As every pregnancy is different, with multiple factors that could affect the mother’s body, it is vital to visit the doctor’s office in case of any inconveniences. Being aware of your health state will allow you to adjust your sex life to your current condition and worry less.
Sex during pregnancy is an important topic to explore as people often have many concerns about it. How does pregnancy affect your libido? Does having sex affect a child? How to do it if your belly is everywhere? Can having sex during the last weeks of pregnancy cause precipitous labour? You can come up with many more questions, but it is crucial to know what to ask your gynaecologist in the first place.
What can be contra-indications for sex during pregnancy?
Generally, regular sexual activity is encouraged up to the labor day if the woman is healthy and the baby develops normally, but some severe cases can lead to restrictions.
Sexual activity is undesirable if a woman has toxicosis, a threat of termination of pregnancy (bleeding from the genital tract, abdominal pain), has sexually transmitted infections, multifetal pregnancy, amniotic fluid leakage, or incorrect placenta localisation. However, only the supervising doctor who can adequately assess the situation can recommend limiting sexual contact. For that reason, it is important to schedule regular appointments and ask your gynaecologist about anything you feel you need to know.
What about sex toys?
Pregnancy is perfect for experimenting with sex toys, as long as they are not too large and are made of hypoallergenic materials – for example, medical silicone. Thus, using a dildo will not differ from having penetrative sex, but make sure you always keep it clean before using it.
Due to hormonal changes in a woman’s body, the amount and quality of a natural lubricant being released changes. Many expectant mothers complain of dryness, so do not forget about using lubricants if you are facing such problems. Water or silicone-based hypoallergenic lubricants or eco-lubricants compatible with sex toys should be on the top of your list. Still, you can discuss with your gynaecologist which one will work best for you.
When getting pregnant, you and your partner should pay more attention to foreplay before sex; it’s important to make them longer and more gentle. Unfortunately, for some time after the birth of a child, you will have to forget about having sex. And that is another moment when sex toys can help diversify and prolong the beginning of your private time together.
What if I don’t want to have sex?
Sexual desire during pregnancy may become more intense, or, conversely, weaken. Many pregnant women notice an increase in sensitivity – this is due to changes in their hormones. For some women, pregnancy can open new sensations: some may experience more vivid and intense orgasms than usual, while others, on the contrary, lose interest in sex, as it causes anxiety and irritability.
In the first trimester of pregnancy, many women, in addition to toxicosis, have a drop in testosterone levels. As a result, most women do not want to have sex during this period. In the second trimester, testosterone, which is usually produced only by the adrenal glands and ovaries, begins to be produced by the formed placenta, making it the best time for intimate relationships. By this time, most women get used to their condition and become more relaxed.
From the third trimester, the baby’s body also begins to produce testosterone, leading to an increase in its level in the mother’s body that can increase sexual desire. With that being said, you can see that your low sexual desire may be connected with the trimester you are on or your hormonal levels, or with you just being uncomfortable. You can ask your doctor about your health condition if you are worried about it.
Pregnancies are always linked with lots of abnormal and strange restrictions that, in most cases, are results of myths. The best way to learn what you can and cannot do when pregnant is to schedule an appointment with your gynaecologist and ask them all that bothers you at the moment.
If some questions connected to sex or your body, in general, seem embarrassing or awkward to you, remember that gynaecologists are here to help you and let you learn more about your body, not to judge or condemn you. Your job here is to make sure that your actions, whether it be sex or eating habits, or whatever you have doubts about, will not harm your baby and yourself.
Being pregnant does not mean you cannot be satisfied with your sex life anymore. It only means that you will need to adjust it to your current health state. For that reason, it is crucial to ask questions and listen to the specialist’s advice, and maybe try something you have not tried before!
Peter Wallace has been an advocate for mental health awareness for years. He holds a master’s degree in counselling from the University of Edinburgh.
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