Newly-converted fathers often experience changes in sexual desire for the mothers of their newborn children, which may increase or decrease depending on factors independent of the physical changes brought on by childbirth, a new study said.
The fatigue and stress caused by recent fatherhood can cause a loss of desire in the spouse (either male or female) of the mother of the baby, according to the research published in the online edition of August 1 of the journal Journal of Sexual Medicine.
You may also like: Enjoy your sexuality during pregnancy.
At the same time, spouses may feel a greater desire based on a need for intimacy or on the perception that the new baby limits the amount of time available for sexual intercourse.
"We found that, just like biological mothers, dads or second mothers experience maximum and minimum sexual desire after childbirth," said lead author Sari van Anders, assistant professor of psychology and women's studies at the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor.
"The high sexual desire in the other parent in this period was influenced not only by sexual interest, but also by the feeling of intimacy.The low desire was influenced not by the lack of interest of the couple or the lactation status, as is supposed more generally, but by fatigue and stress. "
So far, research has focused on the way in which birth affects the sexual desire of birth mothers, usually by evaluating the impact of hormonal changes or the healing that occurs after childbirth, the study authors said.
You may also like: Sex improves with age
This study sought to evaluate the effects of birth on the spouses. It had 114 spouses (95 men and 18 women) of women who had given birth, who filled out an online questionnaire about their sexuality within three months of the birth of their youngest child.
Factors related to child care and personal privacy were more important for sexual desire than any physical or hormonal changes in the birth mother, the survey found.
"Researchers have usually focused on biological mothers as a negative influence on the sexual desire of their male partners, perhaps due to breastfeeding, lack of interest or vaginal problems after delivery," he said. van Ander s. "Contrary to these assumptions, our empirical work showed that spouses (men and women) experience a low desire after childbirth due to fatigue, stress and [lack of] free time."
You may also like: 3 keys to be lovers and parents
Personal fatigue is the main brake of sexual desire in the spouses of biological mothers, followed by stress and a lack of available time.
The sexual desire, the level of sexual interest of his partner, and the feelings of intimacy were the main factors that impelled a high sexual desire.
"It should not be surprising that factors related to the care of a newborn can negatively affect sexual desire, but our study is one of the first to show it," said van Anders. "In addition, we find that spouses also experience a high desire after birth, generally influenced by feelings of intimacy and sexual interest."
Interestingly, time constraints were mentioned as a brake and as an aphrodisiac by respondents. Around 40% mentioned lack of time as one of the three main currents of sexual desire, while 28% cited it as one of their three main sources of desire.
You may also like: 5 keys to ignite your erotic desire
One expert described how this important life transition affects couples.
"There is definitely a period of adjustment in which parents must realize that aspects of their relationship have changed," he said. Brian Swope, family and marriage therapist from Philadelphia. "It may take longer for some things to return to the way they were before."