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Sex and Pregnancy

Your sex drive may be raging one day and nonexistent the next—we’ll explain the science behind the phenomenon of sex and pregnancy..

Pregnancy & Health

Your pregnancy-related mood swings can definitely have you laughing one minute and sobbing the next. This applies to your bedroom moods as well.

You may be craving nothing more than a steamy sex session and then the next day, nothing. Your partner may think it’s maddening, but it’s not your fault—it’s the hormones.

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Sex and Pregnancy

Much of what’s happening in your body is working to boost your sex drive. As your progesterone and estrogen levels rise, they increase your libido through different bodily changes.

Estrogen heightens sensitivity in your breasts and nipples, increases vaginal lubrication and boosts blood flow to your pelvic area. The ample curves may also make you feel sexier.

Put those symptoms together, and you’ve got a recipe for romance. It can also be liberating to not have to deal with birth control.

On the other hand, those hormones can conspire against you. Especially in the beginning, fatigue and nausea dictate that your bed is used for rest, sleep and foot rubs, only. In the last trimester, you may feel more uncomfortable than a concrete couch. That means there may be a zero-percent chance you want to have sex.

The X factor in the sex-drive equation is the relationship between your changing moods and your changing body, which hormones influence. The result is that how you feel about your body (and how you think your partner feels about your body) plays a part in whether or not you want to combine sex and pregnancy.

Every woman’s pregnancy is unique, and so is her sex drive. Yours may change from day to day or hour to hour. After birth you’ll have a dramatic falloff in estrogen. This means it’s likely your sex drive will drop after birth and remain low for several months, if you’re breastfeeding.

This makes sense because a pregnancy so soon after delivery would mean that nutrients would be diverted to one offspring at the expense of another. Given that your body needs extra time to heal after childbirth, your lack of libido serves as a hormonally-mediated protective mechanism. So how's a woman to handle sex and pregnancy?

First of all, if you want to have sex, go ahead. As long as your pregnancy is proceeding normally, you can have sex as often as you’d like.

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