You’re probably thinking there only three trimesters of pregnancy, right? After all, “tri-“ means three but it could mean that there are five distinct three-month periods associated with pregnancy and each one affects your sex life in distinctly different ways.
Sex and the Pre-Pregnancy Trimester: Getting Pregnant
Consider this trimester a prep phase, where you prepare the body for conception and when you eventually start getting pregnant. You’ll want to stop taking contraceptives and stop using other forms of birth control. It probably won’t hurt to up your dietary game so you and your baby’s daddy are in tip-top health before your egg meets his sperm. Exercise a little more, break bad habits, start taking prenatal vitamins, and indulge in sex. Lots of sex.
You will be fertile for only five or six days each month so be sure to have sex at least once on each of these days. These are the five days leading up to ovulation. Once you ovulate, the egg is only ripe for fertilization for about 24 hours. Have sperm in place and ready to do the deed as soon as ovulation occurs. The babyMed Ovulation Calculator is the perfect tool for identifying your most fertile days.
Are there any specific positions to improve your chances getting pregnant? Let us tell you how to position yourselves best to improve your chances getting pregnant.
Be sure to have sex on infertile days, too. Recent studies indicate semen causes the cervix to release chemicals that relax the female immune system so her body won’t attack and destroy the foreign DNA in his sperm. Once these little foreign invaders fertilize an egg, it becomes foreign DNA, too, as do the embryo and fetus. Semen helps prep the female immune system for a safe pregnancy from conception to delivery. Apply it lavishly.
Sex and the First Trimester of Pregnancy
Don’t stop now. Sex is as much fun during pregnancy as it was before. Sex won’t hurt the baby, it can’t hear you, and it isn’t watching.
Your body isn’t changing much yet but your hormones may seem to be going wild. This wildness makes some women crave sex, makes others shun sex, but most women fall somewhere in the middle. Just like before, sex will seem more appealing on some days than others.
Breasts and external genitals may swell and become extra sensitive to the touch so be sure to let your partner know how to proceed accordingly. Nausea, morning sickness, and fatigue may put a damper on how sexy you feel but nothing makes you feel sexier than sex itself, right?
Sex and the Second Trimester of Pregnancy
The second trimester is often described as the feel-good trimester of pregnancy. The nausea and fatigue of the first trimester usually fade away and energy and enthusiasm return. What a great time to catch up on sex play that might have been put on the shelf earlier.
You’ll begin to see subtle changes to your body at the beginning of the second trimester but nothing dramatic enough to require big changes to your sex game. Just do keep at it.
Satisfying sexual activities make sleep come easier and keeps moods brighter. It also exercises the vaginal muscles so childbirth is easier later on.
By the end of the second trimester, you might find yourself experimenting with new positions as your baby bump becomes a presence that can’t be ignored. Have fun with exploring new positions and new ways to pleasure each other. If your pre-pregnancy sex life seemed stuck in a rut, the last half of pregnancy provides perfect incentive to find ways out of that rut.
Sex and the Third Trimester of Pregnancy
By now, your baby bump is impossible to ignore so new positions are almost a given. Continue to have fun finding new positions and new ways to enjoy your sexuality. Vaginal intercourse, especially when it brings orgasm, continues to strengthen vaginal muscles and can be done even on your last day of pregnancy. Satisfying sex continues to promote good quality sleep and lift the spirits.
You may find that stimulation of the breasts and orgasm cause fluid to leak from the breasts. This is nothing to be alarmed about. Your body is finalizing the prep work for breastfeeding and sex play causes the body to release the same hormones that will be released when your baby suckles. Some women prefer to wear a bra during sex in late pregnancy to contain the leaks.
Orgasm may begin to feel different as pregnancy nears the end. The uterus might spasm a bit but it usually lasts no longer than a minute or so. These spasms are not contractions so don’t fear sex will induce early labor. Do contact your physician, though, if any sensations cause alarm.
You may also note spotting or pain after sex due to the baby’s head pressing down on the pelvis as it readies itself for birth. The pain is often relieved by finding a different sex position but any bleeding should be discussed with your doctor right away.
Sex and the Post-Pregnancy Trimester
After giving birth, your body will need a few months to recover. Most doctors recommend abstinence from sex for two months or so but will let you know in a postpartum check-up when it’s safe for you to resume sexual intercourse. Meanwhile, continue to experiment with new and different ways to bring mutual sexual satisfaction without vaginal penetration. Think of this trimester as two months of non-stop foreplay.
You may think prenatal check-ups are all about the developing baby but they are about your sex life, too. If your doctor discovers any reason that vaginal sex should not happen, s/he will let you know. S/he will also answer any sex questions you might have about sex and how it affects your pregnancy.
Don’t be squeamish or too modest to ask questions. It’s unlikely you will ask or say anything your doctor hasn’t already heard before. Your doctor wants you to enjoy pregnancy and knows a satisfying sex life is beneficial for pregnancy. It's beneficial for your body, your spirit, and your romantic relationship, too.
By Sandy Hemphill, Contributing Writer, BabyMed