It may be sex that got you pregnant in the first place, but doing it once you are expecting can be different. That doesn’t mean it can’t still be fun…
It’s hard enough to keep up with your rapidly growing bump, let alone the changes to your sex life and anything new happening to you down below.
Understandably not many women want to chat openly with their GP or midwife about whether it’s safe to orgasm or why their man won’t give them oral any more. So, read on to put your worries to, ahem, bed.
He says you taste different
Before sending him for a refresher course at charm school, rest assured this is very normal.
‘Most women have a lot more lubrication in pregnancy,’ says sex and relationship expert Petra Boynton. ‘The texture changes, it’s thicker and it has a stronger smell. If he’s not a fan, he can use a dental dam during oral sex. But you’re not weird – these are the physical changes that nobody tells you about.’ If, however, it has a bad odour, you see blood or it feels like thrush, see your doctor.
You worry he’ll stray
Struggling with sickness, rarely in the mood and worried he’ll go elsewhere? Don’t assume you know what he’s thinking and – most importantly – communicate.
‘A lot of pregnancy sex advice taps into this idea that men are sex-crazed beasts and you must soldier on, but that’s just not the case,’ says Petra. ‘If you’re feeling too ill, tired or uncomfortable to have sex, then don’t.
Don’t assume you know what he’s thinking – make sure you communicate
Say, “I really love and care about you, but I need your help and support as my partner – because I feel like x, y, or z at the moment.’ If it’s becoming an ongoing problem, think about other ways you can be intimate and spend time together, whether that’s nights in cuddled on the sofa or falling asleep together.
You read that orgasms can cause miscarriage
This can happen in the first trimester, but it’s definitely not common, so don’t ban your bloke from coming anywhere near you just yet. ‘It depends on your history – if you’ve had miscarriages or problem pregnancies before then talk to your obstetrician to be completely sure,’ says Petra.
If it’s your first pregnancy and you need reassurance, speak to your doctor.
He can’t get an erection
So, it must be you right? Wrong. ‘Men get stressed about parenthood, too,’ says Petra. ‘They worry about hurting the baby; if they’ll be a good father; about providing for the family…’ Do your best to reassure him that you love him, he’ll be an amazing Dad, and explore other non-penetrative ways of giving each other pleasure.
You have a higher sex drive
Feeling randier than usual may be the last thing you expected right now. ‘Some women can think: “I’m pregnant – is it appropriate to feel this way?”,’ says Petra. ‘If you’re self-conscious, you might find it easier to tell your partner how much you want him in a text or email. You could even read a saucy book together in bed or watch a sexy film.’
If he seems taken aback, it’s not because he isn’t interested – it’s just because he might not be used to you being like this. But he’s certainly not going to complain!
“Can you feel the baby when we make love?”
While this can be a worry for pregnant women, it can be an even bigger concern for men. In extreme cases it can prevent an erection or result in erection loss upon entry.
But rest assured, penetrative sex will not result in your partner prodding the baby or hurting it with his penis. The foetus sits far higher than the end of your vagina and is protected by the amniotic sac.
“But rest assured, penetrative sex will not result in your partner prodding the baby”
‘Men worry they can feel the baby during penetration as pregnancy progresses and the womb moves lower,’ says Petra. ‘But even though things might feel a little different, there’s no need to worry about the baby unless you have a history of miscarriage, or if penetration is painful or uncomfortable for either of you. If this is the case, tell your GP or midwife. Try a position that doesn’t enable such deep penetration, such as spooning side by side, or leaning up against a table.’
“My boobs leak when I orgasm”
Pregnancy body changes can come as a shock, if you’re not expecting them. ‘Some women find their boobs leak when they orgasm later in pregnancy,’ explains Petra. ‘It could be just a dribble or a full-on spray. While this is normal, not all women are comfortable with it. If that’s you, keep your bra on and use breast pads (as used by breastfeeding mums) when you make love.’
Does the baby know what you’re doing?
The thought of the baby being aware of their parents making love can be a worry for some mums- and dads-to-be. Some couples feel guilty for doing it ‘in front of the baby’ but sex during pregnancy is healthy and normal, and your baby will be largely oblivious.
“Some babies move around while their parents are making love, and others sleep all the way through”
‘Both men and women can worry about the baby ‘knowing’ they are having sex,’ says Petra. ‘The baby will feel some movement and hear your voices and other sounds, but he won’t have any emotional response to it. Some babies move around while their parents are making love, and others sleep all the way through. Either way, there is nothing to feel guilty about.’
Do you have to stick to straightforward sex?
There is no reason why sex has to become staid with pregnancy. It’s all about doing what is comfortable and pleasurable for you. ‘If you’re using sex toys – and it’s fine to do so – you need to be more aware of cleanliness when you are pregnant,’ says Petra. ‘It’s best if you don’t share the same toy. Or put a condom on the toy to avoid the possibility of infection.’
“Sex makes me so emotional now”
Pregnancy hormones can make your emotions volatile even during the most mundane of tasks. So in the throes of making love, you could lurch from dramatic highs to crashing lows. Your orgasms might feel different, as could your whole attitude towards sex, both during and afterwards.
‘Some women find they have much more intense orgasms in the second and third trimester,’ Petra says. ‘You might have more than one and they might be stronger than you are used to. They may leave you feeling weepy and emotional too. Pregnancy hormones and body changes are the cause, and it’s completely normal. Those same hormones may also make you very demanding for sex or put you off it altogether.’
“I don’t look sexy any more”
Despite what you may think, your changing body shape may well be a turn on for your partner. But while you might worry about your new crop of stretchmarks, they’re most definitely the last thing on his mind when you are making love.
“It’s highly unlikely he’ll mind that your growing bump rules out the missionary position”
‘Think about it from his point of view,’ says Petra. ‘Your growing baby bump means you will have to experiment with different positions. It’s highly unlikely he’ll mind that your growing bump rules out the missionary position.’ As your pregnancy progresses, you’ll have to tell him what you want and enjoy as your needs change, and this will typically be welcomed by him.
He isn’t so naïve as to think that you are going to grow a baby without undergoing some pretty major changes in your own physiological make-up. So, although he may not know specifically what to expect, he probably won’t be surprised that there are plenty of physical changes.
Photo: Getty Images