Is it normal to lose interest in sex?

Is it normal to lose all interest in sex during pregnancy? I am 32 weeks pregnant and have been completely turned off to sex since about week 15. My husband is trying to be understanding but is getting frustrated, and I feel guilty.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

I certainly hope you are not an anti-evolutionist type person because lack of sexual interest or libido can be traced right back to our animal roots. Why should the female be interested once she has conceived? I know that nature is what we were placed on this earth to rise above as Katherine Hepburn said to Humphrey Bogart in "The African Queen," but this is definitely a vestige of our past.

Many couples must find other bonding rituals during pregnancy, either because the woman is at risk for complications or due to lack of sexual desire. Some women, despite knowing otherwise, have a deep-seated notion that intercourse just might hurt the baby. And women are not alone in this perception. Many men lose interest in having intercourse during pregnancy, especially towards the end when fetal parts and movement are so evident.

Try to get Sheila Kitzinger's book, "Woman's Experience of Sex". She deals at length with this subject. Also Elizabeth Bing's book "Making Love During Pregnancy" (out of print) is quite good.

Above all, try not to feel guilty. Talk and try to laugh about it as much as possible. Your husband may benefit from reading these books,too. It is sometimes reassuring to know that this is more the norm than the exception.

Peg

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