One thing that I would note is that sex and sexuality are very different, and that even if you are not having sexual intercourse, your sexuality can still be expressed.
Your sexual practices during pregnancy will depend on several factors:
- Your previous beliefs about sex
- Your Partner's previous beliefs
- Physical aspects of your pregnancy
- Emotional aspects of your pregnancy
There are many reasons why sex during pregnancy can be more enjoyable, even if your are doing it less. There is an increase in vaginal lubrication, engorgement of the genital area helps some people become orgasmic for the first time or multi-orgasmic, the lack of birth control, or if you have been trying for awhile, a return to sex as pleasure as opposed to procreational, and other reasons.
On the other hand there are reasons why sex might not be as pleasurable: fear of hurting the baby, nausea, fatigue, awkwardness, etc.
Although these can be valid reasons, doing research and talking to your partner and practitioner can often help you clarify what is really inappropriate during pregnancy, particularly for you.
Change is rampant during pregnancy both in your body and your beliefs. While women may feel large and uncomfortable, men generally find the pregnant body very erotic and desirable. Talk about your differences and attitudes towards your body and sexuality.
Make sure that you discuss the feelings that you have about sex and sexuality. These discussions can lead to a more fulfilling sex life. If either of you do not feel like having sex, this can be particularly important. Explain to your partner what is going on and what they can do to help you be sexual. For example: more cuddling, relaxing baths, romantic dinners, massages, mutual masturbation, whatever you and your partner agree upon is exactly what you need.
The hormonal fluctuations of pregnancy also play a part in your reactions to making love, as do the trimesters. Many women are too fatigued and nauseated to be very interested during the first trimester, while the second trimester brings a new sense of delight as her abdomen grows, and again later in the third trimester the desire may wane as well.
"Hmmm...sex during pregnancy...during the first trimester, honestly, I think the sex was more..intimate...the sensations seemed heightened, despite the initial ‘Ohmigosh, are we going to hurt the baby?' Now in the second trimester, it's becoming a little more awkward, especially now that I'm showing. We've had to ...ummm...well...adjust a little bit, position-wise...but the intimacy hasn't changed," says Dee.
Okay, so we know that there are wide variances in who is doing it and when, the big question (No pun intended.) is how?
Creativity should be your keyword during pregnancy. Or more bluntly put, whatever works! There are many sex positions that are more comfortable as you expand. These include:
- Woman on top
- Spooning (Man behind woman, rear entry)
- Hands and Knees
- Side lying, knee pulled up
What are men saying about sex during pregnancy? Most are pleasantly surprised.
Rich says "I haven't noticed a real change in the sex...it was always awesome! The only real difference now is in the position! We've had to accommodate for a growing belly, and as a result we've had to explore a little...but it's been fun exploring."
When not to have sex and/or orgasms during pregnancy:
- Your practitioner has advised against it
- You have a history of premature birth or labor
- Placenta previa (Where part of the placenta is covering the cervix)
- Your water has broken
- Your are currently experiencing bleeding
- You or your partner has an active sexually transmitted disease
"Intercourse was banned after the positive pregnancy test, orgasm was banned at week 15, and ever since week 15 I have been very horny and unable to do anything about it until after the baby is born, which is making me nervous," explains Alison. "The lack of sex really created a distance between me and my husband, and I am afraid we won't get the magic back when there's a newborn baby in the house."
Postpartum sex is a whole other article. However, I will leave you with one thought:
"To me sex was a lot less enjoyable while we were pregnant," remarks Tami. "But, the first time after the babies were born were always awesome! "