If there is ever a time that your body is going to experience a great deal of changes in a short period of time, pregnancy is it. Not only does a woman have significant physical changes in shape, size, weight, and energy level – but she undergoes a considerable fluctuation in hormone levels. This affects everything from mood, to physical well-being, to those huge nap attacks that come daily. So what happens with a woman’s sexuality during her pregnancy? What should a couple expect or be concerned about during pregnancy?
There are three basic factors that determine how much sexual activity a woman can have during her pregnancy: what her doctor recommends, any incidence of blood or spotting, and most importantly, how she feels. In certain situations, a doctor may recommend bed rest or just to hold off from having sexual activity/orgasms. It is important that a couple follow their doctor’s recommendations to prevent any difficulties with the pregnancy. Similarly, if there is any blood or spotting, they should also wait on having sex until she is able to get examined by her doctor.
How a woman feels is probably the biggest determining factor in a couple’s sexual activity. Nausea in the first trimester makes it very difficult to feel sexy and aroused, although this varies from woman to woman. Some women are very uncomfortable and experience some vomiting, while other women never experience this and don’t even know that they are pregnant until they are almost into their second trimester. Energy level also impacts a women significantly during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester when naps are almost obligatory. Her body begs her for sleep in order to conserve calories and encourage growth hormone needed by the fetus to grow.
Although it can vary considerably from woman to woman, pregnancy can be a time of heightened physical sensitivity. Not only do woman’s breasts and genitals increase in size, but they become much more responsive to touch. Because of this, a couple should proceed slowly when engaging in sexual activity in order to determine the woman’s comfort level and optimal amount of physical stimulation for sexual arousal. Keep in mind that some women may find direct touching of their clitoris overwhelming because of the increased sensitivity. If this is the case, spend a little time exploring the area close to, but not directly on the clitoris to see how she responds. Keep in mind how this will translate into what sexual positions you engage in and how these create contact or friction over her vulva. Other women may find that the increased sensitivity allows her to have orgasms more easily. This includes having orgasms from stimulation over other parts of her body as well, such as her breasts, back of her scalp, back of knees, inside of thighs, etc.
There is a great deal of variation from woman to woman (and even from pregnancy to pregnancy) in how a woman responds, how she feels, and what she desires. Keeping an open mind and allowing yourself to be flexible and adjust to the many changes usually brings the most happiness and makes it easier to deal with stress. You can find ways to take advantage of the heightened sensitivity during pregnancy to continue your lifelong exploration of your sexuality.