More than 3,000 moms-to-be told us what's happening between the sheets. Find out how your pregnancy sex life stacks up—and how you can you can improve it!
How often are moms-to-be having sex? And is it hotter or more complicated when you're pregnant? Forget what you've heard and check out the juicy results of Fit Pregnancy's Pregnancy Sex Survey. More than 3,000 of you spilled about what sex is really like in the bedroom since you conceived. From the good to the bad to the scandalous (a whopping 27% of you have had a racy dream about your ex!), here's what you told us. See how your sex life stacks up, plus keep reading for steamy tips about how you can heat things up between the sheets—from stronger orgasms to the best sex positions as well as surefire ways to get back in the sack if you're feeling too tired. Plus, see how you score on our pregnancy sex quiz! Are you ready?
How many times a month do you have sex?
Why are you having less sex?
- 41% of you say you're too tired.
- 33% My sex drive has gone down
- 22% I feel self-conscious about my changing body
- 21% My partner initiates sex less often
Sex Ed: "I'm too exhausted for sex!"
First, know that this is normal. Fatigue is one of the most common preggo symptoms, often caused by a spike in progesterone (the hormone that keeps your uterine lining cushy for Baby), which can prompt that always-tired feeling; and, later in pregnancy, by the simple fact that your bump makes it tough to get a good night's sleep! But keeping up your sack sessions is an amazing way to stay connected to your partner, says Laura Berman, Ph.D., a sex and relationship therapist in Chicago. Here's how to rev up energy for a romp.
Keep a sex-drive diary. When you find yourself feeling amorous—or even just energetic—jot down the time and a few notes, such as "7 a.m., shower" or "4 p.m., love song on Spotify," Berman says. After a week or so, use any patterns to your advantage; maybe it means creating a bedroom playlist, or inviting your partner to scrub up with you.
Scrutinize your prenatal vitamin. Your desire to sleep, sleep, sleep could be a sign of anemia—which many women develop during pregnancy, says Alyssa Dweck, M.D., an OB-GYN in Mount Kisco, N.Y. Lack of iron is a common trigger; since the iron and calcium in your prenatal compete with each other during absorption in the intestine, you may not be getting enough of either. Ask your doc about supplements.
Eat for energy. Heavy foods leave you feeling sluggish, Berman says—and when was the last time "sluggish" and "hot sex" were used together? Greens and lean proteins are the best bets for Baby's development and your love life.
"‹Your heart pumps up to 50 percent more blood during your bump months, which means there's more coursing through your clitoral region. That explains why nearly a quarter of you told us that you're having stronger orgasms in pregnancy. "Just being pregnant is like unintentional foreplay," Berman says. If your orgasms are the same or less frequent, keep reading to find out how you can heat things up.
How often do you orgasm during sex?
Sex Ed: Stronger Os for all
For those of you who are having the same frequency of orgasms or fewer, capitalize on the extra oomph that pregnancy provides with these tips.
Get his (or your) hands involved: That boosted blood flow is the gift that keeps on giving: Besides engorging your clitoris, it will also trigger more natural lubrication down there—the key to a quicker, stronger climax from manual stimulation.
Focus on your newfound closeness. "So much of the pleasure we derive from sex comes from our brain," Berman says. In other words, think about how you just freakin' made a baby together, and prepare to reach new heights.
Remember—the tough part of babymaking is over. "For couples who tried hard to get pregnant, not having to worry whether this is going to be 'the' time is such a liberation," Dweck says. Toss (or stash) anything related to the stress of conceiving—basal thermometers, ovulation prediction kits—and you'll feel that burden lifted, opening the door for relaxed, playful, climax-to-the-max sex. Just don't wake your neighbors!
With every trimester of preganancy comes a range of new symptoms and experiences—so it's no surprise that your sex life will change, too. While a solid 78% of you first-trimester ladies are just as (or more!) pleased with the quality of your romps now compared to prepregnancy, only 55% of third-trimester women reported feeling the same. It's not just exhaustion that's meddling with your bedroom bliss. "Having sex is harder now! My belly gets in the way," one survey taker told us. An overwhelming number of you agreed: It's once you pop that the fun starts to stop. But there are plenty of ways to adapt—here's how.
