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Couple/Sexuality

Lower sex drive during pregnancy

In the midst of one of the happiest times of your life, a dark cloud sets in: your libido takes a hard hit, and so does your man’s.

Surveys on sex drive during pregnancy demonstrate that there is no golden rule: sex drive can increase, decrease or remain de same. It depends on each person.

Men

For women, it is easy to blame a lower libido on hormonal changes during pregnancy. However, the same would be difficult for men! It thus seems that emotions play an equally important role on sex drive as do hormones. Unfortunately, we are not always in control of our emotions...

Stephanie, a mother in her mid-thirties, explains that pregnancy caused a loss of sexual desire in both her and her partner without them really understanding why. “During my first pregnancy, my husband’s sex drive crashed and didn’t return to normal until I came back to my usual pre-pregnancy weight. There were no sexual relations for more than a year! I am now 5 months pregnant with my second child, and we are experiencing the same problem.

The couple talked about the situation, but they could not figure out what was causing the problem. Nevertheless, they both agreed that the situation was making them very unhappy, to the point where pregnancy became a burden rather than an intense bonding experience. “We have been together for 15 years and we consider ourselves soul mates. We love each other very much. However, this problem is creating unbearable tensions within our couple and completely ruins the joy of being pregnant. To me, pregnancy is an unpleasant necessity to have my little angel. Even though my baby is wanted, being pregnant doesn’t bring me any excitement. I feel fat, ugly and repulsive. It makes me upset to the point where I start resenting my husband”, explains Stephanie.

Even in a long-term relationship that brings you strength and support, pregnancy can sometimes cause this type of reaction in men. People often invoke reasons such as the classic case of the mother figure replacing the sexy woman, the father’s fear of hurting the baby and the mother’s weight gain affecting the men’s sex drive. In fact, a combination of all of these reasons can be responsible. “As for my husband, he does not even understand why he feels this way”, explains Stephanie. “During my first pregnancy, we tried several times without success. Aware that it upset me a lot, he felt even more pressure and things became even worse. Thankfully, our love is very strong and I have faith in us.

Stephanie decided to take matters into her own hands:  instead of seeing herself as “fat, ugly and repulsive, ” she decided to change her image in order to change the way she perceives herself and help her husband see her as attractive. In her case, it worked! “I went shopping last weekend and I bought clothes that I knew my husband would like. Skirts, dresses, in other words, the most feminine things you can find!” When I got home, I paraded in my new clothes for him. He really enjoyed it and was actually very turned on, allowing us to finally make love again.

Sex and sexuality are two very different things. Even if your sex drive is dramatically lower during pregnancy, you may still feel a need for other forms of intimacy such as cuddling and kissing. www.sexualityandu.ca
Women

Women can feel their sex drive decrease as their belly increases in size. Sex drive? What is that? I used to like sex? Me? Women generally see fluctuations in their sex drive as the pregnancy evolves. Libido often lowers in the first trimester, increases in the second and decreases again in the third when fatigue and the extra weight become more of a strain.

In 2010, a Canadian research questioned 1049 women about their sexual desire during pregnancy. The results showed that 56 % saw a decrease in their sexual drive, 46 % thought that intercourse was harmful during pregnancy and 29 % of women discussed sexuality with their doctor while being pregnant.

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