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Ventre femme enceinte dans son bain

Pregnancy and sexuality: everything there is to know, without taboo!

Pregnancy is an intense period of upheaval, for our body, in our body, in our mind. It is therefore not surprising that upheavals occur during these nine months, particularly sexuality. If pregnancy and sexuality are still a rather taboo subject, the fact remains that many of you ask us about your pregnant libido, about authorized practices, the risks... As a concept store dedicated to the intimacy of women created by women, Gapianne believes that its mission goes further: we wish to move forward with you on these questions and answer you without taboo. Together, we take stock of everything there is to know on the subject of pregnancy and sexuality. ♥️

What you must remember

  • There are no rules regarding sexuality during pregnancy unless expressly contraindicated by your doctor
  • Pregnancy influences libido and sexuality because it transforms the body, is a source of pain and disrupts hormones and minds
  • Libido and sexuality can evolve differently throughout pregnancy
  • It is possible to have couple or solo sex during pregnancy
  • Certain situations and symptoms may be contrary to the practice of sexuality during pregnancy: do not hesitate to consult if you have any doubts.

How pregnancy influences libido and sexuality

During pregnancy , under the influence of hormones, the growing unborn baby and the increasing expectation, the body and mind of future mothers change. They are upset in many ways, which necessarily influences sexual desire and sexuality .

Pregnancy changes the appearance of the body

The first aspect that impacts sexuality during pregnancy is the fact that pregnancy permanently changes the body of pregnant people : the abdominal volume changes, the chest grows, the person gains weight. All this can have an impact on the image you have of yourself (complexes) but also on the way you can move.

Because sexuality and the body are strongly linked , sexuality can be disrupted by these changes and need to be adjusted: new positions, need to be in the dark for modesty, etc.

Pregnancy causes pain and discomfort

Pregnancy also affects libido and sexuality because it can cause discomfort and pain during intercourse . Headache, chest tenderness during pregnancy, leg pain during pregnancy, tightness in the stomach, nausea, extreme fatigue... linked to physical and hormonal changes, the symptoms during pregnancy are unpleasant during this period. In addition, they can be numerous and their intensity and occurrence depend on the women and the trimesters. And they can be particularly harmful for the libido! Who wants to make love with a raging migraine or a chest that can't be brushed?

The pain caused by pregnancy thus tends to limit libido and can, in certain cases, modify sexuality, to avoid a painful position, for example.

Pregnancy sends hormones into overdrive

If female sex hormones never stop going on a roller coaster throughout the life of menstruating people, pregnancy is the culmination of this hormonal madness. At this time, estrogen and progesterone are in high gear and their fluctuating levels affect libido and mood. While your libido may be through the roof or on the contrary be below ground, your mood may alternate between irritability, significant emotionality and depressive episodes. All in the same day: perfect. 👌

Hormonal fluctuations linked to pregnancy really have a strong impact on libido , being able to sharpen it or reduce it to nothing. Likewise, the resulting mood fluctuations can also tend to decrease libido.

Future motherhood shakes the mind

Finally, upcoming motherhood is the last aspect of pregnancy that impacts libido and sexuality. As pregnant people, unlike the person with whom they conceive their child, you feel within yourself the imminent arrival of the baby: it is possible that you and your partner are no longer completely on the same phase, creating dissensions . It shakes up your mind, creates expectations, modifies relationships as a couple, creates obligations and new constraints too. The couple is modified, the libido is necessarily impacted, increased or on the contrary very reduced.

The evolution of libido during pregnancy

If pregnancy is the scene of many physical, hormonal and emotional changes, it is necessary to remember that these are in no way anarchic!! They are usually linked to stages of pregnancy and their changes follow and rhythm the growth of the baby in your body. This is why we can observe trends in the evolution of libido during pregnancy.

♥️ Small disclaimer here: although we can observe major trends, there are no rules when it comes to libido and sexuality – this also matters for pregnancy. We are all different. All that matters is you, your desire and your body.

Libido in the first trimester

During the first trimester of pregnancy, the majority of pregnant women experience an overall decline in sexual desire.

