We Help Couples Thrive in the Face of Infertility

No one prepares your relationship for the emotional rollercoaster of what to expect when you are not expecting. Yet 12% of all couples experience the isolation, fear, anxiety and sadness of infertility. 

The first-of-its-kind, Communication During Infertility is a comprehensive masterclass built on years of couples therapy and specialized infertility training to ensure that you and your partner grow closer, communicate effectively, draw strength from one another, and meet each other's needs while trying to conceive.

No matter where you are in your fertility journey, this is a safe space to explore yourself and relationship while being a part of a positive and uplifting community that believes in the sacredness of your story.

"We highly, highly recommend this... even if you are super distant or even on the verge of not being together because it was so epic for us...Marissa was awesome and really allowed us to break through."

-Gabe & Ana

"Moved mountains for us... was able to help us dig deep and identify where the roots of our issues were, where they came from... and right now I feel beyond hopeful... I feel confident in our union"

- Bev & Derwin

"Marissa has been a godsend... her skillset, her perspective is just... she has a gift...she has a gift... and we got an opportunity to experience that. Amazing breakthroughs!"

- Saran & Jonathan

Fortify Your Relationship

When couples struggle with conceive, stress and emotions can take a toll on your relationship. Joyful anticipation is replaced with feelings of shame, guilt, withdrawal, anger, and even avoidance.

However, it IS possible to reconnect, effectively meet each other’s needs, and turn hope into happiness.

Couple struggling with infertility taking IntimacyIVF masterclass

Communicate Effectively

Communication is a lifelong skill that couples always need to work at. Elements such as building emotional safety, and learning how to successfully get your point across without shutting down or getting defensive really add to the health and satisfaction of a relationship.

We will introduce you to effective communication techniques so that you can learn to navigate the difficult infertility conversations that are necessary to increase intimacy, understanding, and deepen your connection as a couple.

LGBTQ couple learning to communicate through fertility during IntimacyIVF masterclass

Reintegrate Pleasure & Intimacy

For many, sex for fertility has become a means to an end, which strips away pleasure and connection in couples. This bond can be additionally strained when a couple is dealing with the stresses, anxieties, and emotions of infertility.

We guide you through how to reintegrate pleasure and intimacy into your relationship, strengthen your primary relationship, and create a deeper, more loving connection.

Couple finally experiencing intimacy after taking IntimacyIVF masterclass

Experience Resilience

It’s important to acknowledge past pains and hurts, then move forward in a place of forgiveness and hope.

Your resilience as a couple will help you build the optimal external and internal environments to forge forward together anew to achieve your goals. We provide you with the these tools so that you and your partner can climb mountains and face challenges together, as one.

Couple on fertility journey starts supporting each other after IntimacyIVF Masterclass

Communication During Infertility Masterclass

Cathartic. Transformative. Restorative.

  • 1

    Chapter 1: Introduction

  • 2

    Chapter 2: Communication Ground Rules

  • 3

    Chapter 3: Couples Relationship Needs

    • Learning Objectives and Outcomes

    • Our Relationship Needs

    • Attachment Theory and Identifying Needs

    • Practice Exercise: Identifying the 5 Most Essential Attachment Needs

  • 4

    Chapter 4: State of Our Union

    • Welcome to the State of Our Union

    • Lesson Objectives and Outcomes

    • Dealing with What's On Your Plate

    • Practice Exercise: What's On Your Plate?

    • Protecting Your Ampersand i.e. the Relationship

    • Protecting Your Ampersand - Unpacking Guilt and Shame

    • Protecting Your Ampersand - Miscarriage

    • Exercise: Letting Go Letter

    • Circles of Trust: Curating Your Support Network

    • Practice Exercise: Circles of Trust - Find Your Tribe, Protect Your Energy

    • Entrances & Exits - Lighting Up For Each Other

  • 5

    Chapter 5: Sexuality & Infertility

    • Welcome to Sexuality & Infertility

    • Lesson Objectives and Outcomes

    • Back to Basics

    • Who Are We... Sexually?

    • Top 4 Factors That Kill Intimacy

    • Health-Related Libido Dampeners

    • Desire Discrepancy: Decoding Low Sexual Desire

    • Desire Discrepancy: High Desire Partner

    • How Does Sex Serve Us?

    • Mapping Your Sexual Cycle

    • Redirection Versus Rejection

    • Non-Demand Touch

    • Updating Your Sexual Template

    • Your Unwritten Rules

    • Envisioning Your Intimate Future

  • 6

    Chapter 6: Your Next Chapter

  • 7

    Chapter 7: Graduation

    • Graduation Day

Meet Marissa Nelson LMFT CST CSE

Founder of IntimacyIVF

Marissa Nelson is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (LMFT), Certified Sex Therapist (CST) and Certified Sexuality Educator (CSE) who has been helping couples and singles for the past decade. Her focus on couples and infertility stems from her love of therapeutic work and her own experience with infertility and IVF. For four years prior to conception, she endured the pain and challenges of infertility, suffering in silence. She chose to transform hopelessness into empowerment by creating a program to support all couples during their journey through infertility. She is also a champion for equality, reproductive and social justice, particularly for communities of color where there continues to be challenges such as implicit bias in healthcare, treatment disparities and barriers of access to reproductive care.

