The fear of pregnancy is ruining my sex life

What you need to know:

I am now married to a loving man and would like to start a family. The problem is, I still have fear of getting pregnant. Whenever we are intimate, the moment I think about getting pregnant, I lose interest

Growing up, I would watch my mother suffer through most of her pregnancies. After giving birth, she would tell me about the pain during childbirth and to me, these stories were scary and put me off ever having children. However, I am now married to a loving man and would like to start a family. The problem is, I still have fear of getting pregnant. Whenever we are intimate, the moment I think about getting pregnant, I lose interest. I do not want to tell my husband since he might freak out and break up with me. Please help because this fear is ruining my sex life.


Dear Anonymous,

This sounds stressful on your side and I am sorry about what you are going through. In as much as pregnancy is exciting to some people because they are looking forward to seeing a new life created through them, for some, it may only trigger painful memories such as in your case.

Since you are a married woman, it is likely that your husband might be interested in having children even when it is a fearful experience for you.

What I understand from your story is that this fear is triggered by the stories that your mother shared with you about childbirth. It is normal for you to feel like this since this is the picture that was painted for you from childhood.

Psychologists say children learn through modelling and it is important to instill the right behaviours in them while they are still in their formative years and it will stick for good.

We may not blame your mother since she shared what she knew and from her experience. It could be that her mother told her the same stories as well. As a child, this was stored in your subconscious mind and it is triggered whenever you are intimate with your partner.

The good news is that you are self-aware and this is one step to healing. Take another step and meet a professional counsellor to help you reprocess this childhood trauma. This might take time but it is worth you doing it first to unlock your brain from irrational fears.

Meanwhile, much as pregnancy may be painful, it is different for everybody and there are specialists in this area who can educate you more.

The other important step is to approach your husband with an open mind. Speak assertively to him.

Being assertive in your relationship will make you be seen/heard because then your partner knows exactly how you feel.

Consider couple therapy as well. It can improve communication with your partner and define expectations and also build trust in your relationship.

Remember, no relationship is perfect and individuals in a relationship often have their own sets of fears and insecurities that they can work on with their partners with time and consistent efforts.

Reader advice

You are not alone

Jimmy Wester. First of all thanks for speaking out. That alone shows you have accepted that you need help.Many women fear the pain of child birth. Truth is, they have heard about it from different women and, therefore, come to that conclusion. However, if you are a Christian, the Bible says we received not the spirit of fear but of boldness. Fear in itself is not of God. That is Satan trying to keep you captive by the fears he implants into your heart. Share your fear with your husband and seek professional help together. In all this, remember God is with you and for you. He does not condemn you in any way.

Differentiate myths,facts

Martin Ssebyala. The problem comes when you fail to differentiate myths from facts. During childhood, we were told sex is bad and that playing with someone of the opposite gender is wrong. Your mother used to tell you about the pain of childbirth but did you ever ask her why she would still go through the same pain again and again? Getting pregnant is a pain everyone loves, same like the pain you get during and after gym, it hurts but if it does not hurt, then you know you are not getting any results.

Try other ways

Patrick Kajubi. Many couples decide that the pressure of conceiving is not doing wonders for their sex life or their relationship. This is as valid a reason to seek an alternative route to achieving a pregnancy as any, if it is consistent with your values. Options are wonderful. If you love your partner and want to be a parent, there are many options. If the timing of working on your sex life does not align with your family planning goals, you can be committed to resolving both problems, in either order. Your doctors can help you.

Experience the joy

Jane Charles. Getting pregnant and having a baby is the best thing that can happen to any woman. The journey is not easy but when you hold your baby and see the joy they bring, you will not even remember the pain you went through.

Seek professional help

Joselyn Jojo. Seek professional help and speak to your husband about what you are going through. He is your husband and together, you will be able to find a solution to this problem.

It is a good experience

Claire Ojanji. You need counselling so that you can be able to conquer your fear. Some childhood memories can torture you and affect your mental health for life. If some women had a choice of selecting gender, they would choose to be men. But this should not be the case since giving birth is a fulfilling experience you should yearn to go through.

Being a mother is a gift

Mariam Namanda. Giving birth is painful. Being a mother is not easy. However, being a mother is a gift. Some women want to be mothers but do not have the opportunity. Embrace your fears with positivity. Children are adorable.

Evelyn is a counselling psychologist with Sermotherapy Counselling Foundation.


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