It's not hard to recognize that sex can be important in a relationship. But after having kids, who can even think about that three letter word? I'm a huge advocate for continuing your sex life after having kids, but I can attest to the fact that it's hard. Whether you're exhausted, covered in baby poop, or just too busy putting a little one back to bed eight times a night, sex after baby sounds like mythology. But it's not just your mind that's affected — there are some things that happen to your body when you stop having sex after kids because sex literally has no chill.
OK, maybe it has a little chill. Like the Netflix and chill variety. But in general, the pressure is on to have sex, no matter what point you're at in a relationship. Once you have kids though, sex can feel like it's at the bottom of your priority list. And why wouldn't it? Despite the overwhelming benefits of sex for parents, it also requires a lot fromyou. Like energy, time, and a healthy libido. You may find that all three are seriously lacking when you spend most of your days wiping tiny butts and trying to get it all done. But you may notice these 11 things happening to your body when you stop having sex after kids over any psychological ramifications. If you just don't feel like sex, I totally get it, but I promise you that one day your energy will totally come back. (Like when your kids move out.)
1You Lose Interest In Sex
You'd think that when you're in a post-baby sex drought, you'd get more turned on by the littlest things and want sex. Not necessarily the case. Sex therapist Sari Cooper told Brides that when you're having frequent sex, you're more erotically aware, making your libido increase. So the longer you go without it? The less you want it.
2You Catch All Your Kid's Nasty Daycare Colds
Ugh, there's nothing like a kid in your house to remind you that germs suck and so does your immune system. But without regular sex? You're just perpetuating the need for a box of Kleenex. According to research, those who have frequent sex also have a higher level of salivary immunoglobulin a (IgA), an antibody that helps defend your body against viruses.
3You Don't Cover Your Sheets In Milk
Alright, this is a total perk. You're prone to leak breast milk when you're having sex because oxytocin, the hormone present when you're having an orgasm, is also responsible for letting down your milk. Without sex, there's less of a chance of you dousing your sheets in warm milk and needing to change the bedding before sleep.
4You'll Need Lubricant
If you're experiencing vaginal dryness after having a baby, then this one already applied to you even with frequent sex. But not having sex can also cause you to need to stock up on lubricant. According to Women's Health, regular sexual activity increases lubrication because of the blood flow to your genitals.
5You Forget All The Snacks For Soccer Practice
As if having a kid didn't already screw up your brain and memory, now your dry spell is causing more problems. Studies have shown that sexual activity can increase the growth of new neurons in your hippocampus, which is responsible for long-term memories, and improves mental performance.
6You're Stressed Over Everything
Finding yourself even more stressed than usual? You can blame your life as a mother and your lack of sex. One study found that those who participated in intercourse had a better stress response in situations like public speaking than those who had some sort of sexual activity, including masturbation. Sex can also lower your blood pressure, so it makes even more sense why your body feels on edge without it.
7You Might Get More Sleep
According to Self, sex can actually help you sleep, but without it, you might even get more. Let's be honest, good sex can take time, especially if you haven't had it in a while, and you can use that time to sleep, am I right?
8You'll Feel More Pain
The aches and pains of parenthood are very real, especially when you're toting children around and trying to be the best little league coach ever. Sex can actually lower your threshold of pain, so without it, you might feel all of those back spasms and headaches even more than usual. One study found that the pain tolerance threshold increased in women by 74.6 percent when their vagina was stimulated and the pain detection threshold increased by 106.7 percent.
9You're Touched Out For All The Wrong Reasons
I never understood the term "touched out" until I had a toddler that needed to be touching me, sitting on me, or near me at all times. It can actually make you less likely to want sex, so now you're touched out without any of the pleasure. Bummer.
10Your Vagina Doesn't Become Virginal
So many women panic about the state of their vagina after childbirth, but not having sex doesn't help it. OB-GYN Tracy Hicks told Bustle that the elasticity of your vagina doesn't change when you're not having sex, so if you were thinking it would magically turn back into the vagina you had at 18, pre-childbirth and all, you're mistaken.
11You Remain 100 Percent Not Pregnant
Fist pump, am I right? Hey! If you're not having sex after having your kid, you can guarantee one major thing — you won't be giving your little one a sibling.