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Just For Expecting Dads – Sex and Pregnancy

Some men love sex with their pregnant partners, while others view it as a complete turn-off.  Regardless of whether your desire increases or decreases due to the pregnancy, your partner may not feel sexual at all.  Your mother-to-be may feel fatigued and nauseous during the first 12 weeks, also called the first trimester, of pregnancy.  […]

Some men love sex with their pregnant partners, while others view it as a complete turn-off.  Regardless of whether your desire increases or decreases due to the pregnancy, your partner may not feel sexual at all.  Your mother-to-be may feel fatigued and nauseous during the first 12 weeks, also called the first trimester, of pregnancy.  Her thoughts and desires may not include a desire for sexual intimacy, or if they do, the nausea and general malaise she experiences during this phase of pregnancy will probably interfere with her ability to follow through on thoughts of sex.

Patience and Understanding Can Lead to Second Trimester Rewards

During this time, she needs emotional support and may need help completing tasks around the house if the nausea lasts past the morning hours or includes some vomiting.  She will appreciate your patience and understanding.  Spend some time listening to her talk about the physical and emotional challenges she has faced in the first trimester.  Unless she has a relatively uncommon, but more severe type of nausea, called hyperemesis gravidarum, she will feel markedly better during the second trimester, or second twelve weeks. Changes in certain hormone levels during pregnancy will increase lubrication and blood flow to the genitals, making thoughts of sexual intimacy more alluring.

Concerned About the Baby During Sex?

If your partner is healthy with an uncomplicated pregnancy, sex is very safe.  Your developing baby lies in a cushioned position in the uterus, far out of the reach of your penis during intercourse.  Many moms-to-be report higher satisfaction and intensified orgasm during pregnancy.  During the second trimester, your partner’s abdomen usually has not grown large enough to hinder face-to-face intercourse.  However, pain or bleeding during and after intercourse merits an immediate visit to your partner’s OB/GYN.

What If She’s Still Not Interested?

Some women may feel “fat” or unattractive during pregnancy; depression, poor body image, and low self-esteem affect sexual desire in all women whether pregnant or not.  Try connecting with her through some of her favorite activities or by talking with her about what you find beautiful and attractive about her pregnant figure.  Regardless of whether she responds to these overtures, the pregnancy only lasts three trimesters.  While your sex life will forever change once baby arrives, you and your partner can come up with an intimacy plan that works for the whole family and creates positive, rather than negative change.

Positions and Oral Sex

While you and your partner may feel willing to engage in sex during the third trimester, her abdomen will have grown markedly, making many positions unrealistic or impossible.  At this point, a side by side position or entering from behind represent the best choices and most comfortable for mom.  Oral sex offers a relatively safe alternative for both partners, but never blow air into your pregnant partner’s vagina when performing it on her.  This can create an embolus (air bubble) in her blood stream, which may travel to the lungs and could result in death. Avoid oral sex if you have a cold sore, active oral herpes, or other infection.

High-Risk Pregnancies

Gestational diabetes, placenta previa, and other complications may cause your partner’s OB/GYN to order complete bed rest.  This means rest and no sex.  Some women with higher risk pregnancies can engage in limited sexual activity, but only her physician can make the decision as to how much and what type, if any, is allowed.

Final Considerations

If you had a strong and satisfying intimate life with your partner prior to pregnancy, chances are it will return sometime during the first six months of baby’s arrival.  If your pre-pregnancy sex life was sparse or non-existent, it won’t get better after the baby is born.  Seeking couples counseling from a therapist who specializes in couples sexual therapy may help.  Ask your partner’s OB/GYN if he or she has pamphlets especially for new fathers that detail sexual intimacy and your baby’s impact upon it in terms men can relate to easily.

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