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Live webchat with sex and relationship expert, Suzi Godson - Monday 7th November, 1 - 2pm

(72 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 03-Nov-11 12:48:18

Suzi Godson is joining us on Monday 7th November between 1 and 2pm for a live webchat where she'll be answering your questions on relationships and sex. Suzi is the sex and relationships expert for The Times newspaper. Her Saturday Sex Counsel columns have recently been published as a book and she is also the author of the The Body Bible, and the award-winning The Sex Book which has now been translated into fifteen languages. For the last year she has been editing www.moresexdaily.com, a free resource which aims to help couples sustain sex in long-term relationships. It hosts a wealth of news, research and advice from guest experts and it is also the vehicle for a major new survey into sexual frequency. The data will hopefully provide new insights into what some couples are getting wrong in their sexual relationships, and more importantly, what other couples are getting right.

Join Suzi next Monday (7th November) at 1pm or send your questions in advance to this thread.

SuziGodson Mon 07-Nov-11 13:46:40

DriveGone

Hi Suzi
I hope you can help me, I just seem to have no sex drive anymore. I love my husband (we have been together for 11 years, married for 7) and find him attractive but I just seem to have no sexual desire anymore. I don't think it is him as I don't even masturbate or have feelings towards other men. I have two young children and constantly feel shattered. When we do have sex, I am often just thinking I would rather be asleep. My husband is very patient but I am worried this will drive us apart, what can I do to get things going again. Can you permanently lose your sex drive?
I hope you can help.
Thanks

Hi DriveGone, Small kids are a drain, but if you have lost your libido and feel permanently shattered you may actually be run down, depressed, or suffering from an undiagnosed illness. You really need to make an appointment with your GP to talk about how you are feeling physically, and most importantly, be brave enough to mention your loss of libido and the fact that you don’t even masturbate. Your GP will be able to assess whether he or she needs to treat you (depression, thyroid, hormones, virus, I can think of tons of reasons why you might feel this way) or whether you need to be referred to a specialist for more specific sexual help. I’m not sure where you are in the country but The Jane Wadsworth Clinic (www.imperial.nhs.uk/.../ourclinics/jane-wadsworth-clinic/) at St Marys Hospital in Paddington has a fantastic clinic which treats both the physical and psychological causes of low sexual desire simultaneously.

I know it can be very difficult to talk about personal issues and none of us feel comfortable talking about sexual difficulties, but if you don’t ask for help you won’t receive any, and often, just taking the first step and admitting that you have a problem, and that you need help solving it, can be such a huge relief that the situation begins to improve immediately anyway.

Talking about it will also take the pressure off your husband who probably feels responsible but does not know what he can do to help. Men are solution oriented. They like to be able to fix things, to make them better, to make them go away, so they find it very frustrating when they can’t help. If he knows you are going to see a doctor he will, at least, feel that you are moving towards a resolution.

Taking good care of yourself is very important. A good diet, not too much booze and exercise can all help to decrease tension and make you feel better. You don’t mention how old your kids are but is there any way you could get some time off? Have you got a kindly Mum or Mother in Law who would step in while you and your husband got away for a few days. See my note to teeschlurfenderdino on hotel sex.

Finally, libido is something that you can encourage. If sex feels like a chore I can guarantee you that only the most stubborn can last longer than sixty seconds with a splash of lube and a Plug-in Magic Wand vibrator. It is worth a try because orgasm is a fantastic way of improving your mood and it also helps you to sleep better and to feel more relaxed.

