to identify and describe men’s experiences of sexuality after having a child.
a qualitative study using an interpretative phenomenological approach for analysing in-depth interviews.
purposeful sampling was used. 12 men were interviewed six to 13 months after having a child. Informants were men who became fathers for the first time or had already fathered a child.
a mid-sized town located in the centre of Sweden.
four themes became apparent; a new way of closeness due to non-existing sexuality immediately after birth, an expression of sexuality influenced by the consequences of caring for a child, the expression of love and consideration taking priority over sexual activities, and the father’s expression of sexuality being limited by the lack of reciprocation from the partner.
after having a child, the expression of sexuality became subjective to the change in circumstances. Sexuality itself was not experienced any differently, but the expression of sexuality for the fathers was modified depending on how the circumstances presented themselves. Sexuality was extended to different avenues of expression where a sense of belonging evolved and a display of love and affection preceded sexual activities.
Implications for practice
it is important that health care professionals are aware that as sexuality can have various avenues of expression after having a child it is important to not only focus on providing information regarding sexual activities. Fathers should be involved in discussions about possible circumstances affecting sexuality to be able to prepare accordingly.
Kidlington, UK: Churchill Livingstone , 2011. Vol. 27, no 5, e149-e155 p.