It’s a no-brainer that pregnancy is a time filled with many changes, both physical and emotional. But you might not know that there’s also going to be a whole lot of changes that can affect both your desire for sex and the pleasure that you get from it. So even though you might not be able to have a glass of wine anymore, the good news is that if you’re having a healthy pregnancy, there’s no reason why you can’t continue to enjoy sex during pregnancy– if that’s what you want to do. Cheers to that!
If you’re pregnant and have been feeling in the mood more than usual, or if your pregnant partner is giving you extra attention lately, this could be why.
It's all in the hormones
When women reach puberty, the pituitary gland located in the brain signals to the body to begin producing sex hormones. These hormones help women to ovulate and menstruate, as well as giving us the desire to have sex. So, when it comes to wanting more or less sex during pregnancy, it’s mainly down to hormones.
To support you and your growing bump, the body increases the amount of progesterone and oestrogen in the bloodstream. The rising levels of these hormones helps to increase the amount of blood flow to the pelvic area, as well as increasing lubrication in the vagina. These mighty hormones can also increase sensitivity in the breasts and nipples.
How pregnancy can affect sex drive
These same hormones and their fluctuations affect how sex feels and how much you want it. Generally speaking (and everyone’s different!) most women feel very tired in the first trimester, and are dealing with morning sickness to boot, meaning sex is not high up on the priority list.
But the second trimester can sometimes bring with it an energy boost and make you feel extra horny. So, as your belly continues to grow, so might your libido.
No two women and no two pregnancies are the same though, so even if you didn’t feel like it at all in your first pregnancy, you might discover a strong desire in your next. Or, your body might go in a whole other direction during the second trimester – one that leads straight to the fridge, not the bedroom!
Sex positions during pregnancy
Here are some comfortable sex positions during pregnancy that will give you and your partner freedom to play.
Spooning sex: This position helps to support your belly whilst also giving you the full support of the bed. You and your partner cuddle each other facing in the same direction, while your partner enters you from behind.
The Cowgirl: This upright position is great because it allows you to control the pace and depth of penetration as well as not putting any weight on your growing bump.
Leap Frog: This position is like doggy style but with one major difference, you rest your arms and head on the mattress, which provides you with further support to hold up the weight of your stomach.
Sex during pregnancy is good for you
We already know that sex is good and has lots of mental and physical health benefits, but it turns out that there are some added pros of having sex during pregnancy.
As well as being a great way to show some love for your new shape and enjoy the changes to your body, it’s a great time to explore, as you might want to try new sex positions during pregnancy. And whilst, as a growing woman you might feel large and uncomfortable, everyone else is going to find your changing body amazing and beautiful, with added curves around the hips, breasts and stomach to appreciate.
On top of the usual boost in feel-good hormones and being a great way to bond with your partner, sex can also help get you to get ready for labour. This is because semen contains prostaglandins, which can help your cervix to develop.
Having sex and orgasms near to the end of your pregnancy can help to strengthen the muscles in your uterus and keep them in good shape before you go into labour. Some women also find that their orgasms are more frequent and stronger than before. So, if you don’t usually orgasm you could be in for a pleasant surprise!
Remember that it’s always good to communicate clearly with your partner and let them know exactly how you feel about sex during pregnancy. This will allow the two of you to come to a meeting of minds, as well as bodies! It’s also important to keep in mind that every woman’s experience of pregnancy is different and unique to her and whatever is right for you is right for you.
Here’s to a healthy and satisfying pregnancy!
Sex should be avoided in pregnancy if advised so by the doctor or mid wife, if water has broken or if you experience heavy bleeding.