Best of Luck. Yours Suzi

SuziGodson Mon 07-Nov-11 13:50:17

chosenone

hi Suzi
Any words of wisdom would be great

My issue is a type of sexual jealousy I think!!?? Ive been with DP over a year after a split with exDH. I worry about his sexual past and obsess over who/when and where etc. He is very reassuring and has stated now he's older and wiser he's having the most satisfying sex ever. We have both had promiscuous and adventurous pasts he is fine with mine, I wind myself up about his. Although we've openly talked about masturbation I also think about this, what does he look at? how often etc?? I dont seem to get jealous over anything other than sexually related things?? I hide it most of the time but it does bubble up occasionally and I know im usually being irrational

Thanks

Hi chosenone, I think what you are going through reflects your own insecurities and I think to some degree, you may be transferring your fears about how you have both behaved in the past on to your partner. If you have both been promiscuous and unfaithful in previous relationships, what guarantees do you have that you won’t behave that way in this relationship? There are none. And that can leave you feeling quite insecure, but I think you have to listen to your partner and believe him when he says that he is older and wiser now. Unless your DP has given you cause to doubt him, you need to trust him, because otherwise you will end up sabotaging the relationship.

As for the whole masturbation/porn thing, I know it is very difficult to deal with. The idea that your partner is getting sexual pleasure from watching images of other women feels like a threat, but it isn’t real, and if it is not having a negative effect on his, or you, life, then it is not something that you should get wound up about. Yes, we have a right to expect fidelity from our partners, but masturbation is the sex we have with ourselves. We start doing it as adolescents and it stays with us for life. It is not realistic to expect that behaviour to stop because you are in a relationship with someone, and although the porn industry is vile, the only real difference between the fantasies you have while masturbating and the images your partner may be looking at, is that one involves having an imagination and the other doesn’t.

As an exercise I think it would be worth your while to write down all the positives and negatives about your current relationships. It would also be worth thinking back to your marriage and writing down the reasons why that was good, and bad, and why it eventually ended. Assign everything on your list a score out of ten - a plus score for poisitives and a minus score for negatives - and then tot up all the totals. So Dp remembers my birthday is +10 and Dp watches porn is -8 etc. Looking at the numerical difference between where you are in this relationship and where you were in your last one will reassure you that you are in the right relationship, with the right man and that the only thing you have to worry about is your own propensity to over-analyse.

Good luck. Yours Suzi

SuziGodson Mon 07-Nov-11 13:52:16

nenevomito

Hi - the physical side of my relationship with my DH has all but disappeared and I would say in the last 3 years we've had sex about 8 times in total (and I'm being generous there).

I think part of the problem is that its been so long that neither of us even knows how to go about initiating it any more.

any thoughts?

Hi nenevomito, I think you have hit the nail on the head. The longer you leave it the harder it is to get back into it which is why it is important to try and keep it going, even at a basic level. As Dr David Goldmeier, Clinical Lead for the Jane Wadsworth Sexual Function Clinic in London says, “once a couple stop having sex, even for a few months, they slip into ‘non-sexual relationship mode’ where it becomes very difficult to initiate sex. They, in effect, become platonic partners in a conspiracy of silence.”

It is also worth pointing out that in a long term relationship it is always the partner with the lower sex drive who determines the levels of sexual frequency in the relationship. If he or she doesn’t want it, it doesn’t happen and there is nothing the other partner can do about it. That is pretty unfair an leads to a whole host of bad feelings.

Couples who don’t have sex suffer more from depression and psychological problems. They also have more arguments and feelings of stress, worthlessness and low self esteem. And, inevitably, it is associated with increased risk of divorce and relationship dissolution. (Karney, 1995). And of course if a couple are not having sex with each other, they increase the risk of one or both partners eventually having sex with someone else.

In his book, Why Marriages Succeed or Fail, the psychology professor and relationship expert John Gottman describes long-term relationships as being “like the second law of thermodynamics that says that closed energy systems tend to run down and get less orderly over time”. What he means by that is if you do nothing to make things get better in your relationship, it will still tend to get worse, even if you don’t actually do anything wrong.

Discussing these issues honestly with your partner is the first step. You'll find some good guidance on my site www.morsexdaily.com and there is a fairly comprehensive book list there too. Make time for sex. I know we all think it should happen spontaneously but it won't. Arrange it all in advance. Get rid of the kids. Makes sure the bedroom is tidy and the bedlinen is ironed. Take a bath together. Light candles. Drink champagne (or cava in these recessionary times) and just go for it. There is no time like the present and no one ever died wishing they had had less sex! Yours Suzi

Dotty342kids Mon 07-Nov-11 13:52:51

Hi Suzi, not sure if you saw my question near start of this thread re. differing sex drives?

