Pregnancy can have an impact on a woman’s sex drive. Increases and decreases in libido are both normal, and arousal levels can fluctuate throughout pregnancy.
Some women experience increased arousal and more intense orgasms during pregnancy, while others experience the opposite.
Despite the fact that each woman’s experience is unique, there are a few common trends that describe libido changes during pregnancy. In general, a woman’s sexual desire will fluctuate throughout her pregnancy.
Decreased Libido During Pregnancy: What Causes It?
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Many changes occur during pregnancy that can impact a woman’s sex drive. Increased oestrogen and progesterone levels, as well as increased blood flow to the genitals, can all lead to increased sexual desire.
However, fluctuations in oestrogen and progesterone levels can cause changes in sexual desire. With sensitive breasts, engorged genitals (sometimes with a change in odour and discharge), and digestive issues like bloating, you may feel completely untouchable during pregnancy.
You may also be self-conscious about your growing size. Pregnancy-related nausea, fatigue, stress, and other physical changes can reduce a woman’s desire to have sex.
When Does It Start?
Some women experience decreases in both sexual desire and sexual satisfaction during the first trimester. High hormone levels, unpleasant physical symptoms, and stress can all reduce a woman’s libido.
After an embryo implants in the uterine wall, cells in the placenta begin producing a hormone known as human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). Other hormones, such as oestrogen and progesterone, are stimulated by this hormone.
Hormonal fluctuations during the first trimester can cause mood swings and nausea. Other symptoms that can impact libido at this time include:
- digestive problems
- swollen breasts
Changing levels of estrogen and progesterone, on the other hand, may increase libido in some women during the first trimester.
When Does It End?
Most women’s libidos peak during the second trimester. hCG levels peak around the sixth week of pregnancy. After week 6, hCG levels begin to fall, which usually means less nausea and more energy.
During the second trimester, oestrogen and progesterone levels continue to rise to support the growing foetus.
Estrogen boosts vaginal lubrication as well as blood flow to the vulva. These modifications can result in increased arousal, sensitivity, and pleasure.
Important note: Hormonal changes do not affect all women in the same way. However, a woman’s sex drive is known to decrease during the first trimester, peak in the second, and then decline again in the third.
Expect your desire to fade again in the third trimester, particularly in the last month or two of pregnancy. During the third trimester, women frequently face some of their most difficult challenges. Sexual activity can be made more difficult by swelling, rapid weight gain, exhaustion, and body aches.
Although discomfort or pain during sexual activity may cause concern, it is common. Trying different positions may help to solve this problem.
Women who want to have sex but are uncomfortable with certain types of sexual activity may want to consider other forms of intimacy at this time.
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My Partner Is Not Sexually Attracted To Me: What Should I Do?
Most partners find their pregnant lover to be just as attractive as before, if not more so. However, pregnancy worries can have an impact on your partner’s sexual drive. For example, your partner’s libido may suffer as a result of their anxiety about the reality of parenthood.
Furthermore, partners often become more hesitant about sex during pregnancy because they are concerned that the penetration will harm the baby. However, if you have a male partner, his penis does not pass through your vagina during intercourse, so it cannot harm the baby.
Never underestimate the value of simply sharing your feelings with one another as a means of feeling close. Open communication can help you relax, enjoy each other, and find new ways to be intimate, whether or not you’re having sex.
Low Sex Drive During Pregnancy: What Can I Do About It?
Dealing with a low sex drive during pregnancy demands honesty, self-acceptance, and communication. If you’re open about what you’re feeling and experiencing, both physically and emotionally, your partner can sympathise with hormones’ effect on your body.
If you find yourself being less physically affectionate than usual, try to express your emotions and reassure your partner of your love. Maintaining open lines of communication will allow you to support each other as best you can as you go through these changes together.
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Even if sex is currently not on the table, intimacy is still essential. Even if you are unable to have intercourse, or if you are turned on but do not enjoy penetration, there are other ways to express your love:
- Prioritise date nights
- Give each other massages
- Share a shower.
- Perform and receive oral sex
- Masturbation (on your own or with your partner)
You could also try to concentrate on strengthening your relationship rather than sexual frustration. You can strengthen your relationship by doing the following:
- Talk about how you’re feeling together so you can both understand what the other is going through.
- Being patient with each other because these changes may be difficult, but this stage of your relationship will not last forever.
- Spending time together as a couple – for example, you can do things like sleep in, go on day trips, or try new restaurants that you’ll have less time for once your baby arrives.
- Acts of kindness, such as driving them to the station or picking up the other person’s dry cleaning.
- Affectionate physical contact, including kissing and cuddling.
- Appreciative words: giving compliments and telling your partner how much you love them.
- Gift giving not just for birthdays, but also for cards and small gifts because “I saw this and thought of you.”
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These strategies may also be effective:
- Experiment with different types of intimacy.
If you don’t have time or energy for intercourse, try other intimate activities like massages or back rubs.
- Get enough rest.
Every night, try to get a full eight hours of sleep. Inadequate sleep accumulates over time and can make having sex (let alone wanting it) all the more difficult.
- Take care of your physical health.
When possible, try to exercise and eat well. These two things can also increase energy and confidence.
- Experiment with various sexual positions.
Don’t let the size of your stomach make you feel self-conscious or interfere with your sexual life. Instead, concentrate on what makes you physically comfortable. Experiment with pregnancy-friendly sex positions like side-by-side and woman on top (so that there is no added pressure on the abdomen).
Don’t be afraid that sex will harm your child. Sexual activity does not cause miscarriage or premature birth. If your pregnancy is complicated, your doctor may advise you to abstain from sex.
Low sex drive is a normal part of pregnancy for many women, and it doesn’t mean anything is wrong with you. You can take steps to ensure your comfort during this stage of your life by being open with your partner and your doctor about how you’re feeling.
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