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Doctors ‘should discuss’ sex during pregnancy

Author James Dunsford
Submitted 03-06-2008

With so many issues to think about during pregnancy – the health of the fetus and the mother, for example – the topic of sex may be easily overlooked.

However, findings from a recent Canadian study suggest that instead of ignoring the issue, the majority of new parents wish they had discussed sexual expectations and concerns with their doctor.

Dr Elias Bartellas, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Memorial University of Newfoundland in St John’s, conducted a survey of new parents’ experiences and concluded that doctors could be doing more to help educate couples about this rather taboo subject.

For example, less than one in three respondents (30 percent) reported that they had discussed sexual concerns with their doctors, with one-third of these reporting that they had broached the subject themselves.

When asked about their level of desire while their partner was expecting, men’s responses varied. Some 60 percent reported no change, while 20 percent felt more desire to have sex and an equal proportion felt less.

For women, 58 percent experienced less desire than usual while pregnant, while 42 per cent had either the same or more desire.

With such a variety of responses to an extremely subjective issue, perhaps the best advice doctors can give is to encourage couples to communicate about sex on a regular basis, throughout all stages of the pregnancy – and after the birth as well.