Maybe it’s nature reward. Pregnancy is tough on a woman’s body, but in exchange, at least for some women, it can also offer nine months of the best sex of their lives.
But maybe it only makes sense that the activity that created the pregnancy is also the most enjoyable during it. Besides, it seems only fair considering all of the weight gain, nausea and exhaustion that are in store.
Jessica Simpson is certainly a believer. She is quoted as telling Ryan Seacrest that, “The big O [orgasm] is, like, the biggest O ever.” And if celebrity corroboration isn’t enough, for you, here’s the physiology behind the phenom.
Simpson may have been on to something – Kadze said she hears often that a woman’s pleasure increases during pregnancy.
Dr. Ruslana Kadze, a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist at Mission Community Hospital in Panorama City, Calif., explained it like this:
“Increased blood flow to the pelvic area can cause engorgement of the genitalia. The increased sensation that results may add to a woman’s pleasure during sex. Women may also have more vaginal lubrication, which can also help.”
Of course, some of the extra sensation stuff cuts both ways.
“A woman’s breasts may feel more tingly or sensitive, particularly in the first trimester. Some women will find this increased sensitivity a turn-on, but some may find it uncomfortable and may want their breasts not to be touched at all,” Kadze said.
It is also true that during the first trimester, some women simply feel too tired, moody, or nervous about the pregnancy to have sex. Luckily, this generally fades once the second trimester is under way.
So it’s a good idea to enjoy sex while you can, because “sometimes in the third trimester, a woman’s sex drive can decrease as well, due to feeling ‘too big’ or too tired to have sex comfortably… or due to feeling uncomfortable in certain positions,” Kadze said.
If you are feeling awkward, just know it’s more about mind over matter. Exercising can help pregnant women feel better about themselves and increase libidos. For partners, being extra supportive to your wife or girlfriend is important – you can never remind a pregnant woman enough how terrific she looks. As for finding a comfortable position, the trick is to find one that makes you feel as if nothing else matters.
“The missionary position becomes almost impossible in the third trimester due to the size of the belly,” Kadze said. Lying side by side with your partner (spoonlike) or having the pregnant partner on her knees and elbows or on top can provide more comfortable positioning.
There is a caveat to all of this, of course. Sometimes, sex during pregnancy is not advisable. But your doctor will let you know if that’s the case. Complications that might preclude sex include a low-lying placenta or a placenta previa, as well as having preterm labor signs and symptoms.
And if you harbor any fear that having sex during pregnancy might harm the baby, you can put those fears to rest.
“Unless your health provider has told you that you cannot have sex for medical reasons, you can have sex throughout the entire nine months safely,” Kadze said.
“Sex is not harmful because the baby is protected within the uterus and is cushioned by the amniotic fluid.”
And there are some benefits to having sex while pregnant, including increased intimacy with your partner, better sleep and feeling relaxed.
Bottom line: Pregnancy sex is safe and healthy.
Jenny Block is a freelance writer based in Dallas, Texas. She is the author of "Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage." Her work also appears in "One Big Happy Family" edited by Rebecca Walker and "It’s a Girl: Women Writers on Raising Daughters" edited by Andrea Buchanan. Visit her Web site at www.jennyonthepage.com