Pregnancy is an exciting period of immense change. But, did you know that ‘expecting' can also be a phase of major desire? As her body transforms to bring new life to the world, a woman can experience incredible arousal and intense receptiveness to physical stimulation. We'll explain what happens to her sex drive as she advances through the three stages of fertile development. We'll also discuss the importance of self-pleasuring and how it cultivates a deeper connection within a female's changing body.
Pregnancy can affect a woman's libido by intensifying her response to physical touch and sexual stimulation. Much of this is brought about by a surge in the production of pregnancy hormones. This effect will introduce many changes in a woman's physical and emotional state.
She will notice differences to her body early on in her pregnancy: morning sickness; bouts of extreme tiredness; weight gain; breast tenderness, sensitivity and engorgement; an increase in blood flow throughout the reproductive regions; a sense of pelvic fullness; and that genitals feel sensitive and engorged.
She'll also become aware of changes to her state of mind. Once women are pregnant, they can become more vulnerable to mood fluctuations and suffer an inability to concentrate. Some experience a euphoric sense of well-being, whereas others feel self-conscious and uncomfortable with the changes happening to their bodies. She might also feel nervousness mixed with excitement, which many mom's-to-be experience. Some women experience a sense of sexual liberation because they no longer have to worry about ‘getting' pregnant; this can have a very positive impact on their sex lives, as they are free of anxiety and can just enjoy sex.
Once you're expecting, what worked for your love life in the past goes out the window. Sensations that used to drive a woman wild during pre-pregnancy days could completely irritate her today. This section will explain how she's feeling at every stage of her development; we'll also provide advice to tackle each trimester.
This is the period when women begin to adapt to the changes taking place within their bodies. You can have sex as you normally would, because the fetus isn't large enough to physically hinder her. A woman can lie on her back without difficulty, enjoy a variety of positions, and comfortably receive deep penetration.
What to watch for
This trimester's biggest adversary is morning sickness and, unluckily for some women, it can last all day. Statistics show that as many as eighty percent are plagued by some degree of nausea and vomiting during the early phase of pregnancy. Trying to cope with it is frustrating, and the symptoms can inflict emotional as well as physical pain.
If she's struggling with queasiness, the last thing she'll want is sex. However, it's important that a couple maintain some form of intimate interaction. Not only does it nurture your connection with one another, there's a high likelihood that it can diminish some of her symptoms. If it feels like nothing is working, take intercourse out of the equation and start with something very simple. Sensual stimulation, whether it comes in the form of nipple stimulation or foot massage, may be just the thing to ease moodiness, decreased energy and nausea.
Some women begin to worry about having to perform sexually when they're pregnant. This could be due to a variety of reasons such as: they feel insecure and unattractive; or, they feel physically uncomfortable. Receiving extra encouragement and attention can alleviate any undue stress that she has about sex. A valuable approach is for her sexual partner to do a bit more work in the bedroom and, say, perform a massage, or carry out an attentive session of oral sex.
Once she has overcome the trials of the first trimester, good things await in the second. There's a high probability that a pregnant woman will feel great, both mentally and physically. She'll also experience increased libido and better personal lubrication. In fact, sexual arousal can become so heightened that some women experience the best clitoral and g-spot orgasms of their lives. In addition, they may climax much more quickly than before. Part of the reason for this is that the blood flow to the genitals and nipples increases up to fifty percent. As a result, the sexual organs increase in size and become even more disposed to stimulation.
Some women experience a huge desire to initiate with their partners. On the other hand, her partner may be less apt to want to engage her sexually for reasons such as feeling the baby kick, or not wanting to hurt the baby. Do not worry! The baby is protected is the uterus, buffered from physical contact by the fluid in the amniotic sac. As long as the doctor doesn't suspect any risk factors, such as susceptibility toward preterm labor, it is safe to engage in intercourse.
What to Watch For
Later into the second trimester couples may have to get more creative with their positions. Deep penetration may begin to feel uncomfortable. It is also common for a pregnant woman to experience discomfort while lying on her back because the weight of the uterus can cut off her blood supply. This can cause shortness of breath, a sense of anxiety, and can affect her musculature.
A woman's sex drive generally stays high in the third trimester. However, sexual activity can diminish due to the busyness of preparing for the baby. If it becomes difficult to find opportunities to engage sexually as a couple, both women and men may turn to self pleasuring as a way to relax and stay connected to their sexual self.
A benefit (for the woman) of continuing to experience orgasms during the third phase of pregnancy is that it can help prepare the body for labor. Through sensual activity, additional blood flow is directed throughout the reproductive regions. Not only does this nourish the area and allow it to relax, it generates gentle contractions in the uterus. However, exercise some caution when orgasming during the last few weeks of this trimester. The body becomes so highly sensitive to Oxytocin, one of the hormones released during orgasm, that it can spontaneously go into labor.
An interesting technique to practice this term is Perineal Massage, that is manipulation of the area between the vagina and the anus. Using massage to stretch the tissue helps to decrease the risk of tearing and episiotomy during labor. You can read more about this in an upcoming article.
What to Watch For
Sexual positioning becomes more challenging in this last period of pregnancy. Side lying and penetration from behind will be your ‘go-to' positions, because they don't put painful pressure on the back and abdomen. Her heart is working harder to pump more blood to the uterus which, by the end of her term, takes up approximately one fifth of her blood supply. Because of this, women get easily very winded in this 3rd trimester, so positions that are less demanding will be welcomed by the expecting female. Some couples find that face-to-face sex poses can be uncomfortable or even a bit distracting because they can feel the baby's movements.
You may have heard that by the time you reach the thirty seventh week, sex can induce labor. Receiving semen through direct contact with the cervix can help it relax and dilate. When you go into the hospital to have pregnancy induced, a component of the medicine contains synthetic prostaglandins. Interestingly, the natural form of prostaglandins contained in semen is actually 25% more effective at opening up the female's cervix. Given that intercourse can speed things along, seek your doctor's guidance as to whether or not it's safe for you to do.
Because of the enormous change that the body undergoes during pregnancy, it may come to feel unfamiliar, as though it doesn't belong to you anymore! Not only is masturbating a great way to relax, it can help you reconnect with your transforming body. You can rediscover what feels pleasurable and, in turn, communicate that to your partner.
Whether you're single or in a relationship, it is important for a woman to do whatever possible to stay orgasmic. Maintaining a healthy level of sexual energy will help an expecting woman stay connected and satisfied through each stage of her pregnancy. Check out our upcoming 'Sex during Pregnancy' article for a practical guide and great tips for pleasuring the pregnant woman.