Sex Ed: 3 Foolproof Sex Positions for Friskier Business
Here, moms-to-be share what worked for them each trimester—and our sexperts spill on how to up the ante even more.
1st Trimester: "Girl on top. It triggers an orgasm faster than any other position."
Why it works Your belly is still small enough that it's not obstructing the action, and this position gives you and your partner's hands primo access to your extra-sensitive clitoris, Dweck says.
Make it better Be bossy! As your bump grows, you may not feel like climbing on top—so relish in running the show now with some sexy sass.
2nd Trimester: "I'm not sure why, but doggy-style feels better."
Why it works "This position takes uncomfortable pressure off your back and puts good pressure on your pelvic floor and genitals," Berman says.
Make it better This is a great time to try toys, Berman adds—have your partner reach around you with a vibrator for added stimulation.
3rd Trimester: "We went from doggy to spooning because I couldn't be on all fours."
Why it works Your belly is fully supported, and you can shift until you find the most comfortable angle, Berman says.
Make it better Stick with lying on your left side, Berman says. This takes the pressure off your vagus nerve, which runs along your digestive system—some women find when they lie on the their right, they feel dizzy or nauseous. Nothing sexy 'bout that!
What else did we learn from our Sex Survey? You've heard of pregnancy brain, but pregnancy dreams can be pretty wild, too—nearly three-quarters of you told us that your night life has gotten hotter even while you're sleeping. Here's what we learned about what's going on in your head while you sleep, what some of you would be willing to give up to have the baby weight magically disappear after delivery, and the body part that's the most sensitive right now.
Your Racy Dreams, Revealed!
A whopping 73% of you have had NC-17 nighttime reveries while pregnant. Here's who's starring in them:
- 83%—My partner
- 27%—An ex
- 17%—A celebrity
- 6%—A co-worker
- 4%—A friend's partner
- 2%—A neighbor
"‹"I'd be willing to give up sex for the whole nine months in exchange for..."
- 35% Getting my pre-baby body back right after delivery
- 10% No morning sickness
- 1% Feet that fit into my cutest shoes every single day
- 54% None of the above
"My Most Sensitve Body Part? It's...."
22% of you say your vagina is more sensitive than before pregnancy, while 14% of you say your breasts are. Let your partner know!
Getting Any Extra Help in the Bedroom?
24% of you are using sex toys in the bedroom. And good for you! Props are a simple way to spice things up if certain positions are off the table right now.
The Hanky-Panky Facts Every Preggo Needs to Know
Take this quiz, then click to see the correct answers—and compare your score with other moms-to-be!
- Sex can help induce delivery. True or False?
- Sex can hurt the baby. True or False?
- Having sex while pregnant can speed postpartum recovery. True or False?
- Pregnant sex can improve sleep. True or False?
- A blood-like discharge during or after sex while pregnant is usually nothing to worry about. True or False?
Dana Gossett, M.D., chief of general obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, distinguishes nookie myths from reality.
- True "While there's no proof that sex will trigger labor in the moment, studies have shown that women who have sex regularly at term are less likely to go past their due dates, and less likely to require an induction by their obstetrician."
*77% of online survey takers answered correctly!
- False "When pregnancy is proceeding normally, there is no risk to the baby from sexual intercourse. There are a few specific conditions where sex can be dangerous to Baby, such as placenta previa, vasa previa, preterm labor and cervical insufficiency, but your doctor will let you know if you need to abstain from any type of sexual activity."
*97% of online survey takers answered correctly!
- True "Contractions that occur during orgasm help keep the pelvic floor toned and can help speed recovery. However, postpartum sex is a different story. Having sex while your body is still recovering can hinder the healing of tears that many women experience during delivery. It can also put stress on the uterine incision in women who've had a Cesarean. Wait until your obstetrician confirms that everything is healed—usually after six weeks."
*42% of online survey takers answered correctly!
- True "Pregnant or not, the stress relief that sex can bring and the closeness you feel with your partner can both help with sleep."
*87% of online survey takers answered correctly!
- True "It's probably nothing threatening, but it may also herald more serious problems, so always let your obstetrician or midwife know. Better safe than sorry." *50% of online survey takers answered correctly!