Sex and libido during pregnancy

There is no reason to stop making love during pregnancy. There is no evidence that sex can harm the baby in a normal pregnancy.

The only reason for not having sex is if one or both partners isn't in the mood. Talk to each other and be open about your feelings. Intimacy is important and can be created on many levels. 

Many women find their libido increases during the second trimester. Some say they've never had such good sex and orgasms as during pregnancy. 

Increased libido
This is because the blood flow in the vaginal mucous membranes increases, making the woman more sensitive.
Some women feel more attractive when their breasts get bigger, their belly gets rounder and a new life is growing inside them. Many partners also find it attractive.

Lack of libido
For other women the opposite happens. Pregnancy hormones can make the woman tired and nauseous, which may put her off sex. It is generally accepted that women can go off sex during pregnancy. But it may also affect the partner's sex drive. He or she may feel overwhelmed by the pregnancy and feel less in the mood.

It is a time of many physical and emotional changes for both of you. Some partners feel increased desire for the mother when she is pregnant. Others want no sex at all during pregnancy and may prefer to show only affection and tenderness towards their partner. The partner may feel strongly protective towards the pregnant woman and unborn baby during this time. This feeling can sometimes be stronger than sex and desire.

Sex does not put the baby at risk
You don't need to worry about harming the baby during sex; there is no danger of this is the pregnancy is proceeding normally. The child is well-protected inside the womb, surrounded by the amniotic fluid. You may need to be a little more creative than usual about finding positions as the woman's belly gets bigger.

A pregnant woman might feel uncomfortable lying on her back because the uterus presses against the large veins that conduct blood to the heart. Remember that sex doesn't always have to mean intercourse; there are many ways of having pleasure together. However, intercourse can never harm the baby.

Having an orgasm can also cause slight contractions during pregnancy. This is nothing to worry about. However, if you have pain and/or any bleeding after having intercourse or an orgasm, speak to your midwife.

When to abstain from sex
You only need to abstain from sex if your midwife or doctor says you should.
Always speak to your midwife if you have any questions or doubts. There's no need to feel embarrassed or avoid the subject. Your midwife is used to discussing this typed of subject and probably has a lot of experience and advice to share with you.

Further reading:
Sex after pregnancy – the female body
Sex and sex drive after pregnancy  

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