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As long as it’s comfortable, go for it!
If you have sex, will your growing baby be able to eavesdrop by the third trimester?
Well, sure. But the good news? All sounds are well-muffled, and your baby can’t understand dirty talk in any language.
Then again, what if you don’t want anything to do with sex? That’s normal. It could be anything from your hormones to getting used to your new body.
“Typically, the second trimester is the golden spot,” says Holly Richmond, a clinical sex therapist and licensed marriage and family therapist. The worst of morning sickness (if you were blessed with any) is over, and you’re just coming into your curves. In the third trimester, a growing belly can start making sex more awkward.
But here’s the foundation of everything you’ll learn when it comes to pregnancy sex: All sex is good sex as long as it’s pleasurable and consensual, says Richmond.
During pregnancy, you might feel anything from erotic to sensual or far removed from wanting to have sex. But don’t fall into the trap of thinking it’s not possible to be pregnant and sexually active.
In fact, learn exactly what it means to have pregnancy sex, from how it feels to how it actually affects the baby.
How safe is pregnancy sex?
Unless your doctor or midwife has strict, specific reasons for you to not have intercourse, it’s absolutely safe — for you, your partner, and your developing baby. (If your doctor or midwife simply says “sex,” don’t be afraid to clarify if they mean penetration only or all sexual stimulation.)
Right now, revel in the knowledge that pregnancy sex isn’t just safe. It’s probably good for you, too.
Women who have orgasms during pregnancy benefit from calming hormones and increased cardiovascular blood flow, and those benefits get passed down to baby, notes Aleece Fosnight, a physician assistant and sex counselor in urology, women’s health, and sexual medicine.
Now you know it’s safe and healthy — so what does it feel like?
Due to hormones, some may feel their vagina is less “tight.” A combination of factors can cause this, like increased lubrication and a shift in hormones.
Others may find their pelvic floor muscles too tight (as genitalia can also become more sensitive), making penetrative sex downright uncomfortable.
For this, Fosnight recommends taking more time to warm up with foreplay or kissing before going in. You also could engage in mindful sex and skip penetration altogether.
When to see a doctor If pelvic discomfort is an ongoing issue, get evaluated by your healthcare provider and request a referral to a pelvic floor specialist. Fosnight notes some providers may minimize the issue as a result of pregnancy, but she reminds us: “If something doesn’t feel right to you, don’t assume it’s normal for pregnancy.”
Don’t be afraid to get a second opinion. Many sexual health challenges during pregnancy can and are addressed by providers every day.
You may also experience easier orgasms
Stephanie Buehler is the author of “Counseling Couples Before, During, and After Pregnancy: Sexuality and Intimacy Issues.” She’s also a psychologist and certified sex therapist.
She notes, “Some women may [even] have orgasms for the first time during pregnancy because of blood flow and hormones.”
But that’s not the whole picture. During pregnancy, your body changes, and each day, week, and month can feel different from the last.
Your genitalia may be a lot more sensitive
Due to hormonal changes, some women find their sexual appetites turn voracious. They just can’t get enough from the sex buffet. What stimulates that need?
Fosnight credits the 50 percent increased blood flow that happens during pregnancy. That blood also goes to the vulva, vagina, clitoris, and pelvis, engorging the tissues. Depending on the person, it can feel either pleasurable, irritating, or somewhere in between.
“Men may say they feel more fullness in the vagina, even during the first trimester,” Fosnight says.
You might feel a little extra wet
And if you feel a little extra wet — well, you are.
It’s common for increased secretions and more lubrication to occur, mostly to fight bacteria (and bacterial infection). According to Fosnight, you’re not just like a regular self-cleaning oven anymore. “You’re an extra self-cleaning oven,” she says.
The rest of your body may be more sensitive, too
In preparation for milk production, your breast shape and size may change and increase by up to a cup size or two.