How Pregnancy Changes Your Body and Sex Life

5 of 6 in Series: The Essentials of Sex while Pregnant

A healthy sex life can most certainly be part of the nine months of pregnancy. That said, it probably won’t be the same as before. A woman’s body changes during this time, and so do its needs. The best way to enjoy sexual intercourse during pregnancy is to understand how a woman’s body changes during this time.

Changes during sex

Although you can safely have orgasms during pregnancy, you will have to change the ways that you get those orgasms.

  • A change in position. The missionary position, in particular, can be dangerous. Partners may need to explore other sexual positions to find one that is safe and enjoyable.

  • No anal sex. Anal sex is off-limits during pregnancy.

  • More sex! One of the upsides of pregnancy for many couples is the woman’s increased arousal. Many women are more aroused than when not pregnant because there is added blood flow in the vaginal area, which mimics sexual excitation.

  • Avoid breast stimulation. When stimulated, the nipples of a pregnant woman release a hormone that can cause uterine contractions. Although scientists have found no proof that this hormone can trigger actual labor, most doctors advise that breast stimulation be kept to a minimum.

Physical changes

Of course, everyone expects a pregnant woman to go through physical changes, the most noticeable being her growing belly. But some are less obvious.

  • Breasts and nipples. As the pregnancy progresses, the breasts become enlarged, as do the nipples, with the areola (the circle around the nipple itself) growing rounder and darker. The nipple may well protrude more and become darker in color. Just as with the enlargement of the woman’s belly, the couple shouldn’t feel awkward about these changes.

  • Stretch marks. When the stomach expands too quickly for the skin, a woman may develop stretch marks.

  • Vaginal odor. During pregnancy, the vagina produces additional “good” bacteria called lactobacillus. These bacteria help to protect the baby, and they make the vagina more acidic, thus changing its odor. This is certainly not a problem and shouldn’t cause the man any concern when performing oral sex.

Some women feel self-conscious about their change in appearance and may refrain from sexual intercourse. If she is, maybe she can overcome that negative view. Certainly the father should do all he can to reassure her that he’s not turned off; in truth, many men enjoy the added voluptuousness that a pregnant woman displays.

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The Essentials of Sex while Pregnant

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