LeninGrad Mon 07-Nov-11 13:54:00

Loving your turns of phrase on here.

So, do you think there is just too much emphasis on sex in life? Things wax and wane, especially as you get pg and have kids and so on and surely that's fine.

SuziGodson Mon 07-Nov-11 13:54:34

FloweryTablecloths

Hi Suzi

I am at work later so posting this now.

I am assuming this is a common problem but I find it really hard to separate the roles of lover and mother and hate for the lines to be blurred.

Have 2 young DC under 3 and feel e.g that boobs are for feeding atm and not for sex - which is a shame as they were amazingly sensitive (in a good way) when I was pregnant.

Also the idea of trying to have an "early night" wink and then one of the DC wakes up and can't switch between the two roles.

Any advice much appreciated on how I can flick a switch in my brain that makes it easier to not worry about being a lover and mother.

Thanks

Thanks
This is a really interesting question and I think all Mums feel this way to some extent. The physical toll of having kids is enormous and you just don’t feel your body is the same at all. Also, breastfeeding is such an intimate experience and it feels weird to make the switch to being sexual, particularly when your baby is in close proximity.

There has been a fair bit of research into the link between breastfeeding and low libido and of five studies comparing the sexual experiences of women who chose to breastfeed against women who chose to formula-feed, four of them found that mothers who breastfed were less interested in sex, less likely to be having it and more likely to find it painful when they did. Breastfeeding releases oxytocin the bonding hormone and it is the number one passion killer. It stamps out feelings of arousal because in evolutionary terms, if a baby was being breastfed it was not in its best interest for its mother to have sex and get pregnant again. Basically, it was a way of ensuring that the baby would not have to compete for food.

Things will change once you stop breastfeeding but it may take a few months. There is not a great deal of research into the subject of sex after breastfeeding, but a study carried out in 1994 by a team at the University of Sydney found that within three to four weeks of weaning, those women who had been breastfeeding for six months-plus were feeling less milkmaid and more sex kitten. Phasing out breastfeeding often takes a month or longer and, even after the final feed, it can take weeks for the breasts to stop lactating. It also takes time for hormone levels to adjust, which is why, after weaning, so many women report feeling as if they have terrible PMT.

I wrote a column about this issue which is published in my book ‘Sex Counsel’ but I have posted it here www.moresexdaily.com/after-having-a-baby-i-dont-feel-my-body-is-sexual-anymore/ so you can read it.

PS: It would be great if you could take the survey here www.moresexdaily.com/the-survey/

LeninGrad Mon 07-Nov-11 13:57:54

And what is more, do you think the majority of us are meant to have the same lifelong sexual partner? I know the way society is organised seemingly makes that the most 'secure' option but do you think it's how it would be if finances and so on weren't so inextricably tied up with relationships?

k4mi Mon 07-Nov-11 13:59:52

Sorry Suzi, i should have also said we are both 30 yrs old.

Thanks

SuziGodson Mon 07-Nov-11 14:00:53

k4mi

Hi Suzi,

I'll try and keep it brief. I am in a 2 yr relationship with a wonderful man who i have a deep and satisfying (in many ways) relationship with. We are expecting a baby in Jan and so my sex drive has recently plummeted a little...to be expected i think and we remain very affectionate. Before pregnancy we have always had issues with sex since about 3 months into the relationship. I love sex and under normal circumstances would happily have it 3-4 x per week. During pregnancy that's been more like once or twice a fortnight. My partner on the other hand is less sexual. He wants to be sexual but suffers from lack of desire. I don't believe this is about me (i hope) as although perhaps now it's different at 7 months pregnant i know when we do have sex he enjoys it and i know he finds me attractive. The problem is he seems to have no libido...or a v low one. He's not out with other women, into porn, pleasuring himself, gay or anything (we have talked openly about this) and i really just don't know what to do to help him increase his libido (which is what he wants). i think he feels like he is failing me / us.

