The general recommendations from doctors is that if you want to have sex, if you feel like having sex and your partner is similarly inclined, then go for it… as long as there are no medical reasons for you not to, of course. A healthy sex life is a major component of a couple’s relationship and it brings its own benefits in enhancing communication and feelings of intimacy and connection.
But I don’t feel like it
Most couples find their interest in sex decreases over the course of pregnancy. Finding a suitable arrangement that suits both individuals can be challenging, but is not impossible. The key is to communicate and talk honestly about how you feel. During pregnancy is when a lot of couples experiment with sexual alternatives and find that oral sex can be as equally satisfying as penetrative sex.
Sex in the first trimester
Many pregnant women find they lose interest in sex in their first trimester. Their pregnancy symptoms can be so overwhelming that just the thought of exerting more energy is too much. Combined with nausea, heartburn, urinary frequency and other pregnancy symptoms, it doesn’t make the scenario exciting. But sit tight. For many couples, the sex drive resumes in second and third trimesters and they make it up then.
Note: If conceiving has been difficult for you, you’ve had any bleeding or have miscarriage threat; you will understandably be hesitant to do anything that could potentially lead to problems.
Sex in the second trimester
In the second trimester, early pregnancy symptoms tend to settle. Many women find their libido returns and with it a renewed interest in sexual activity. You could find your breasts are still much too tender to be touched and your genitals so engorged and swollen. This can mean a relatively quick arousal time and increased intensity of sexual response.
During the second trimester, there is also a settling down of hormone levels and you and your partner will have had some time to get used to the fact that you are pregnant. You’ll probably find you have more energy generally and feel less nauseated than you did when first pregnant. All of these factors can contribute towards a renewed interest in sex and its different forms.
Sex in the third trimester
Your body image is likely to change in the last 3 months of your pregnancy. You may feel unattractive or just plain awkward. Many women develop stretch marks and gain a lot of weight, causing them to feel self conscious about their physical appearance.
But pregnancy can also be a time of great beauty, especially for men who come to view their pregnant partner as almost irresistible. Many men find their partner’s darkened nipples, full rounded tummy and bigger hips very sexy. They are turned on by their partner’s almost overt display of fertility and this can appeal to a man’s biological senses. Others see their pregnant partner in a more motherly, nurturing way. They feel that having sex would somehow be violating this almost pure sense of her.
Many pregnant women find their libido diminishes as they near their due date. They can so preoccupied about preparing for the baby and ensuring they get enough rest and sleep that they simply are not interested in having sex. It is important for partners to recognise this disinterest as being normal and not interpret it as a rejection. After all, it is the sex that she isn’t keen on, not him, the person.
A word on positioning
When your pregnant belly starts to act as its own barrier method, it may be time to start thinking a little more laterally about different sexual positions. Lying flat on your back won’t be the most comfortable way to lie and besides, it’s not recommended for you or the baby. So give these options a try. Remember to do what feels comfortable and what will give both you and your partner optimum pleasure:
- Both of you lying on your sides with your partner behind you. This is commonly known as spooning. This position may be more comfortable if you feel your cervix is lying low in your vagina and you want to avoid deep penetration because it is uncomfortable.
- You sitting on top of your partner and being able to control the depth of penetration and the speed of movements. Some women worry that their weight, combined with the baby’s is going to cause their partner some sort of rupture. This is highly unlikely and besides, he will probably give you some sort of warning anyway.
- Your partner on top of you but not so that all of his weight is pushing down on your tummy. The baby is likely to protest even if you don’t. Get him to support most of his weight on his hands or forearms. He’ll be getting a work out then too.
- You could try lying with your bottom on the edge of the bed, knees bent, with your feet resting on either side of your bottom. Yes, you’ll wish you kept up the yoga for this one! Your partner does his thing by kneeling or standing in front of you.
- You kneeling with your back to your partner and leaning over the back of the couch or your bed head. He enters you from behind. Don’t look at those walls which need cleaning, it is not the point of this particular exercise.
It will pay to have a sense of humour about your love making activities when you are pregnant. Try to just accept that it isn’t the time to be too critical about yourself or the way your body is working. There are usually biological reasons for why our bodies respond as they do, even if we don’t always understand them.