Too Tired for Sex? New Study Backs You Up

Surprise, surprise.
ByAnisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
Sep 2017
couple sleeping
Photo: iStock

Sex after baby is certainly, um, different. While everyone’s experience is unique, plenty of new moms express hesitancy to get back in the saddle. And a new study is taking a closer look at the multiple reasons why.

The third British national survey of sexual attitudes and lifestyles, published in the BMJ, examined the factors that contribute to a lack of interest in sex and how they’re different for men and women. Ultimately, of the 4,839 men and 6,669 women between the ages of 16 and 74, about twice as many women reported a prolonged lack of interest in sex (three months or more): 34 percent of women compared to 15 percent of men.

After adjusting for age and health conditions, researchers were able to identify three main reasons women report losing interest in sex:

1. Having been pregnant in the last year, or being a mother to one or more young children

And no, being a father to a young child didn’t reduce a man’s sexual appetite. According to the study, “this may be due to fatigue associated with a primary caring role, the fact that daily stress appears to affect sexual functioning in women more than men or possibly a shift in focus of attention attendant on bringing up small children.”

2. Not being satisfied with the relationship

Feeling emotionally close to their partner is key to a woman’s sexual satisfaction. “For women in particular, the experience of sexual interest appears strongly linked with their perceptions of the quality of their relationships, their communication with partners and their expectations/attitudes about sex,” the study says.

3. Not being able to talk about sex with their partner

This one holds true for women and men. “Those who found it ‘always easy to talk about sex’ with their partner were less likely to report low interest,” researchers say.

Another big roadblock to sex after baby? Not being prepared. Here’s what the first time will probably be like.

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