What i am really scared of is the baby arriving and us not having the opportunity to have sex anymore and using that as an excuse...i know it will be a lot lot easier to put off doing and talking about once it arrives and so really wanted to try and address this more before then.

DP has been to the DR who has referred him for some counselling (thinks it stems from feeling under-confident) but the referral hasn't come through.

any advice on books/websites etc we can read?

Hi k4m, I think your fears are absolutely legitimate because if sex was at a low ebb before you got pregnant, the chances of it being better after the birth are fairly low. However, if your partner really is under confident, you may find that being a father validates him in a new way and things might actually improve. Men who fall in love with their babies often become fascinated by the idea of producing a sibling and sex hots up rather unexpectedly.

Lack of libido in men is often confused with impotence or erectile dysfunction, but they are very different conditions. Men who suffer from low libido can often achieve erection but they have lost the desire to have sex, whereas men who suffer from impotence or erectile dysfunction want to have sex but can not achieve or maintain an erection long enough to do so.

Unlike erectile dysfunction, low sexual desire does not respond to Cialis, Levitra or Viagra and while Ed usually reflects an underlying medical condition, lack of libido can have a number of physical explanations.

You would be hard pressed not to notice the more obvious culprits — alcoholism, drug abuse, diabetes or obesity — but it can also be a side-effect of prescription medications, particularly those used in the treatment of prostate problems and, less frequently, it may relate to low levels of testosterone, an excess of the hormone prolactin or anaemia.

If there is no physical explanation then the cause is more likely to be psychological. Depression, stress, financial problems, job insecurity, sexual hang-ups, confusion about sexual orientation, guilt about infidelity or just common or garden boredom can all lead to low sexual desire.

I think your husband should chase his counseling referral and he should consider psychosexual therapy too. The Jane Wadsworth clinic www.imperial.nhs.uk/thejefferisswing/.../jane-wadsworth-clinic/ at St Marys hospital treats both the physical and psychological aspects of low sexual desire. There is also some good info www.moresexdaily.com. Good luck. Suzi

LeninGrad Mon 07-Nov-11 14:01:00

Oi, suzy, tsk, that was exactly the thing I was getting at but wrong answer smile Surely sex can take a backseat whilst babies breastfeed if that's how the woman feels. The problem is society doesn't say it's ok to prioritise in this way or to feel like this, and it is, absolutely ok. Women shouldn't feel guilty about it and it should be talked about more so men understand too.

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 07-Nov-11 14:03:49

Suzi's happy to stay and answer the questions that came in before 2pm but won't be able to respond to any that are sent in from now on.

SuziGodson Mon 07-Nov-11 14:15:15

Dotty342kids

Hi, similar to some of the others really, I find it hard to "find" my libido. If I'm being really honest I would rahter be asleep/ reading a book! We've been married ten years and my husband's sex drive is as enormous as it ever was and he constantly wants it to be more exciting / spontaneous / "dirty" / raunchy / frequent.
I try to keep up but after a month or two of putting extra effort in it just fizzles out again and then his dissatisfaction creeps back in and we're back to square one.
Can a marriage survive with two very different sex drives do you think?

Hi Dotty342kids, sorry, had to pop to the loo!. I think this is interesting because differing libidos are a real problem. As I have said to previous posters, if both partners have lost interest it isn't really a problem, at least initially, but when one person wants lots of sex and the other doesn't it can cause real difficulties. There is no easy solution but you may need to reach some sort of a compromise agreement. Work out what you would both be willing to settle for and then stick to it whether you feel like it or not. Relationships are all about compromise and although we instinctively believe that we should not be persuaded to have sex if we don't feel like it, in reality, we probably persuade our Dh's to do things that they don't necessarily feel like doing either. I do think that where there is an identifiable area of conflict such as the one you describe, the way to work through it is to be honest and talk it out. Avoiding it is the worst tactic because it just leaves everyone feeling frustrated. Hope that helps even a tiny bit. Yours Suzi

Dotty342kids Mon 07-Nov-11 14:23:43

Thank you Suzi!

