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Making and expecting a baby: how to prepare a couple for the new sexual challenges


Speaker: Woet Gianotten

Content and aim:

Dan and Mary were very happy when, after trying for 1½ year, finally conception took place. Travelling through the pregnancy and the postpartum months they grew towards happy parenthood, but in the meantime, they also lost their loverhood.

This webinar will address the sexual and intimacy aspects of the various stages from “trying to conceive” via pregnancy, delivery, post-partum, and lactation to “young parenthood”. The experience of the Johnson couple will serve as leitmotiv to explain relevant elements of sexual and reproductive physiology and show how things can go wrong.

Solutions and Recommendations. The webinar will address “How to deal with disturbances?” but cover also prevention strategies to minimize sexual damage (from sexual aspects of preconception to post-partum ‘intimate masturbation’).


Woet Gianotten is a retired MD-psychotherapist (emeritus Senior Lecturer in Medical Sexology at the University Medical Centres of Utrecht and Rotterdam, the Netherlands). In the first part of his medical career he was trained in surgery and obstetrics and worked for 5½ yrs in West and East Africa. When intern to become a gynecologist, he discovered the then new and fascinating field of sexology, which made him switch career and become a sexologist. In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s the field of ‘sexual medicine’ didn’t exist yet and the sexologist was supposed to cover every sexual problem. Partly because his medical background and partly because of the emotional burden of the tsunami of sexual abuse we had in the period 1982-1995, he left ‘common sexology’ and focused on ‘medical sexology’ (where chronic diseases, physical impairment, cancer and medical interventions are important factors both in the development and in the maintaining of sexual disturbances). For two decades he has been co-developing the field of oncosexology and of physical rehabilitation sexology. Whereas he was teaching for several decades on ‘aging and sexuality’, the current changes in society and his own aging made him aware of the importance of this area, which he now calls: ‘gerontosexology’. He tends to look for trails where most professionals don’t go. Those are partly diseases where nobody yet appeared to address sexuality. An example is ‘Hemophilia and sexuality’. There are also sexual unmet needs in areas because they are surrounded with taboo. One example is ‘Sexuality at the end of life’. Another example are the dating and sexual needs of people who are physically so impaired that they cannot find a partner or somebody for a sexual encounter. That is the area asking for medically trained sex workers. At the start of 2018 he stopped working with patients in physical rehabilitation. Since then he is fully concentrating on various aspects of teaching. He has expertise in the areas of: • Oncosexology • Physical rehabilitation sexology • Sexual problems in chronic diseases • Gerontosexology • Reproduction sexology with focus on (in-)fertility and pregnancy.

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