Lytle
Photo of a red rose on Redefining Sex as an Infertile, Childless Woman on Not So Mommy . . . , a childless blog
SENSITIVE / INTIMATE POST WITH POSSIBLE TRIGGERS:  Open, honest, frank discussion about marriage, infertility, sex, and not being able to get “p,” with mention of littles

Redefining sex as an infertile, childless woman. Well, this topic sounds a bit risqué for Not So Mommy…  Honestly, I thought about this title for quite some time before deciding that I really needed to include the word “sex.”  I considered “Redefining Intimacy.”  But intimacy with your significant other involves much more than the physical.  So, I thought about “Redefining Physical Intimacy.”  But physical intimacy involves much more than sex.  And I knew this post was going to focus on that specific type of physical connection.  So, ultimately, I decided to just call it what it is…  Redefining Sex as an Infertile, Childless Woman.

Infertility and Intimacy

Why did I decide to discuss such a personal and private subject?  Well, months ago, a Not So Mommy… reader asked if I had written any blogs about infertility and intimacy.  When I told her that I had not, she suggested I do so.  I put this in my “ideas” folder, but wasn’t sure how I wanted to approach such a subject…

Wasted Sex…

Recently, while scrolling through social media, I came across a post in which a grieving childless woman talked of “wasted sex.”  And once again, I thought about the fact that I really should discuss this…  I really should talk about sex.

Sex during infertility…

You know, sex during our infertility battle was for a purpose.  I’ve told you before that I woke up many a morning to pee on a stick.  And if I was ovulating…  Well, we stopped everything and had sex.  I never really thought about this before, but I’m not sure you could call it “make love.”  Honestly, we had sex for one reason only when I was ovulating—to try and get pregnant.  Pillow under the hips.   Feet in the air for at least 15 minutes after (even if it meant being late to work).  And then, the two-week wait to see if it worked.  Yup.  Sex was definitely for a purpose.

Sex after infertility…

After we accepted that sex wouldn’t work for us (though I still held out hope for a miracle), you’d think I would have been happy to do it whenever, however.  But I remember crying as my husband and I made love.  Not because sex was physically painful, but because it was emotionally painful.  You see, I wanted our closeness, our love to result in a baby.  But I knew that was not likely to occur.  And that made me very, very sad.

Now, I didn’t want to be sad when my hubby and I were together.  I mean, crying during sex is a real mood killer!  At the time, I didn’t realize what I had to do.  But now, I know.  I had to redefine sex.  I had to change my perspective about the purpose of making love.

Redefining Sex as an Infertile, Childless Woman

You see, sex was no longer something to allow us to get pregnant and have a little.  No, its sole purpose now was to be close with my husband, to have fun with him.  And once I truly let go of the possibility of a “miracle pregnancy,” sex became enjoyable again.  But I know this isn’t how many childless women feel…

I have heard childless women state that they haven’t had sex in months, sometimes years.  Often, they say that if they can’t get pregnant, then what’s the point?  And more often than not, another woman asserts that her partner should “get over it” and support her emotional needs.  Well ladies, I’d encourage you to consider his needs.  We all know that men and women are different.  And I assert that his physical needs are just as important as our emotional ones.

Because of this, I encourage you to change perspective, redefine, have fun!  Truly, there is something incredible about connecting with your partner at such an intimate level.  Something wonderful about expressing your love in such a tangible way.  Something exciting about being able to just be with no expectations of more…

And you know what?  As my hubby and I connected on a physical level, I found that we also connected more deeply on an emotional level, too.

So, enjoy the “afternoon naps” (wink, wink) with your partner.  Truly, I think they are one of the best bright sides of a childless life!


If anything I wrote resonates with you, please tell us about it in the comments.

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Catee February 11, 2022 - 4:00 pm

As always I’m thankful for your courage Brandi. I, too, have cried. On the outside when the schedule during our IUI was smothering and I’d just learned I have endo and needed surgery before we xould move forward. On the inside, when I want to be present for my husband but can’t let go of the feeling that I am inadequate, that my inability to produce children make me less attractive, less valuable, and less my core self. This is what makes the phrase “The fun is in the trying” more than just annoying. It’s a quick, deep cut that takes years to heal. And it lies dormant, even after you’ve done so much work to accept these things you cannot change, lurking. The practical side of the infertility struggle breaks things down to such a molecular level that it’s easy to forget that love for our spouse is a primary ingredient in creating children. All the biology and scheduling, medicine … it’s pointless without that love and passion that inspires the desire for children. And without children, it does still exist.

Brandi Lytle February 14, 2022 - 3:06 pm

Catee, thank you for so bravely sharing your truth… For being so vulnerable, yet so strong. I love the beautifully poetic words you ended with…

“All the biology and scheduling, medicine… it’s pointless without that love and passion that inspires the desire for children. And without children, it does still exist.”

The love certainly does still exist, Catee. Sending you so many hugs, fellow warrior… So many HUGS!

Sherry February 11, 2022 - 3:41 pm

I love the way you articulate and express really deep, meaningful things in such a profound way. Well done.

Brandi Lytle February 14, 2022 - 3:06 pm

Thank you

Sherry February 12, 2021 - 5:49 pm

You offer compassionate and deep perspective; helping others cope with a life altering situation. Well done.

Catee February 11, 2022 - 7:05 pm

Second this!

Nyamudata Njapawu February 12, 2021 - 3:37 pm

I too have struggled. Thanks for sharing.

Judy Odum March 1, 2020 - 12:24 am

Wonderful blog!!

Brandi Lytle March 2, 2020 - 1:16 pm

Thank you!

Jessica February 29, 2020 - 2:49 pm

Absolutely! This is not talked about enough at all! I struggled for years after we got our final diagnosis. Months would elapse and it took a toll emotionally and physically on both of us. To get to past the “miracle pregnancy” ideal, I actually had to go back on birth control for a while to learn to enjoy sex again. I had to remove that option in a very concrete way to be able to move past it. Thank you for sharing!

Brandi Lytle March 2, 2020 - 1:19 pm

I was hesitant to publish this blog, but it has resonated with so many! Thank you for taking the time to read, comment, and give your perspective. The more we talk about all the issues that go along with infertility and childlessness, the more healing will take place within our community!


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