If your sex drive after twins is low, you are not alone. Read the results of our sex drive survey to learn about how to resolve a low sex drive after twins.
Let’s talk about sex. Twiniversity recently surveyed our readers about their sex drive. The numbers were not surprising. Having children, especially twins, makes parents of twins feel WAY less in the mood for some sexy time. For many women, it seems that it isn’t just a physical desire but a mental and emotional one too.
Did you know the loss of sexual desire is known in medical terms as hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) and it is the most common form of sexual dysfunction among women of all ages? A recent study showed that nearly one-third of women aged 18 to 59 suffer from a lost interest in sex, and it's not all in their heads.
Unlike men's main sexual complaint (erectile dysfunction) women's biggest sexual problem is caused by a combination of both mental and physical factors. “Women's sexuality tends to be multifaceted and fairly complicated,” says sex psychologist Sheryl Kingsberg, PhD. “Although we would love to simplify it so we could have the one-two or even a one-punch treatment, it doesn't tend to work that way.”
So, what did our survey show? Let’s break down the numbers, shall we?
Twin Parent Sex Drive Survey Results
Of the almost 1,000 people who answered the survey, 99.9% have twins already born. It is safe to say that almost all of our respondents are twin parents.
96% of respondents answered that they were the one who was pregnant with twins. 3% responded that it was their partner that was pregnant and 0.2% used a surrogate or gestational carrier. It is important to keep these numbers in mind while you are reading the rest of the results. Most of the twin parents who answered the survey were the ones who carried the pregnancy with twins.
We also asked about the age of our respondents' twins. The results vary greatly, but 35% of respondents have twins between 0-11 months old; 28% have twins between 12-24 months old; and the third top answer was 2 years old, coming in at 17%. The early years of twin parenthood are physically and mentally exhausting. There are a lot of hormone changes and sleepless nights in the first few years with twins. This is likely a factor in why there is a loss of sex drive.
The reasons why your sex drive has changed
We asked why you think your sex drive has changed. 17% of you said it was a mental change. 9% of you said it was a physical change and a whopping 74% said it was both. As other studies noted, it is often both a physical and emotional desire.
Of the readers that said their sexual desire has gotten worse, 66% agreed it was due to personal physical changes and 60% agreed it was due to a mental change. As we can see from these results, the two go together after having twins.
85% of respondents expressed that they were just too tired to enjoy sex. This is not surprising to anyone who has twins. 57% said they were just too busy to have sex and 34% said they were just “touched out” by the time the twins are asleep and didn't want anyone else's hands on them.
Based on these numbers, we can safely say that we all need a weekend away with our partners. No kids, no agenda, and no stress. (I know, that’s easier said than done!)
The effects of stress and worry that new twin parents experience should not be overlooked. You're getting less sleep, possibly suffering from postpartum anxiety (PPA), postpartum depression (PPD), or other postpartum mood disorders caused by hormonal fluctuations, and possibly grappling with a very different body image than before your pregnancy. Learning to love the new version of yourself takes time.
Breastfeeding can play a significant role in diminished sexual interest as well.
Estrogen is an important hormone that decreases with breastfeeding and this can affect your vaginal tissues. The most common vaginal side effects of decreased estrogen are dryness and a “pins and needles” feeling during intercourse. Understandably, this has a negative effect on your mood.
There's more than one way to perk things up
There are many ways to be intimate; it doesn't have to be all or nothing. Take a few minutes to kiss and cuddle before falling asleep at night. Lay together in bed naked and just… touch. No expectations, no stress. Start slow and it may all start to come back to you.
When you resume sex with your partner, it's important to use a lubricant to help protect the tissues and minimize the discomfort of vaginal dryness. Sex should not be painful though. If you are experiencing pain during intercourse, speak to your doctor. Make sure to follow your doctor’s directions on when you can resume getting freaky and give yourself time to fully heal. Most doctors advise waiting a minimum of 6 weeks after birth to have sex, but don't be surprised if it takes much longer than that before you feel “in the mood” again.
Tell your partner that you appreciate affection outside the bedroom. Things as simple as hand-holding and a soft kiss on the forehead can do wonders for the libido. I know watching my husband do the dishes gets me hot… and he knows it.
If things don’t perk up after your twins' first birthday, you may want to visit a sex therapist with your partner. A therapist can help you work through some of the mental and emotional roadblocks. Speak honestly to your partner. Tell them what you need and what you want. We all deserve a happy and healthy sex life.
But just know that you are not alone. This is very, very common in the twin parenting world, especially for moms. Give yourself and your partner a lot of grace and take it slow. You just had TWINS! Most people who just have ONE baby have a hard time getting back into action. But you had TWO babies. Take it easy on yourself and be kind to yourself. If you feel like something is really wrong, talk to a trusted doctor for help.
Laura Birks is a freelance writer and essayist and the Twiniversity Social Media Manager. She lives in New Jersey with her twin boys, a dog, a couple of cats and a husband. When she’s not doling out medicine or cleaning up vomit, she is writing. Her house is in a constant state of disarray and the laundry is never put away. She likes to pretend she is superwoman but the truth is, she is a mere mortal with a messy house. Find her on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.