SuziGodson Mon 07-Nov-11 14:25:07

hotrodret

Hi, Since having my two children (4 and 19 months) i have lost all interest in sex. By the end of the day when its time to go to bed i am shattered. Most nights one of the children has me up so i have broken sleep more often than not. When i go to bed i feel its my time, but i feel like i am on call 24-7, if its not the children needing me, its my husbands needs that need fulfilling. I almost dread my husband comimg to bed as i think 'is he going to want sex tonight? is he going to wake me up in the night? When i say i am going up to bed he sighs so i feel guilty, but i need to catch up on my sleep. He never gets up to the children in the night or ever helps with them in the mornings, even on days when i go to work and he doesn't. I think i resent him because of this, and think 'well why should i give you what you want when you don't help me' He keeps saying he is frustrated and i can understand that but the more he makes sex an issue the more i don't want it. I don't know if i need to see my G.P or what to do?

Hi hotrodret, you are clearly angry with each other and it is playing out in the bedroom. I can totally imagine the conversations "You never want to have sex with me" " Well I wouldn't be so tired if you bothered get off your a* and help once in a while".

In his book, Why Marriages Succeed or Fail, the psychology professor and relationship expert John Gottman says that 69% of the things couples disagree will never go away or be fully resolved so couples need to learn how to argue in more effective ways. Couples often use topics such as money, sex or housework to fight for their deeper needs within a relationship. For example, rows about housework or being dumped with all the responsibility for the kids are often about unfilled needs for respect and worth. And arguing about how often to have sex is nearly always about feeling loved and cared for and deeper needs for connection and affection.

Viewed in that context, you want more kindness, more respect, more support. And he wants to feel that you love him as much as you love the kids.

I think you guys should think about talking to a relationship counsellor (BACP/Relate) because these cyclical problems that can wear a relationship down very quickly.

Good luck and if you need any more help get in touch. Yours Suiz

SuziGodson Mon 07-Nov-11 14:37:36

LeninGrad

Loving your turns of phrase on here.

So, do you think there is just too much emphasis on sex in life? Things wax and wane, especially as you get pg and have kids and so on and surely that's fine.

Hi LeninGrad, sorry you've been waiting a while - need to get faster at typing! I agree that sex does ebb and flow and there are times where other priorities are more important. For example, people react differently to pregnancy. I turned into a sex crazed maniac with my last child but not with any of the others. After wards however, I was hopeess. Doc say it takes six weeks, with me it was more like six months and breastfeeding, as I have pointed out in a previous post, literally kills female libido stone dead.

I don't think any of need to beat ourselves up about feeling less interested in sex after having children, but for all the reasons that I have pointed out here and written about at length on www.moresexdaily.com, sex is the glue that holds us together and differentiates the relationships we have with our Dh or Dp from the relationships we have with everyone else. Sometimes we can't be bothered, but if we want our relationship to sustain in the long term, we have to be bothered. Yours Suzi

SuziGodson Mon 07-Nov-11 14:44:32

Hi there, hope that was in some way helpful. I really enjoyed it and hope to be back soon. If any of you busy Mums have a spare five minutes I would love you to fill in my survey and pass the link on www.moresexdaily.com/the-survey/. I will be closing the survey in January and after that I will be collating the data and I hope to gather some really useful information about how much or how little sex people are having, by age, with lifestyle factors such as kids, work stress and even alcohol intake counted in. I hope you all keep in touch and I will come back tomorrow to post a few promised replies. Yours Suzi

GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 07-Nov-11 14:47:39

Thanks to Suzi for staying and answering more answers - and for her thorough replies. And to everyone who posted questions. smile

SuziGodson Tue 08-Nov-11 11:19:45

SuziGodson

Cussandroid

Can you recommend any resources for couples where the woman is neuro-typical, and the man has Asperger traits?

The only books I have seen are patronising and aimed at people with serious autistic traits, as opposed to men who are only mildly affected.

