Rev Up Your Sex Life

WebMD Live Events Transcript

Sex life stalled? Rev it up! We talked about everything you wanted to know about improving your sex life but were afraid to ask, when WebMD's in-house sex therapist, Louanne Cole Weston, PhD, joined us with her tips for cooled-off couples. Our members brought their intimate questions and concerns to WebMD Live on July 28, 2004.

The opinions expressed herein are the guests' alone and have not been reviewed by a WebMD physician. If you have questions about your health, you should consult your personal physician. This event is meant for informational purposes only.

MEMBER QUESTION:
Is there anything I can do to increase my libido while breastfeeding? I have read the hormones released give you the same satisfaction as an orgasm, and have found that I have a very decreased sex drive and my husband isn't happy about it. I have tried explaining it to him, that doesn't work, so I need some suggestions. We don't have date time or money or a babysitter so our hands are tied as far as refreshing our relationship that way. My daughter is 9 months, and I plan to continue to breastfeeding until she is a year old, and my cycles have not regulated; I have only had a period once, and before it came I had my sex drive back for about a week! Any help will be wonderful!

WESTON:
In order to breastfeed, your body is creating a hormone called prolactin. This hormone naturally suppresses sexual drive. That's nature's way of ensuring that there won't be a second baby too soon after the first. If you have only three more months left until you plan to stop breastfeeding, I'd encourage your husband to be patient. Breastfeeding is an incredibly important thing that you can do to enhance the medical health of your baby. It strengthens the immune system greatly. So don't stop before you plan to.

Meanwhile, offer your husband hand stimulation or mouth stimulation from you, as much as you feel like, if you have the energy. If you don't wish to go through the sexual response cycle yourself, don't feel pressured to do so. Right now, your hormones are stacked against it.

One other lifestyle tip that I can offer is see if you can locate any other family that you might trust to do swapping of babysitting. It's a great way to get a little spare time to at least look at your husband without simultaneously wondering what the baby is up to. And it doesn't cost anything to trade back and forth this way. Even if you aren't actively sexual, it's a good way to connect.

MEMBER QUESTION:
What are some things that can be done to improve our sex life after having a baby? I feel like there is no time anymore.

MODERATOR:
Looks like this is a common problem!

WESTON:
I'm a big fan of people who have children going on dates. And I recommend it often on the message board. As I mentioned in the previous question, swapping this kind of time with another family is a great way to manage this if you don't have additional funds for a sitter. The kind of contact that adults can have in a one-on-one, even over just a dinner, taking a walk, or seeing a movie, can be a strengthening factor for a marriage with children. I recommend people try to do this a minimum of once a month, or more if they can.

There are two books that I'd recommend. One is called Great Sex for Moms: Ten Steps to Nurturing Passion While Raising Kids , by Valerie Raskin. The other one is The Mother's Guide to Sex: Enjoying Your Sexuality Through All Stages of Motherhood, by Anne Semans and Cathy Winks. These books are great at giving people ideas related to this question, and the one just prior.

"People often treat intercourse as the ultimate form of sexual connection, and while it can be very gratifying, for many women it's not a reliable path to orgasm."


MEMBER QUESTION:
It seems like my husband and I have no romance in our sexual life anymore. I'm not sure if it's from being busy or tired. How can I try to bring some of that back, such as foreplay and a little romance?

WESTON:
Sometimes people think that they need to go on a large "improvement program" in order to reinvigorate their sex life. It actually doesn't need to be that complicated. I recommend that you change one thing about the way in which you have your sexual contact each time. And also I recommend having sexual contact that does not include intercourse. This makes an entire sexual session all "foreplay." People often treat intercourse as the ultimate form of sexual connection, and while it can be very gratifying, for many women it's not a reliable path to orgasm. So if you said to your husband, "let's have sex, but not intercourse, that's the rule for today," with a wink, would he turn you down? Let's hope not.

As far as changing one thing, add a candle, put on some music, put your head at the foot of the bed instead of the head of the bed. Or leave one item of clothing on. People also often say that they have some of their best sex in hotels or on vacation. For some people, it's as simple as having one or two things changed.

MEMBER QUESTION:
My husband and I have been married for 4 1/2 years now and aside from the normal day-to-day married couple feuds we're happy. But something's come up lately and I'm at loss for how to deal with it! My husband and his best friend are annoying the heck out of me! My husband works with him and by the end of the day he has told EVERYTHING about our romance and intimacy the night before, down to what positions we used, etc.!



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