sex

"It caused many tearful nights." When men refuse to have sex with their pregnant partners.

“Can we please talk about when men refuse sex because of pregnancy and kids?”

“I’m pregs and my boyfriend refuses. I don’t ever see us having sex again especially when the baby is born. Traditionally it’s the other way around and it feels so isolating and shameful not to have my own boyfriend want me.”

When influencer, Aimee Vincent (@ripsnorter), asked readers to share their experiences of balancing being a parent and having a sex life, the above response ignited another discussion altogether.

Aimee believed the woman who sent her the message wasn’t alone in her feelings of “isolation and shame”, and so she shared her message anonymously with her 46,500 followers.

The response she received was overwhelming.

WATCH: Things pregnant people never say. Post continues after video.

Video by MMC

Speaking to Mamamia, Aimee said hundreds of women replied with similar stories.

“Some had partners who became physically repelled by their pregnant body, some relationships struggled through the issue but ultimately got their sex lives back, some ended in separation and many just resigned themselves to a sexless relationship while feeling isolated and depressed,” she said.

“The sheer volume of replies was astounding, many of them made me angry, I even felt disgusted by the comments of some men who seemed unwilling to do any work on themselves and projected this onto their partners, but mostly… I felt sad.

“So many women feel alone with this dynamic. Many couples experience these issues, but suffer in silence because sex, and in particular, topics like sexuality and parenting, female desire and the loss of libido in men, are still so taboo.”

What became obvious to Aimee was difference in opinion between men and women when it came to pregnancy, sex and sexuality.

“[Some men were so challenged] by the intersection of motherhood and sexuality and how the pregnant body challenged their perception of what is or isn’t allowed to be sexual,” she said.

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“It became clear how vital intimacy still was to these mothers, most of whom passionately wanted to remain sexual and be seen as such by their partner.”

sex during pregnancy
Aimee was inundated to responses from mums who could relate.

Several of Aimee's followers could relate to this.

"I have experienced this. He even had the hide to tell me I was putting on too much weight (I was 75kg full term). In my situation, he was just a jerk," read one response.

"This happened to me and was extremely depressing. You see, normally I am the one with the lower sex drive and my man ALWAYS wants it, except when I was pregnant," shared another.

"This brought intense feelings of being undesired, insecurities and even [made me feel] less womanly. It ruined the intimacy throughout that special time and caused many tearful nights, which often resulted in deeper resentment and disappointment as he went soundly to sleep.

"I was about five months pregnant and it was so crushing. It created a narrative I would not be desirable as a mother, which I am dismantling but still impacted by," shared another follower.

"It broke down our relationship and I was a single mother from before my babe was born."

Others attributed their partner's drop in libido to other issues like perinatal anxiety and depression in men.

"There definitely needs to be open communication on why he is refusing it. It may be deeper than her just being pregnant. He may have certain fears subconsciously even he is unsure of," wrote one follower.

"My husband wouldn't touch me when I was pregnant... Even after my baby was born, he didn't want to touch me, and sex felt like he was just doing it to shut me up. We eventually talked about it after I begged for him to talk to me," shared another Instagram user.

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"He was depressed and had no sex drive, says he looked into it and it's something that can happen to men when their partner becomes pregnant because their body feels like they've 'completed a job'."

"My baby daddy wasn't keen during pregnancy and I so felt this! He also suffered what I believe to be a postpartum depression/PTSD as well, which affected our intimacy after our son was born."

 

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Although Aimee specified that not all couples experienced this, she made note of the gender divide when it came to the knowledge and acceptance of pregnancy and sex.

"It became clear how misinformed many men are about pregnancy (with many believing sex hurts the baby for example) and how little is known about the hormonal shifts men can experience during their partner's pregnancy and after the birth of their child, which can lead to feelings of depression and loss of libido," she told Mamamia.

"What was most concerning for me, was how rarely this dynamic is discussed and how few men were willing to seek help when they started to experience sexual and emotional shifts because they lacked the awareness or felt seeking help was not ‘masculine’."

 

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Speaking to Mamamia in 2017, obstetrician Dr Joseph Sgroi was adamant that in most cases having sex when pregnant will not harm the woman or unborn baby.

“The baby’s not going to feel anything,” he said, adding that during pregnancy, the baby is safely growing in the uterus, which is quite erm... far away from the vagina.

"The baby is in the balloon,” he continued, comparing the uterus to a protective balloon.

“You probably don’t want to be too vigorous about it... [but] the penis is going nowhere near the baby.”

Instead there are only three scenarios where sex during pregnancy could be considered risky:

1. If your waters have broken. “Some women will have their waters break early on in pregnancy,” he says.

2. If the placenta is very low lying and covering the cervix.

3. If you’re frequently bleeding throughout pregnancy, in which your doctor might encourage you to not have sex.

Other than that it's completely up to you and your partner.

LISTEN: Monique Bowley and Bec Judd talk to Dr Sgroi about having sex while pregnant on Hello Bump. Post continues below.

Do you have a personal story to share? Tell us in a comment below.

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