For some it’s the best sex they’ve ever had, for others the start of a 9-month drought. What can you realistically expect from your sex life while your partner is pregnant?
Your sex life will change during pregnancy
While some expectant women may revel in their sexuality, others may feel unsexy for the whole 9 months. Every trimester brings its own challenges...
For many women, sex suffers – especially in the first trimester when she may be suffering from all-day sickness and feels as if she’s being run over by a train for the larger part of the day.
She may experience a lower libido because she feels sick and exhausted; her breasts are super sensitive; she may be bleeding or worrying about a possible miscarriage and she might just not feel like doing anything at all.
Here are: The signs a baby is on the way
Not only will her appetite return in the second trimester, but if she’d completely gone off sex in the first trimester – nausea and fatigue really are passion killers – there’s a good chance that your partner’s libido may have increased as she heads into the “glory days” – the second trimester, when most women are glowing, radiant and feeling fantastic.
Some couples even find that their sex lives are better than ever during the second trimester – so let this be something to look forward to.
Of course, there is always an exception to the rule, and your partner may still not be okay with sex. Even though she’s feeling physically better, her hormone levels are no longer all over the place. The risk of miscarriage (which, if it’s going to, usually happens in the first trimester) is far less likely now.
Must read: 100 amazing facts about pregnancy
Later on heartburn, indigestion, tiredness, sheer size and inability to get into a comfy sex position mean women may have sex less often and find it less enjoyable. With the baby so visible, you may even find having sex with “someone else in the room” a bit off-putting and many men want to abstain.
The fact that she may feel the baby moving inside her, and you may see or feel it while making love, can make some couples feel inhibited, or it can make them laugh. If, like some men, you feel at this point as if you are making love to a Teletubby, then probably best you hold out till after the baby is born – which could be up to 6 weeks or longer after birth.
What real dads think
Alan Hosking, author of What Nobody Tells A New Father, got a few dads-to-be to open up to us about how they felt about pregnancy sex and, not surprisingly, says the guys didn’t want their names used as they didn’t want to embarrass themselves or their wives or partners.
Views varied. He found that while some men are not at all bothered by pregnant sex, others said they did feel a little awkward about it.
Some dads-to-be said that, while their partners thought the men would be put off by the pregnant form, things were exactly the opposite. Most men found their partners’ pregnant figures very attractive.
How to: Keep intimacy alive during pregnancy
Some were a bit worried that they might hurt the baby during sex, but one wise guy promptly responded to his friend, “There’s no danger of that – you’re just not that big!”
A few men commented on the fact that at first they felt that there was another person in the room with them, but soon got used to the idea.
The general consensus
The first trimester
The general consensus was that the first trimester was dominated by nausea, tiredness and a decreased interest in sex on the part of the mother-to-be. Some moms also have a protective feeling towards the baby, making them a little reluctant toward sex.
The second and third trimester
The second trimester usually goes well for most but the third trimester sees the mom-to-be tired, heavy and a bit uncomfortable, with sore joints as her ligaments stretch in preparation for the birth.
Men had to once more be understanding, although it was possible for them to have sex right until the birth of the baby.
According to Alan, “There’s no need for a pregnant couple to be anxious about sex during pregnancy. Pregnancy is not an illness and, provided the couple considers the magic formula of ‘positions and pillows’, they can still enjoy an active and fulfilling sex life. It’s quite easy for them to have sex without the man putting undue pressure on his partner’s tummy, and with a little bit of extra loving care (which is very good for any relationship) and a bit of humour, the fun needn’t stop.”
He adds that it’s important for a man not to take his partner’s loss of interest in sex personally. “It’s not meant like that,” he says. “Often her hormones make her feel down or unattractive and she just can’t help herself. That’s when you need to be supportive and understanding.”