Sex during pregnancy
You probably enjoyed copious amounts of fabulous sex making your baby but now you’re pregnant, some couples call a halt to their sex lives.
As a mother of three, I can tell you that changes to your rapidly expanding body can make the physical act of having sex more difficult but by being creative with your sex life, many women enjoy amazing sex during pregnancy.
Some women avoid sex completely during their pregnancy or their partner doesn’t want sex because they are worried about hurting the baby.
You made this baby with love so you don’t need to give up on your sex life while its growing inside you.
When should you abstain from sex
You may be advised to avoid penetrative sex during your pregnancy if you experience abnormal bleeding or if you are considered a high risk pregnancy which includes placenta previa whereby the placenta is very low, serious uterine irritability and high risk of premature labour. However most women enjoy a normal sex life throughout their pregnancy.
Some women do experience bleeding during sexual intercourse which should always be checked by your GP or midwife but for many this is normal. I personally experienced this with my first 2 children but was still able to continue having sex after it had settled down. If you are concerned about having penetrative sex, you can still enjoy great sexual intimacy and pleasure without penetration.
Talk to your partner
Don’t assume that your partner will go off you during pregnancy or demand sex constantly. Talk to them about how you feel, even if you don’t feel like intercourse, you can still enjoy foreplay, clitoral orgasms or just cuddling.
If your partner is avoiding sex it may be because they are worried about having sex because they think they’re going to be hitting the baby on the head! This couldn’t be further from the truth. The baby is safely protected by the amniotic sac away from the end of your vagina. Even as your pregnancy progresses and the baby gets bigger, the chances of prodding it are slim.
The same goes for worrying that your baby knows what you’re doing. Babies can hear our voices so may respond to your voice but they have no idea what’s going on. Some babies move around whilst others sleep when you are having sex. You might find your baby giving you a swift kick if you use a position that may be squashing it, especially as it grows bigger.
If your partner is struggling to maintain his erection during sex, it’s not because he is going off you but that he is feeling a little stressed about parenthood. Stress affects sexual function in many ways, so ask him if he’s worried and spend time talking through your issues, you may find you both have the same concerns and sharing them can really help you find ways to overcome them.
You have more vaginal lubrication
This is a plus in my books as the more lubricated you are , the more pleasurable sex is. If you are using a lubricant, it is advisable to use a pH balanced lubricant as the flora of the vagina changes during pregnancy, making some women more prone to thrush.
YES organic lubricants are pH balanced and very similar to your natural lubrication. Containing only plant based ingredients they are safe to use and will not cause an allergic reaction, unlike other products.
You may find that your natural lubricant is thicker in consistency and may smell different. If your partner isn’t keen, using a dental dam may help during oral sex. If it is itchy, looks like cottage cheese or smells fishy, see your GP as it may be thrush or bacterial vaginosis.
Look after your vagina health by ditching feminine hygiene products as many contain ingredietns that are detrimental to intimate health.
OMG! Where did this sex drive come from?
As a woman who has had three children, this is a strange one. In between the long bouts of morning sickness ( which lasted all day with every baby!) I experienced a much higher sex drive during all my pregnancies due to the surge of hormones racing through my body. This is normal so make the most of it before your baby arrives and slows down your sex life!
You may take your partner by surprise but I’m sure they will enjoy being on the receiving end of your need to have lots of sex!
Often women enjoy amazing orgasms during pregnancy due to increased blood flow to the vulval area and vagina. Some women who struggled to orgasm find they are able to experience orgasms during pregnancy. However, sexual stimulation may feel too intense for some as their genitals become hypersensitive to touch.
Having orgasms is so beneficial to pregnant women as it can reduce stress, which in turn lowers blood pressure and also promotes a good nights sleep too.
Many men really enjoy their partner’s growing breast during pregnancy, especially if their partner normally has smaller breasts. However towards the end of pregnancy you may experience a small amount of leaking as your body gets ready to give birth. Some women may find their breasts leaking, from a small dribble to a full squirt when they orgasm in later pregnancy. Don’t panic, this is normal but you may wish to wear your bra with a breast feeding pad during sexual intercourse.
Experiment with positions
You may feel uncomfortable in certain sexual positions as your bump grows so try exploring new ones to enjoy sex. Tell your partner if any positions feel uncomfortable, they’ll be happy to try something knew to ensure you still enjoy sex.
Sex isn’t a marathon so take it slowly and enjoy all the pleasurable feelings and sexual sensations. You won’t be able to do the 100m sprint the bigger you get even if you want to!
This position allows you to remain intimate and face to face during sex. You also get a rest if you feel tired. However lying on your back in the third trimester can make you feel dizzy so prop yourself up with lots of pillows. If you find your partner leaning on your bump, move to the end or edge of the bed so they are kneeling on the floor. This will allow them to still penetrate you but not put any weight on you and your bump. Your growing baby might also see off your partner with a swift kick if squashed!
This is one of my favourite positions when pregnant and when not as it allows you to control penetration and gives great access to your clitoris too. Having pelvic girdle pain with my third child, opening my legs became uncomfortable so this position enabled me to enjoy great sex without spreading my legs too wide.