Cussandroid I presume you mean you want to find sex books or sex resources to do with Aspergers. I'm afraid I can't answer this one straight off, but I will do a bit of research and come back to with some solid leads tomorrow if that is ok. I know this link is to do with young adults but I think it is interesting www.opposingviews.com/i/romantic-lives-of-young-adults-with-asperger-s

Hi Cussandroid
Ok, I've had a good look and there does seem to be quite a lot on the subject. I can't say whether the books are any good as I have not read them, but you can look them up on Amazon and see if you think they cover the kind of thing you are looking for. I also found several blogs covering sex, either written by people with Aspergers, or people living with a partner with Aspergers. There is also quite a funny video link out of the Penelope Trunk blog. Hope this helps in some way. Yours Suzi

Blogs

Penelope Trunk has Asbergers and she writes about sex in her blog here
blog.penelopetrunk.com/2010/11/18/what-its-like-to-have-sex-with-someone-with-aspergers/

Another blog about sex from a woman with aspergers - there is some interesting comments at the end too.
www.autisable.com/734667685/sex-and-dating-for-those-with-asperger?s/

A woman writes about her sexual difficulties with her Dh of 23 yrs who has aspergers and gets some good advice
www.dailystrength.org/c/Asperger_Syndrome/forum/9392259-sexless-marriage-help

Married To Asperger Husband - Leading To Sexless Marriage
www.experienceproject.com/stories/Live-In-A-Sexless-Marriage/988537

Some pretty straightforward advice here
www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Asperger_syndrome_and_adults

More young adult stuff
life-with-aspergers.blogspot.com/2009/03/teenage-sexuality-and-aspergers.html

Aspergers and uh SEX!
www.aspieweb.net/aspergers-sex-difficulties/

Books

An Asperger Marriage by Gisela Slater-Walker, Chris Slater-Walker
It gets good customer reviews on Amazon… here’s one

“If you're in an Asperger relationship, whether it be a new relationship or a long-standing one, then this book can be of use to you.
As 2 separate but interwoven tales, the authors take you through the all-too-familiar issues of communication, body-language etc. But they also dwell on how they've learned to cope with socialising as a couple, perceived 'rudeness' when ignoring people, and also how to deal with family life, housework, children, etc. Chris comes over as not that 'high-functioning', when they tell of his trials & tribulations at work, so this is not a rose-tinted story of a 'perfect' couple.”

The Asperger Love Guide: A Practical Guide for Adults with Asperger's Syndrome to Seeking, Establishing and Maintaining Successful Relationships (Lucky Duck Books)

22 Things a Woman Must Know If She Loves a Man with Asperger's Syndrome by Rudy Simone

The Asperger Couple's Workbook: Practical Advice and Activities for Couples and Counsellors by Maxine Aston

Aspergers in Love by Maxine C. Aston

Love, Sex and Long-term Relationships: What People with Asperger Syndrome Really Really Want by Sarah Hendrickx

The Partner's Guide to Asperger Syndrome by Susan Et Al Moreno

Asperger's Syndrome and Sexuality: From Adolescence Through Adulthood by Tony Attwood and Isabelle Henault

Loving Someone with Asperger's Syndrome: Understanding and Connecting with Your Partner by Cindy Ariel

SuziGodson Tue 08-Nov-11 11:37:09

SuziGodson

NessaRose

Hi, my DH and I are both finding sex difficult after a very recent miscarriage. We both feel guilty when we try. Can you give us some tips to overcome this please? Thanks.

Hi NessaRose, Miscarriage is simply devastating and my heart goes out to you. Don't expect things to go back to normal because you are both still feeling bereaved and because sex is all mixed up with the baby you have lot it is only natural that it will be difficult.

I've done a lot of work with Professor Lesley Regan at the recurrent miscarriage unit at St Marys Hospital so I am aware of the impact it can have. I will drop Lesley a line and find out if there are any support groups that might be able to help in this particular context and I will post them here for you tomorrow.

