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Overcoming a Post-baby Sex Drought

 
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Shortly after delivering my first child, I realized there was an epidemic going on among some couples I knew … they weren’t having any sex. I was shocked to learn one couple hadn’t been intimate for weeks, another for months, and for yet another it was almost a year (well, not exactly, but it sounded like it from what my friend was telling me).

How does that happen? I am the first to admit that my relationship isn’t all-sex-all-the-time, but I would consider us average in frequency without going into detail. But what I could surmise from the stories of sexual inactivity I was hearing, it seemed that a culmination of a lot of different circumstances all played a part.

Being new parents, coupled with hormonal changes, and non-communication between partners (disappointment, bewilderment, exhaustion, etc.) all swirled around until before they knew it, weeks had passed and they hadn’t done it. The lack of intimacy breeds a different issue—once you lose the frequency, it’s hard to get going again.

This phenomenon was showcased in the recent movie, “He’s Just Not That Into You.” The married couple didn’t even have children, but it was divulged near the end of the movie that they hadn’t had sex in 3 months. Again … How does that happen?

I read an article online that said the testosterone in men does not allow them to forget when the last time they had sex, yet exhaustion and feelings of being overwhelmed can contribute to lack of sex even in men. It just takes one partner to go on strike, and another partner to get used to it or find coping mechanisms for a drought to occur. The post-baby drought doesn't happen to everyone. Some couples experience a surge in sexual activity with their partner, sometimes resulting in subsequent babies, but that's another story.

A sexless marriage, according to the U.S. National Health and Social Life Survey of 1994 (haven’t they done one since?), is a marriage in which little or no sex occurs between the two partners. “Little or no sex” is defined further as sexual intimacy occurring less than ten times per year. According to the survery, 20 percent of the respondents fit into the category.

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Thanks Christine,

I didn't realize a lot of couples hit a wall in the sex department after having children either. While I do admit my libido took a vacation while I was pregnant, six weeks after having my baby, it came back. My husband and I like to keep it "fresh" so to speak. We like to role play and pretend like we just met or started dating. Complimenting eachother is really important, it makes the other person still feel wanted. Great pointers.

August 27, 2009 - 5:36am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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