Marissa is the founder of IntimacyMoons, the premier luxury retreat experience voted “Best Couples Retreat” by Women’s Health, LiveStrong, Bustle & Black Enterprise Magazines. She has been featured in Women's Health, Bustle, LiveStrong, Esquire, Glamour, The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal and other leading media.

Marissa holds a Master's degree in Marriage & Family Therapy from Drexel University and a B.S. in Sociology from Florida State University. She earned her Certificate in Sexual Health & Sex Therapy from the University of Michigan. She is a member of American Association of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), Resolve, American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors & Therapists (AASECT) and American Association of Marriage & Family Therapists (AAMFT). Marissa lives with her husband and daughter in Washington, D.C.

You Can Both Heal Here

No Matter What You've Been Through

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What's different about this Masterclass?

    This is first comprehensive Masterclass led by a qualified and experienced couples therapist that addresses the specific emotional communication needs of couples struggling to conceive and to connect with each other. While the impacts of infertility on any given couple can vary, the high-success rate concepts, techniques and exercises will allow couples to understand their underlying individual needs, where they come from, when they are triggered and how both partners react and relate to each other in these circumstances. Most importantly, armed with this knowledge couples can determine how they can successfully support each other in their times of need. The end result is clarity, communication and recommitment to conquering this challenging phase of your life together.

  • My partner cannot/will not do the class with me. Can this class still work for us?

    Yes! Though the maximum benefits of the course would be achieved if both partners commit to the process together at the same time, your relationship can still significantly benefit by taking the class individually and bringing the knowledge back to your relationship.

    Furthermore, as you will have lifetime access to the Masterclass, if and when your partner is ready to take the class, it will be available. So go ahead and take the first step!

  • I have not had the best experiences with online classes and/or therapy. Will this really work?

    Yes, this masterclass can absolutely work for you.

    First, the masterclass is specifically designed to be interactive, and for the major transformations and "aha" moments to happen when you have the conversations that you will have with your partner. We use our expertise to guide you through the process, while you and your partner - the experts in your relationship - work collaboratively to improve it.

    Second, the style of your instructor, Marissa Nelson LMFT CST CSE, is conversational, warm and engaging. Many of our clients have experienced reproductive care providers (including in the mental health field) as cold, sterile and academic. Our approach breaks with this trend.

    Third, the program is self-paced so you can take the each step of the process as quickly or slowly as is appropriate to your relationship. You are no longer paying by the hour for access to quality information.

    Finally, there will be weekly virtual office hours where Marissa Nelson LMFT CST CSE or one of our facilitators will be available live to answer questions from the group of participants.

    This course is designed for you to succeed in your relationship through this process, and will be beneficial when you face any other future challenges as well.

  • Does this replace therapy/counseling?

    This Masterclass is designed to provide mental health education to couples going through infertility. This program can be particularly complementary to couples and individuals who are already engaged in on-going therapy/counseling. However, it is not intended to be a replacement nor substitute for on-going clinical therapy or counseling.

  • How long does it take to complete?

    It depends. The beauty of the self-paced format is that you can spend a much or as little time on a topic as is appropriate to your unique relationship.

    That said, the full length of the Masterclass is typically completed in between 10 and 30 days.

  • Is it only for couples?

    The Masterclass is specifically geared toward strengthening the connection between romantic partners.

    However, while we work on a separate Masterclass to address the specific needs of single mothers-to-be, most the Masterclass can still be beneficial if completed with a close friend or family member.

  • Is this Masterclass only for people going using IVF or Assisted Reproductive Technologies?

    No, it is for anyone experiencing difficulties trying to conceive, and who want to improve the quality of their connection during this period.

    Studies show that approximately half of all couples who experience infertility do not seek either mental health nor reproductive health treatments. Therefore, this course is applicable to all couples trying to conceive.

  • Will the course tell us if we should keep trying to have a baby or if we should be together?

    No. The course provides a framework for couples to strengthen their connection during infertility. The decisions you take on your fertility journey and in your relationship are your own.

  • Is it only for heterosexual couples?

    This Masterclass is open to all couples.

    IntimacyIVF welcomes with open arms all races, ages, gender identities, sexual orientations and anyone who strives to realize their dreams of having a baby. We hold our deepest commitment to diversity & inclusion, social & reproductive justice and access to sexual health education for all.

Find Strength and Support in Your Union

All the Tools You Need to Succeed at Your Fingertips