The question of sexuality during pregnancy interrogates most couples who go through this unique stage of life. And if everyone is willing to recognize that having sex when pregnant is beneficial for the well-being and stability of the couple, other false beliefs or real questions can bother women and men during these nine months, and undermine the intimacy of the couple.
Without pretending to cover all the aspects the question, here are some good things to know for future parents.
Sex during pregnancy is safe for the baby.
As long as the cervix is closed and the mucous plug is in place, the placenta is protected, and cannot be reached by the man’s penis. It is just not possible that the penis “touches” the fetus.
The only way it can happen is if, at the end of pregnancy, the cervix is very open, there is a risk of premature birth. Then, gynecologists advise to no longer have sex, but it is primarily to avoid movements and vibrations that could possibly further accelerate the opening of the cervix.
Having sex cannot be harmful to the baby’s health. On the contrary: the pregnant woman who has secret pleasure of endorphins that also bring well-being to the baby.
Pregnancy is a time of stronger sex drive and a potentially more intense pleasure…
For nine months, the body of the woman goes through significant changes. This physiological revolution can have consequences on the mood, but also on the woman’s desire: indeed, hormonal changes during pregnancy can lead to an increase of a woman’s libido. This is why some women see their desire increased tenfold when they are pregnant.
Similarly, breasts and genital area get hyper vascularized during pregnancy, which makes these zones more sensitive. This can too have a positive effect: some women experience new sensations, and sometimes even their first orgasm when they’re pregnant!
…Or less, and that’s very OK!
Of course, these physiological changes and their psychological impacts can also take a toll on a woman’s relationship with her body and her sexuality. In fact, nausea, weight gain, and swelling of the belly can make women feel unattractive and uncomfortable in their bodies, while questions about becoming mothers can cause stress or anxiety. Which obviously doesn’t affect positively their sexuality …
In the end, there is no point in stressing yourself to have sex: it is essential to listen to yourself during this very special period. Maintaining intimacy with one’s partner can also be done by cuddling, sharing tender moments and relaxing massages, if you don’t feel the desire for more.
One of the major changes in pregnancy is the rounded belly. From the fourth month on, this can lead the couple to have to revisit their classics in terms of sexual positions during pregnancy. Indeed, the position of the missionary quickly becomes unpleasant or impractical. So, other positions are much more recommended:
- The position of Andromache, where the woman sits on the man, is generally appreciated by pregnant women because women can set the pace, both in terms of rhythm and depth of penetration.
- Doggy style position allows the rounded belly of the woman not to rub unpleasantly against her partner’s. Here too, the depth of the penetration can be easily adjusted according to the desires and the sensitivity of the woman.
- The spoon, where the man and the woman are on their sides, with the man lying in the back of the woman, is ideal for the duration of the pregnancy. In this position, the uterus and the baby do not weigh on the stomach, the clitoris remains easy to access for stimulation, and the depth of the penetration can also be adjusted.
Finally, it is common for a woman to experience variations in lubrication during pregnancy. The use of a lubricant, preferably water-based, is safe for the baby, and may help to overcome this transient vaginal dryness.
Written by Charlotte Creplet, sex therapist at Sexocorner