Posted April 29, 2013 in PREGNANCY

Sex During Pregnancy: Is It Normal to Lose Interest?

Sex during pregnancy
Sex during pregnancy

All over magazines, books, television and even the radio sex is the hot topic with couples. That is until women become pregnant, and then the topic of sex during pregnancy can be seen as taboo. This view in society makes it more confusing for pregnant women to seek out what is good practice during her pregnancy and what is normal to experience regarding sex. That is why it is so important to help pregnant women have easy access to facts, know what is normal, and what she can expect to experience when  having sex during pregnancy. Pregnant women should know if it’s safe to have sex during pregnancy, if baby feels anything during sex, and what the normal sex drive that pregnant woman and their partners experience. Is it normal to lose interest for sex during pregnancy or is normal to have an increased sex drive?

Women may have different sex drives while they are pregnant. It is very normal for some pregnant women to lose interest in having sex. Many television shows actually show women that are pregnant having an exponentially increased sex drive, which can make them feel as though their loss of sexual interest is not normal and can make them feel badly about themselves or as though there is something wrong. This is simply not the case. When a woman is in the first trimester of their pregnancy the symptoms of breast tenderness, fatigue and nausea may be a deterrent. Sex during pregnancy may be one of the last things a woman feels like engaging in. During the second trimester and later, some women regain the interest of having sex as they begin to feel better. There are other women that have an uncomfortable feeling as their body continues to change throughout the rest of the pregnancy, especially in the last trimester when their body becomes larger with the uterine growth.  It’s not uncommon for these women to have no interest in sex until after the birth of the baby. This feeling is also totally normal. There are still many other ways that you can try to stay connected and physically intimate with your partner with activities other than sex. Pregnant women can include intimate kisses, massages and cuddling, regardless of whether or not your intimacy leads to having sex. It is your body and you should listen to how you feel and only have sex during pregnancy if you feel comfortable and have interest in it.

There are other pregnant women that actually do have an increased sex drive. These women have an increased libido that is boosted during the pregnancy. This is also completely normal. Pregnant women might feel like there is an increase in closeness with their partner, embracing the changes in their body and feel an enhanced arousal due to the increase in blood supply that actually can give an enhanced sensitivity to a woman’s genitals.

Similar to the change in the sex drive of a pregnant woman, it is also very normal for your partner’s sex drive to change when they find out their partner is pregnant. As the pregnancy progresses, your partner may become less or more interested in having sex during pregnancy. Your partner may lose interest in having sex. Although, it can make you, as a pregnant woman, feel like your partner does not find you attractive any longer. It is more likely that your partner is worried that the act of having sex during pregnancy might actually hurt the baby or you.  Or your partner might have an anxiety relating to the prospect of having a baby or the combination of the two. It is important that you speak with your partner about their concerns and the lack of their sex drive. By communicating with your partner, you will understand their feelings more which will make you feel better as you will have a better understanding about what is going on with them. If your partner is feeling like they will cause harm to baby or you, you can show your partner information about the fact that sex during pregnancy is totally safe during a low risk pregnancy. You might also consider bringing them to one of your prenatal  visits so they can ask your health care professional any questions or express any concerns.

For pregnant women whose health care provider considers their pregnancy to be normal, low risk, the continuation of sex throughout the entire pregnancy is safe. The baby is secure and protected by the uterine wall muscles and by amniotic fluids that surround and cushion the walls. Additionally, the women’s body has a thick cervical mucus plug that actually seals the opening of the cervix. This cervical mucus plug protects the baby from infections because it prevents semen or anything else from getting into the womb. The baby cannot feel anything when you are having sex with your partner. The baby’s movements might change after you have sex during pregnancy, especially when you are in the later stages of a pregnancy, but this is actually caused by the increase of blood flow and a hormone surge in the woman. You can feel confident that the baby is not feeling discomfort and is completely safe.

Alternatively, your partner might find your pregnancy as a real turn on which is really comforting and a great boost to a pregnant woman’s self-esteem.  If you have loss of interest of having sex during pregnancy and your partner has an increased interest, this can make you feel uncomfortable. Once again, the best thing to do in this scenario is to communicate with your partner and let them know how you feel. Remind your partner of the other intimate activities that you can do other than having sex during pregnancy that will help your relationship remain close.

The most important thing to do when you are considering how you and your partner feel about sex during pregnancy is to open up the lines of communication between the both of you. This will make you and your partner to feel happy and secure in your relationship throughout the pregnancy. Even though it is safe to have sex during pregnancy, you should speak with your health care provider about any experiences of severe discomfort, bleeding or any other symptoms that you experience during sex or after you have sex.  However, it is common to experience some mild cramping after sexual relations, and for those mothers who are close to the estimated due date to see slight pink after having sex.

Bridget Summers- is a Childbirth Educator, Lactation Counselor and Fitness Instructor.