If fears about ‘doing it’ are stressing you out, here’s what you need to know.
One minute, the sight of your partner makes you want to put him out with the weekly garbage; the next, you might want to play a couple of rounds of naked Twister. Par for the course during pregnancy.
See, as your estrogen and progesterone levels rise, they cause changes in your body that boost libido. Estrogen in particular, which serves such pregnancy-related functions as boosting blood flow to your uterus (and to your entire pelvis), also increases vaginal lubrication and heightens sensitivity in your breasts and nipples.
It’s a righteous recipe for romance. But the same hormones can also conspire against you, especially in the beginning when nausea and fatigue can send you to bed for an entirely different reason. And toward the end, you may just feel too huge, unwieldy and, again, tired. (That’s why months four to six or so are often called the “honeymoon” trimester.)
So where does that leave you? The X factor in the sex equation is the relationship between your changing moods and your changing body: Just as every woman’s pregnancy is unique, so is every pregnant woman’s sex drive. If your spirit is willing but fears or misinformation are holding you back, this advice can help you relax.
Sex is usually safe
If you do want to have sex, embrace the ubiquitous three-word Nike slogan. As long as your pregnancy is progressing normally, you can have sex as often as you like (some exceptions may include a history of miscarriage or preterm labor).
Be aware that it’s pretty common for some women to experience bleeding during intercourse, especially in the first trimester. This is caused by the normal swelling of capillaries in the cervix, which can burst when irritated during sex. While such spotting or bleeding is generally nothing to worry about, you should still mention it to your doctor or midwife.
What’s more, there’s typically no chance of hurting the baby during sex because the amniotic fluid and your cervix protect him. But one caution: If you have oral sex, your partner should not blow air into your vagina, as during pregnancy this can cause an air bubble to block a blood vessel.