OP: Sex and Pregnancy
A few have suggested “sex during pregnancy” as a topic. It is a good one. I can only advise from a medical perspective as I have no children. My partner is a mid-wife and is the mother of a teen aged boy. I see pregnant patients every day.
Medically, there is no reason to abstain from sex during pregnancy. This assumes a normal pregnancy with no history of miscarriages or difficult pregnancies. In either of those cases, talk to your doctor because advice over the internet is inappropriate.
Women, and men, react to pregnancy very individually. Some women become more interested in sex and actually increase their activity during pregnancy. Others cannot stand the thought of sex. There are both physical and psychological reasons for these reactions. The hormones are changing and this sets off the different desires. Yesterday I saw two pregnant women. One said, “Thank God I am pregnant, now I won’t to have to contend with sex for nine months.” The other said, “I am pregnant and horny as hell.”
In addition to the hormones causing a direct change in sex drive, the chemistry of the vagina changes. There is increased blood flow to the lower pelvis and many women have increased drainage of what normally would be the lubrication produced during sexual arousal. Some women find this distention and draining uncomfortable and others find it stimulating. Not unlike with menstrual sex, some of us like it better and some cannot even think about it.
A pattern that is often seen is during the first trimester (morning sickness, swelling and tenderness of breasts, general discomfort) sex is not desired. After the early symptoms pass, a normal frequency is resumed and the middle trimester often yields a normal sex life. The third trimester is characterized by the discomfort of increased weight, decreased mobility and a generally crowded condition in there. Some women would simply rather not continue sex; others, need to find some creative positions.
Throughout pregnancy, the missionary position with the man on top becomes less comfortable. For the first six months, female superior positions are preferred. During the third trimester, this becomes hard on the knees and may not be comfortable for either partner. A good position has the woman on her back so that she can relax and not be supporting excess weight. By draping her legs over the man (on his side), neither partner is placing undue weight or pressure on the other. This position also makes the woman’s genitals accessible to either one for additional stimulation. I really like this position because I can stimulate myself while feeling the man inside me and usually have an orgasm with him in me. That is even while not pregnant! Because of the changing shape of the lower belly, this additional stimulation may be very desirable, even necessary, for the woman who still has the urge.
There is a common old wives’ tale regarding the danger of orgasm during pregnancy. In a healthy woman with a normal pregnancy, the orgasm offers no threat. Most of the muscle contractions during orgasm are not the uterus. The sphincters provide most of the contraction and the exterior anal sphincter is the strongest and most powerful muscle involved. That is one reason that many of us enjoy anal stimulation during sex – it increases these muscle’s (there are two of them, one essentially inside the other) involvement and enhances the power of the orgasm. I particularly enjoy rimming and can have wonderful orgasms with all the stimulation focused around the anus. During pregnancy, the contraction of this muscle need not change and will do no damage. The biggest problem here will be with the prevalence of hemorrhoids during pregnancy, finger penetration would be uncomfortable.
The urethral sphincters (three of them) and the vaginal sphincters (a whole muscle group) all typically participate in orgasm. These, too, can contract strongly doing no damage. There is record of the uterus, itself, contracting during orgasm but studies of this have yielded mixed results of the importance of uterine contractions. Few women experience decreased orgasmic satisfaction after a hysterectomy. Patients have told me they feel no difference in orgasmic contraction without the uterine contractions. During pregnancy, the uterine contractions will be flutters, if anything, because the muscle is so distended.
Some men are very turned on by a pregnant female body and some find the sight revolting. The male reaction can have a large effect on female response. Too often, each partner tries to ignore the whole thing and we all have heard stories of men straying during pregnancy. They probably would anyway but the pregnancy and the undesirability of the pregnant wife become an excuse. Other men may seek to avoid sexual contact through being overly considerate. For the woman who wants sex, this is frustrating and makes her feel unattractive. At a minimum, these issues need to be talked about. The male libido continues and, even for women who lose interest, it is worth keeping him satisfied. Perhaps this is a good time to recall all the hand techniques we learn as teens – only improve upon them. Perhaps oral, in both directions, will be the most satisfying.
But, do not call off the game because an earlier experience was biologically very successful!!
Posted: 30 Sep 20:23