No interest in sex since son born

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Ever since I had my 3 year old son I have no interest in having sex with my husband. Before having my son I wanted to have sex numerous times a day but since I can’t stand the idea of my husband touching me. I can’t even stand to talk about sex with my husband. I don’t want him looking at me when I am not clothed and my whole body and mind seems to shut down when he tries to initiate sex. I don’t understand what has happened to me or know what to do to fix it b/c this is really putting stress on our relationship. I have been taking Effexor XR for depression for about a year. Would this have anything to do with my problem? Please help me, I’m afraid my marriage of 4 months is going to end if I can’t change the way I feel about sex. I did have a tremendous weight gain with my pregnancy and have not lost a lot of it. I am the heaviest I’ve ever been.

A: This situation must be very, very painful to both you and your husband. I’m so glad you wrote. The answer isn’t simple. You didn’t say when the depression started or why you began taking Effexor. I’m concerned that you may have had postpartum depression initially or that your hormone levels never settled down after giving birth. It’s possible that either you aren’t being treated for the right thing or, if you are, that the side effects aren’t worth the benefits. Among the listed side effects of Effexor XR are weight gain and loss of sexual interest.

I suggest you return to your doctor. Get a referral to an endocrinologist to evaluate hormone levels. If your PCP is prescribing the anti-depressant, please get a referral to a psychiatrist too. Psychiatrists specialize in psychopharmacology. You may not be on the right dose or you may be one of the people who can’t tolerate Effexor.

Meanwhile, the treatment of choice for depression is a combination of talk therapy and medication. If you aren’t already seeing a therapist, please consider adding one to your treatment team so that you get some solid support while you explore what is amiss and perhaps gain some new insights into what is going on.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 4 Feb 2009

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2009). No interest in sex since son born. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 25, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/02/04/no-interest-in-sex-since-son-born/