Also, another Mumsnetter - supadoula - has posted a question about miscarriage so do have a look at that response.

Give yourselves time to grieve and take care of each other. And keep in touch if you need any more help. Yours Suzi

Hi NessaRose

I'm afraid I failed to come across any revelatory support for couples who have endured a miscarriage but your hospital should be able to provide you with a counselling service. I am not sure where you live but if you google couple counselling after a miscarriage you will get links to several organisations and then you can work out who is nearest you. Or you can use the find a therapist link at BACP. BACP Seeking a Therapist - Explanation of theoretical approaches
www.bacp.co.uk › Seeking a Therapist

The Miscarriage Association run a helpline and BabyLoss provide information and links to specific support groups.

The Miscarriage Association
www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/
BabyLoss
www.babyloss.com/index.php

Info on men and miscarriage for your Dh
www.pregnancy-info.net/menandmiscarriage_rebuilding_relationship.html

I hope this is in some way useful
Yours Suzi

Cussandroid Tue 08-Nov-11 12:28:47

I can't thank you enough, Suzi - can't believe you found all that so quickly, either! I'll work my way through them.

thanks Thank you.

Cussandroid Tue 08-Nov-11 13:28:05

In fact, I'd also like to thank MNHQ for setting up the webchat, which has proved quite unexpectedly useful to me. smile thanks

SuziGodson Tue 08-Nov-11 18:58:25

SuziGodson

SuziGodson

NessaRose

Hi, my DH and I are both finding sex difficult after a very recent miscarriage. We both feel guilty when we try. Can you give us some tips to overcome this please? Thanks.

I got this back from the clinic today NessaRose

Dear Suzi

Unfortunately Rosemary and I can’t think of any support groups for couples to attend together, although there are support groups for women only to attend. We are aware of a counsellor called Shirlee Kay who has worked for the NHS and has experience seeing women who have experienced pregnancy loss. According to the website (http://www.coupleworks.co.uk/) they offer couple counselling and psychosexual therapy. We are hoping to start a support group for our recurrent miscarriage women in the New Year and have also been discussing how we can best meet the needs of partners so perhaps this is something we can think about.

‘The Miscarriage Association’ (www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk) is a great source of support for women and their partners who have experienced pregnancy loss and they also have a forum which appears to be very popular - there is a recent post on there regarding sex after miscarriage (http://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1600) and I have read numerous posts on there discussing relationship difficulties.

Hope this helps.

Best wishes

Lisa & Rosemary


Lisa Sharpe

Research Midwife

Recurrent Miscarriage Clinic

St Mary's Hospital

Hi NessaRose, Miscarriage is simply devastating and my heart goes out to you. Don't expect things to go back to normal because you are both still feeling bereaved and because sex is all mixed up with the baby you have lot it is only natural that it will be difficult.

I've done a lot of work with Professor Lesley Regan at the recurrent miscarriage unit at St Marys Hospital so I am aware of the impact it can have. I will drop Lesley a line and find out if there are any support groups that might be able to help in this particular context and I will post them here for you tomorrow.

Also, another Mumsnetter - supadoula - has posted a question about miscarriage so do have a look at that response.

Give yourselves time to grieve and take care of each other. And keep in touch if you need any more help. Yours Suzi

Hi NessaRose

I'm afraid I failed to come across any revelatory support for couples who have endured a miscarriage but your hospital should be able to provide you with a counselling service. I am not sure where you live but if you google couple counselling after a miscarriage you will get links to several organisations and then you can work out who is nearest you. Or you can use the find a therapist link at BACP. BACP Seeking a Therapist - Explanation of theoretical approaches
www.bacp.co.uk ? Seeking a Therapist

The Miscarriage Association run a helpline and BabyLoss provide information and links to specific support groups.

The Miscarriage Association
www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/
BabyLoss
www.babyloss.com/index.php

Info on men and miscarriage for your Dh
www.pregnancy-info.net/menandmiscarriage_rebuilding_relationship.html

I hope this is in some way useful
Yours Suzi

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