Stage Fright When Conceiving a Baby

Erectile dysfunction can increase when a couple increases planned sex for babymaking

(RxWiki News) There's nothing like the pressure to perform to add insult to injury if a man is having problems getting an erection. But this can occur when a couple is planning to have a baby.

A recent study from Korea identified an increase in problems with erectile dysfunction as couples increased the number of times they planned a "timed intercourse" during the woman's window of fertility in her menstrual cycle.

"Take it easy with planning to conceive."

Chong Won Bak, of the Department of Andrology at the Center for Reproductive Medicine at Zaii Medical Center in Korea, led the study looking at how timed intercourse related to erectile dysfunction and extramarital sex.

"Timed intercourse" refers to the plans of a couple to have sex specifically during the window when a woman is most fertile according to her monthly body calendar. The researchers sought to find out the impact of these timed sex events on men's psychological well-being and behavior.

Researchers followed 439 men for the three years from July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2011. They tracked the erectile dysfunction of the men as well as whether they engaged in extramarital sex, their sperm count and quality, and how many soft drinks they had.

The men's hormone levels for a range of different hormones was also tracked, including follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, testosterone, prolactin and estradiol.

During the course of the study, 43 percent the men experienced erectile dysfunction, and nearly 11 percent engaged in extramarital sex.

The more often the men planned with their wives to have sex at a particular time for the purpose of conceiving a child, the more often the men experienced problems with erections.

An increase in planned times for sex also accompanied an increase in men who had sex outside their marriage and men who tried to avoid the timed intercourse events.

All 47 men who had sex with women other than their wives experienced problems having an erection with their wives.

Men who drank more soft drinks produced a slightly smaller volume of semen. The men who had erectile dysfunction had lower levels of luteinizing hormone, testosterone and estradiol but a higher level of follicle-stimulating hormone.

The researchers concluded that planning specific timed intercourse for the purpose of having a baby caused a lot of stress on men who have erectile dysfunction, sometimes leading these men to seek sex outside their marriages.

The authors recommended hat doctors consider the possible negative effects of timed intercourse on men, and that men and women both recognize the higher likelihood of a man experiencing problems with an erection and/or having an affair as the couple increases their timed intercourse attempts.

Because this study was conducted in Korea, the frequency of extramarital sex may not be as applicable to residents of other countries if cultural forces were a part of this trend.

This study appeared in the Journal of Andrology on May 3. The research was funded by a grant from the Korea Healthcare Technology R&D Project at the Korean Ministry of Health in the Republic of Korea's Welfare & Family Affairs. The authors declared no conflicts of interest.

Review Date: 
May 10, 2012