Sex and Pregnancy

Sex and Pregnancy

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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.QUIZ: Sexual SatisfactionMuch 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.Note: It’s not uncommon for pregnant women to experience some bright red bleeding during intercourse, especially in the first trimester. There’s a lot of swelling in your cervix’s capillaries at this time. When irritated during sex, they burst and release blood. It’s generally nothing to worry about, but you should still mention it to your midwife or doctor.There are uncommon cases in which you shouldn’t have sex. Your doctor will guide you. She may recommend you refrain from sex if you’re leaking amniotic fluid, at risk for preterm labor, your cervix begins opening prematurely or if you have placenta previa.If your uterus is in a typical position, there’s no risk of hurting the baby during intercourse. The amniotic fluid protects the baby from impact.The angle of the vagina, relative to the space in your womb, decreases the probability of direct contact with the fetus. Plus, there’s a mucous plug, which blocks the cervix during pregnancy. Thus, there’s virtually no chance of unintended contact (between what’s in you for nine months and what would be inside you for only nine minutes, give or take).WATCH VIDEO:The loss of sex drive may not worry a woman as much as how that libido loss affects her relationship with her partner. You may feel bad about not wanting sex, especially knowing your sex life will be on hold for a few weeks after your delivery. So, you may force yourself to have sex when you don’t want to, which is disheartening. Or, you put him off and worry he’ll look elsewhere.The simplest thing you can do to remedy this situation? Talk to your partner. Silence is a romance killer. Explaining that your back hurts or you’re zapped of energy will do wonders.Beyond communication, the solution to this sex scenario comes down to adaptation. This is your ability to change your sexual relationship, so it’s not sexual per se. Rather, it’s about increasing the eroticism, passion and sensuality in your relationship.Making this mutual pact with your partner will go a long way toward keeping your existing bond, while you’re focused on a creating a new one. While you’re at it, appreciate your mate for the little compromises they’re willing to make for your happiness, even if the sex isn’t what you planned.