Being on top offers you the ideal amount of control as you can use your thighs to control the depth of penetration, in addition to enjoying amazing clitoral stimulation. Rather than thrusting, you can use small circular movements to enjoy different sexual sensations.Your partner may like massaging your belly or breasts at the same time.
This position allows you to enjoy shallower penetration at a different angle and give your man an amazing view to keep him aroused. With your man lying on his back, straddle his waist facing towards his toes and slowly guide his penis inside you. Leaning forward, rest your body weight on your palms. Change position by lowering yourself onto your forearms. Again, rather than thrusting, slowly grind your hip for an altogether sexual feeling. This position ensures your bump doesn’t get in the way either. You can also support your bump using pillows across your partner’s legs.
This spooning position is great when you feel tired or lazy and want to cuddle.This became one of my favourite positions during all my pregnancies, especially in my third trimester when my bumps got too big and I felt tired! Also ideal if you feel dizzy lying on your back.You can support your bump on pillows too.
Get your man to snuggle up behind you and you gently guide his penis into your vagina. Being in this position does not allow deep penetration and gentle grinding of your hips will give different sexual stimulation. It also allows easy access to your clitoris, ideal for gentle massage by yourself with your fingers or a clitoral vibrator or your partner.
On the plus side, it is a great position for early morning sex as it is gentle, ideal for just waking up and avoiding bad breath in the face!
Ideal position in all trimesters but particularly good in the third trimester when your bump gets bigger.Your partner can also reach around and stimulate your clitoris at the same time.
Doggy style is a great position if you have back pain or pelvic pain. You can support your bump and arms on pillows.
If you find penetration too deep or uncomfortable in this position tell your partner so they can modify how deep they thrust inside you.
Side by side
Another lazy but intimate sex position, allowing you to kiss, cuddle and maintain eye contact. Lie down, facing each other and wrap your top leg around his waist and guide his penis in. You can control the depth of penetration by squeezing him closer with your leg. Penetration is shallow in this position as he doesn’t have much thrust capacity in this position and you can support your bump with a pillow. This is good if you feel dizzy on your back too.
Ideal for all trimesters, however your bump may get in the way in the third trimester. This is like spooning but you lie at an angle to your partner on your back whilst they lie on their side and allow them to lift your legs on top of their hips at an angle.
This allows your partner to penetrate you from underneath whilst you lie on your back. Your partner will have free access to your breasts and clitoris too. If you feel dizzy lying on your back, tilt to the left supported by pillows.
Using Sex Toys during pregnancy
If you are able to enjoy sexual intercourse during pregnancy, the same applies to using sex toys.
Towards the end of your pregnancy, using sex toys may make it easier to enjoy orgasms as your size and shape changes with the development of your baby and penetrative sex may feel uncomfortable.
As with many sex toys size doesn’t relate to sexual pleasure, the power of vibration, shape and sexual function are what matters so you don’t need to choose the biggest sex toy you can find! You can achieve strong orgasms using a clitoral vibrator.
Using sex toys can enhance foreplay and if you no longer feel like penetrative sex during pregnancy, sex toys can help you maintain a loving intimacy with your partner.
Sex toys aren’t just for women, men can enjoy the fun too so consider his and hers sex toys so you can indulge in some sex play together.
Stick to these rules when choosing and using sex toys to protect your sexual health and pleasure, not just during pregnancy but whenever you incorporate sex toys into your sex play.
Wherever possible, choose phthalate free toys. This advice is recommended for all sex toy choices even if you are not pregnant. Phthalates are used to soften plastic to make them more flexible. They can be toxic, especially for developing children which is why they have been banned from children’s toys.
Choose products made from silicone, glass, metal or hard ABS plastic.
Avoid sex toys made from jelly, latex or rubber as these are absorbent, making them difficult to clean. Some people are also allergic to latex.
During pregnancy you have a greater risk to developing thrush due to hormonal changes, therefore keeping your toys clean is extremely important. Thoroughly washing them with soapy water, rinsing and drying them or using a sex toy antibacterial cleanser and storing them in a dry, clean place after each use is recommended.
Use a good quality lubricant with your sex toy.
Using a pH balanced lubricant such as YES organic lubricants can also help reduce the incidence of thrush which many women are more prone to during pregnancy due to hormonal changes.
If you use your toy for anal sex, no matter if you are pregnant or not, make sure you thoroughly wash it before using it near your vaginal area. You may wish to use a condom on the sex toy which can be removed after use, especially if you are using a latex or rubber toy which will absorb any bacteria from the anal area.
You enjoyed great sex making this baby and you can continue to enjoy amazing sex during the pregnancy if you still to a few rules and seek medical advice if you notice any abnormal bleeding or if sex feels painful.
Remember that sex isn’t always about penetration, there are so many ways to enjoy fabulous sexual intimacy and pleasure, just be creative in what you do. Enjoy sex during pregnancy because it may be a couple of months before you feel like having sex after the birth of your gorgeous new baby!
Hypnobambinos : www.hypnobambinos.co.uk
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists : www.rcog.org.uk
Royal College of Midwives : www.rcm.org.uk