Pregnant Sex | Fit Pregnancy

Pregnant Sex

Pregnant Sex

When I was asked to write about sex during pregnancy, I was thrilled. What a great service I could provide, I surmised, especially since I’d already been down that road twice. Now if only I could remember what having sex was like. I’m kidding. Your sex life will continue but, like the rest of your life, it will change. While pregnant sex varies from couple to couple, here’s what I hear most often.

Endless Love

My libido increases greatly when I’m pregnant, and I try to have sex as often as possible.”
Judy T., mother of three

“Seeing my wife’s changing shape and knowing that the baby in her belly was a product of our love made my desire for her grow.”
— John K., father of two

“When I’m pregnant, I feel more womanly, feminine and sexual. I like being full and round. Luckily, my husband likes me that way, too.”
Abby C., mother of four

Lacking in Libido

Lacking-in-Libido

Many women experience changes in their sex drive during pregnancy--increased and decreased libidos are both common. That said, take a look at any circumstances, past or present, that may be putting a damper on your desire. For instance, have you experienced any vaginal bleeding or been at risk for preterm labor? Did intercourse during your last pregnancy initiate contractions? Or how about the fact that this time around, you are the mother of a young child and are likely exhausted?

Nonexistent Libido

Nonexistent-Libido

One of the most common reasons for decreased interest in sex on the part of either a pregnant woman or father-to-be is fear that intercourse will hurt the baby. I'm always happy to reassure my patients that with rare exceptions, a couple can enjoy sex throughout pregnancy. Natural lubrication should not be a problem, and orgasms are perfectly safe.

Hormones can affect your sex drive, too. Pregnancy triggers constant high levels of estrogen and progesterone, both of which suppress the production of testosterone, a vital hormone where libido is concerned.

Ready for Sex?

Ready-for-Sex

No. "It takes at least three to six months for your genitals to get back to normal," says Laura Berman, Ph.D., director of the Berman Center in Chicago and co-author of For Women Only (Henry Holt & Co.). A perineal tear or episiotomy can cause a tight feeling in the vagina, which can persist even after the site has healed (usually four to six weeks after a vaginal birth). To help combat the tightness, you or your partner can gently stretch the area using fingers that have been well lubricated with K-Y Ultragel or Astroglide (available at drugstores).

Mind Your Relationship

Whatever your life was like as a couple, pregnancy changes it irrevocably. Your focus, once centered on just you two, zooms in on the coming baby. So begins the transition to parenthood, an experience that can strengthen your bond as a couple if you communicate and nurture your relationship.

6 Ways To Keep Your Marriage Intact

1. Address marital conflicts before baby arrives. Issues that spark small disagreements before baby comes can cause all-out arguments when you add stress and sleep deprivation to the equation.

When You're Ready for Sex but He Isn't

The cliche among the new-parent set is that men always want sex and women never do. But believe it or not, some fathers are not exactly chomping at the bit after the baby arrives.

Giving Birth Won't Spoil Your Sex Life

Some women worry that having a vaginal delivery might wreak havoc on their long-term ability to enjoy sex. However, a new study has found that the method of delivery--vaginal, Cesarean or vaginal with forceps or vacuum--appears to have little impact on sexual activity one year after childbirth. But the study did find that a woman's sex life before delivery predicted what it would be like afterward.

Sex Inducing Labor

Sex-Inducing-Labor

You might be referring to a recent report that intercourse hastens labor in full-term pregnancies and reduces the need for inductions. But another study, published just weeks earlier, showed completely opposite findings. "As these studies demonstrate, we still aren't sure if intercourse triggers labor," says Sean S. Daneshmand, M.D., clinic director of maternal-fetal medicine at the San Diego Perinatal Center at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women, who wasn't involved in either study.

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