ANN ARBOR, Aug 2 — A new study finds that a new baby doesn’t just affect a mom’s sex drive, but her partner’s as well.
While prior studies on sex after childbirth have often focused on female reproductive biology, such as how hormonal changes during pregnancy and breastfeeding can affect sexual desire, this one sheds some light on what’s happening with her partner.
Dr Sari van Anders of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and her colleagues designed a study to examine postpartum sexuality as a social and relational process, focusing on co-parents.
A total of 114 partners (95 men, 18 women, 1 unspecified) completed an online questionnaire about their sexuality during the three months following their youngest child’s birth.
The researchers found that partners experience similar shifts in sexuality, including highs and lows. Low desire in partners was largely influenced by factors related to caring for a new baby — such as sleepless nights and stress — rather than the fact the birth mother just wasn’t all that interested.
“Our findings help to clarify how co-parents experience sexuality in myriad ways that are contextualised within partner and parenting relationships,” said Dr van Anders.
The findings, announced yesterday, are published in a recent issue of The Journal of Sexual Medicine.
Prior research has found that nature regulates testosterone levels as a man becomes a new dad. While men with high testosterone are most likely to find a mate, the hormone levels plunges when he becomes a dad who is involved with his kids. That study, conducted by researchers at Northwestern University in the US, was published in 2011 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. — AFP/Relaxnews