Some men find sex during pregnancy an incredible turn-on. Others, it’s not even on their radar. Where you stand on the issue depends on a lot of factors, but one thing is guaranteed: when your partner is pregnant your sex life will change.
Won’t sex hurt the baby?
Perhaps the most common reason that couples cut back on sex during pregnancy is a fear of hurting their baby. If you’re concerned about that, you can stop worrying right now. Your baby is safely cushioned in an amniotic fluid-filled sac.
There are some important circumstances, though, when you and your partner may be advised not to have sex. Your partner should check with her doctor or midwife first if she’s having any problems with her pregnancy. These include placenta praevia, or bleeding, or if she has a history of miscarriages.
What if one of us wants sex, but the other doesn’t?
Changes in desire are common for both dads-to-be and mums-to-be during this time of major life change. In the first trimester your partner’s pregnancy may make you more turned on than ever. You may feel that getting your partner pregnant is the ultimate ego-boost, which in turn gives your sex drive a lift. In addition, a lot of dads-to-be feel closer to their partner than ever before, and that closeness is often expressed sexually.
For many others, the first trimester – and possibly the entire pregnancy – is a time of decreased sexual desire. Before your partner got pregnant, her body was something you both had fun with. But now that she’s pregnant and her body has a job to do, you may find it less fun and more functional. You may find yourself thinking that her breasts and vagina are “for the baby”.
As pregnancy progresses, the differences between the want-to-have-sex’s and the don’t-want-to-have-sex’s continue. Many men, for example, find their partner’s growing body to be the essence of femininity, and therefore incredibly attractive. Others feel just the opposite. Their partner’s growing bump and leaking breasts may be a turn-off.
Your partner’s ideas about sex during pregnancy can also vary enormously. She may feel more connected to you than ever, and may be much less inhibited now that you don’t have to use birth control any more. She might find the idea of having created a life with you to be a turn-on, and she may be delighted with her swelling, curvier body.
On the other hand, she may be spending a lot of the first trimester feeling or being sick – hardly an aphrodisiac. She may be thinking that mums aren’t supposed to have sex. She may be worried about hurting the baby, or she may just be feeling fat and unattractive.
Many couples find that the mum-to-be’s changing body is the source of a lot of conflict, misunderstanding and confusion. You may find your partner’s pregnant body arousing but not want to do anything sexual because you’re worried that she’s feeling unattractive. She may be feeling sexier than ever but not want to initiate anything sexual because she’s afraid that you aren’t attracted to her any more.
What can we do to keep our sex life on track?
The solution here, not surprisingly, is to talk to each other about how you feel, and about your desires and needs.
You’ll also need to think about expanding your sexual horizons, especially during the last few months of the pregnancy. By this stage your partner may find the missionary position rather uncomfortable or even impossible. Mix it up a bit and try other positions that may be more comfortable for her, such as rear entry, side-by-side, or her on top.
If sex is proving to be more of a pain than a pleasure, there are other ways for you both to get sexual satisfaction. It may be the perfect time to re-explore other ways in which you can feel close. Mutual masturbation, oral sex, or using vibrators can be just as pleasurable as penetrative sex.