Sex and Pregnancy

Posted on: March 22, 2021 | Health, Love, Pregnancy, Relationships

The night before was amazing. Claudia and Channing hadn’t had an intimate night together since Claudia had gotten confirmation of her pregnancy. Between the morning sickness, emotional roller coaster of being pregnant, and her hectic work schedule, Claudia’s energy (and sex drive) were missing. But last night, the mood was set perfectly and the timing was just right. Channing had sparked a flame in Claudia, and she was all in.  Sex in pregnancy, was quite the enjoyable surprise.

Changes in Libido

During pregnancy changes in hormones affect many parts of the body, and the libido is not exempt. In early pregnancy (6-12 weeks), there is not a significant change in sextual arousal. In fact, 20% of pregnant individuals notice a decrease in their libidos. This is often due to morning sickness, sensitivity in the breast and genital areas, and fear of loss of the baby. 

Sex drive in pregnancy resurfaces. In fact, many find that their sex drive has magnified during the second trimester (13-28 weeks). This could be attributed to regaining energy that was lost during the first trimester. Watching a growing bump begin to surface also brings a new glowing look to the body. One-fifth of women have experienced an orgasm for the first time while pregnant  

In general as the third trimester rolls around, a decrease in libio may occur as the body becomes more uncomfortable to position. Maneuvering can become increasingly difficult with a bigger belly. Additionally, an increase of can contractions brought on by oxytocin that an orgasam brings may bring the risk of going into labor sooner. 

For most, various changes in libido, either increasing or decreasing, throughout their pregnancy is completely normal and quite commonly expected. If their appears or feels like a BIG shift in hormonal changes surrounding sex drive, this is a great time to talk with a care provider and share the concerns. 

Hormones that Influence Sex Drive in Pregnancy

The “3 Musketeers” of hormones that drive the libido are estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. The balance (or imbalance) of these hormones drive sexual desires into overdrive or let up on the gas. Estrogen allows the body to produce natural lubrication which increases arousal. This hormone aids in the reproductive development that occurs during puberty. 

Progesterone is produced by the ovaries, adrenal glands, and the placenta. This hormone prepares the body for pregnancy and increases during ovulation.  A low level of progesterone can lead to pregnancy complications. 

While the hormone testosterone is typically associated with males, there is a trace of testosterone in the female body. This hormone affects menstruation, fertility, and libido to name a few.

Suggestions for Overcoming Low Sex Drive

There are some ways that one can overcome a low sex drive in pregnancy. Depending on the culprit, be it medical or personal, evaluate what is causing the low desire for intimacy. Medically, it could be that your body’s balance is off hormonally. Discuss this concern with your care provider and evaluate options. 

On the personal level, there may be aspects emotionally, relationship-wise, or lifestyle-wise that may be affecting the sex drive. For the emotional aspect surrounding intimacy, depending on the severity talking with a therapist for a safe place to open communications. Relationships have a way of inhibiting arousal. If the relationship lacks communication, respect, and attraction, it’s expected that there could be an impact in libido especially during pregnancy. Make plans for intimacy! Schedule a date, reenact a favorite intimate moment in the relationship, do something together that reminds you of when you first fell in love. Open up the lines of communication.

Take it sloooow…or move it fast! Be in the moment of the arousal. With heightened sex drives spiking in the 2nd trimester, give into those moments of passion and desire when they surface. 

Communication between Partners is Essential

Speaking of communication, the saying “communication is key” is true! Communicating what your wants, needs, and desires are sexually helps propel a healthy intimate relationship. This goes for both parties. Not every steamy encounter has to give Fifty Shades of Grey and a run for the money. Maybe a Nooner or a bathroom quickie will do the job at that moment. Buuuuut…how would your partner know? With everything going on in the unknown realm of pregnancy and parenthood, sex shouldn’t have to be a guessing game. Ask and you shall receive, they say! 

What’s your love language? What’s your partner’s love language? Knowing how to attune with what makes someone feel loved and want to give love, is another great way to funnel in on the prize. 

It had been a while since Claudia indulged in her intimate desires. She was grateful for Channing and their relationship. He had expressed himself on how he felt they had become disconnected from each other. Their love created the little bean growing inside Claudia, and he wanted to be sure that Claudia felt his love for her as well. His decision to express himself that night, opened up a new realm of intimacy for the both of them.