Changing Sex Drive
Pregnancy is a time filled with many changes, both physical and emotional. You may be noticing that your breasts are growing, that your belly is becoming rounder, and that your moods are shifting like the wind. You may also be experiencing a number of changes in the sexual department. Many pregnant women find that their sex drive fluctuates throughout the nine months of pregnancy. Perhaps you simply can’t get enough sex and attack your partner every time he walks by you. Or maybe you would much rather take a relaxing bath than head to the bedroom. But what are the reasons for this sudden change in sexuality and is this a normal part of pregnancy?
What is Sex Drive?
Sex drive is a term used to describe a person’s inherent desire to have sex. It is what encourages us to find a mate and to have children; in fact, without sex drive, none of us would even be here right now! Also known as your libido, your sex drive is determined by a number of different things, but it is primarily hormone-driven.
When we reach puberty, a tiny gland in our brain (called the pituitary gland), signals our body to begin producing sex hormones. These hormones help us to ovulate and menstruate, and they also cause us to feel the desire for sex. In women, sex drive is determined by estrogen and progesterone levels in the body. Other factors also influence sex drive, including self-esteem and physical health and wellness.
Sex Drive During Pregnancy
Throughout your pregnancy, you may notice that your sex drive begins to change: some days you may feel very sexual, while other days cleaning the grout in your shower sounds like more more fun than getting between the sheets. These changes are entirely normal and are often a typical part of pregnancy. So whether your sex drive is up or down, don’t worry – there is nothing wrong with you.
Sex Drive in Overdrive
Many pregnant women report that they actually experience a dramatic increase in their sex drive during pregnancy. This is typically due to the change in hormones that your body goes through when you are pregnant.
In order to support your pregnancy, your body increases the amount of progesterone and estrogen in your bloodstream. As a result, you may feel the need to be with your partner more than usual. This increase in hormones has a number of physical effects on your body, which can often make sexual intercourse much more enjoyable than usual. These changes include:
- increased vaginal lubrication
- increased sensitivity of the breasts and nipples
- increased blood flow to the pelvic area
Some women also report that they feel sexier during pregnancy. Those added curves around your hips, breasts, and stomach can contribute to an increase in your sex drive.
Stalled in the Driveway
If you are just not into sex as much as you used to be, rest assured, this is totally normal too. While some women experience an increase in sex drive, many also experience a very low libido. During the first trimester, pregnancy symptoms, like morning sickness and fatigue, may put a damper on your sex drive. You may also find that preparing for baby’s arrival is enough to focus on for the time being. Other factors that can cause a decreased libido include:
- Body Image Issues: Many pregnant women have a hard time dealing with the physical changes that come along with pregnancy. Added weight gain and changing body shape may make sexual intercourse awkward or difficult for some women.
- Worries About Baby: Many women worry for the safety of their baby during sexual intercourse. This can sometimes affect sex drive.
When do Sex Drive Changes Occur?
Changes in sex drive vary from woman-to-woman and from pregnancy-to-pregnancy. You may find that your sex drive changes as often as every week, or as little as every trimester.
Typically, sex drive tends to be lower during the first trimester. This is because most pregnancy symptoms occur during the first trimester and you may feel too tired or physically unwell to be interested in sex. During the second trimester, sex drive typically increases, as you experience renewed energy and some relief from that morning sickness. Throughout the third trimester your sex drive may drop again as your belly becomes larger and you prepare for birth.
Your Partner’s Sex Drive
It is important to remember that it’s not just you who is experiencing sexual change. Your partner’s libido may very well be going through similar changes. Many women are happy to report that their partner’s sex drive increases along with theirs. Numerous men find pregnant women very sexy, and greatly enjoy the new voluptuous curves pregnant women show off. Your partner may also experience a renewed sense of closeness with you now that you are pregnant.
Yet, like pregnant women, some men’s sex drive can also take a nosedive. Often, men can get worried about hurting the baby during sex. Your new role as a mother and caregiver can also be intimidating to some men. However your partner feels, it is important to be accepting and supportive of his emotional and physical needs (even if your libido is at the opposite end of the spectrum).
Dealing with Sex Drive During Pregnancy
If you are concerned about your changing sex drive during pregnancy, here are some tips that will help you to put your worries to rest.
- Talk with your health care provider about sex drive and pregnancy. She will be able to assure you that you are experiencing no underlying complications.
- Speak with your partner. Together you can find ways to be intimate without compromising either of your needs.
- Try new sexual positions that will help you to feel more comfortable during intercourse. This can help to make sex more enjoyable.
- Only do what makes you comfortable. Avoid anything that is physically painful or that makes you feel emotionally insecure.
|Concerned about sex during pregnancy? Talk to other pregnant women in the forum|