Indeed, fatigue, nausea and hormonal changes in the first trimester can reduce interest in sexual activity.

Even more, the first trimester is marked by great emotional sensitivity: hormonal fluctuations can make some women more sensitive or emotionally vulnerable, which can also influence their sexual desire.

Libido in the second trimester

The second trimester is often when pregnant people feel the best during their pregnancy, with a gradual and positive adaptation to their pregnancy state. The nausea and fatigue of the first trimester fade for the majority of women, giving them renewed energy.

As a result, the second trimester most often marks an increase in sexual desire . Of course, the new energy and improved symptoms of the first trimester have an impact, but so does the increased blood circulation in the pelvic area, which can increase sensitivity and sexual pleasure.

Libido in the third trimester

In the third trimester, as the term approaches, it is common for pregnant women to experience a general decline in sexual desire.

This is largely due to the significant change in their body (this is the period when the belly grows the most and the fastest) which makes it difficult to find comfortable positions. Weariness of pregnancy, as well as anxiety about childbirth, which affect some women at the end of pregnancy, can also explain this decline.

As always when we talk about female intimacy, there is however no strict rule: many women rather testify to an argumentation of their libido in the third trimester, finding comfort and well-being in intimacy and sexuality. This can also be explained because their hormones act differently on their libido.

Pregnant sex? It's possible !

Let's now enter the taboo subject: yes, it is possible to have sex when you are pregnant and to enjoy it. How, in what positions? And masturbation? Here we give you our recommendations for better experiencing your pregnant sexuality. ♥️

Practicing sexuality as a pregnant couple

Contrary to what one might believe, the contraindications to sexual practice during pregnancy are very limited. They are generally circumstantial, linked to issues that occur during your pregnancy. Otherwise, the only limits are your body, your desires and those of your partner!

Penetration during pregnancy is not a problem, whatever the trimester: on the one hand, your companion does not risk hitting the fetus. On the other hand, the mucous plug that forms at the entrance to the uterus during pregnancy protects the future baby from sperm and infections. If it bothers you or him, however, certain sexual positions can help alleviate this feeling. Furthermore, sex is not just about vaginal penetration: other practices can allow you to have sweet moments.

Regarding the preferred sexual positions, everything depends above all on your comfort and that of your partner, but you also have to use a little common sense! ;) At the end of pregnancy, when your belly is quite large, the missionary position and all positions that involve your stomach being crushed are not recommended to protect the baby and avoid hurting yourself. We often recommend the spoon position , which allows the mother-to-be to be on her side: it limits the pain and discomfort linked to her imposing belly.

🌈 During pregnancy, lubricating your vagina can be complicated, particularly because of hormonal fluctuations, this is one of the symptoms of intimate dryness . In case of intimate dryness , do not hesitate to opt for lubricant. Our preference is for the water lubricant from the My Lubie brand because it has the advantage of being natural and composed largely of water. It is compatible with pregnancy.

Two hands holding a water-based intimate lubricant from My lubie which flows over them

I want this natural lubricant >

Also read: Comparison of the best lubricants >

And masturbation?

Just as practicing sex with a partner is not dangerous for the baby, practicing masturbation is not dangerous during pregnancy either . Alone or as a couple, this poses no danger to the future child, whether there is penetration or not.

🌈 Does penetration scare you / make you uncomfortable despite everything? What if you took advantage of pregnancy to discover sex toys without penetration, mainly focused on clitoral pleasure? On Gapianne, we recommend Ona: it is a clitoral stimulator from the Bouche-bée brand which combines two actions: a game of suction/blowing and vibrations. Everything to stimulate the clitoris without penetration!

Ona double stimulation sex toy from Bouche Bée in one hand - Gapianne

I want this clitoral stimulator >

What are the situations in which you should avoid sexual relations?

There are a few situations in which your healthcare provider may advise against vaginal sex or other forms of penetrative sexual activity. Here they are :

  • You have loss of blood or amniotic fluid;
  • You gave birth prematurely or had premature labor in a previous pregnancy. The pleasure hormone – oxytocin – released at the time of orgasm generates uterine contractions which can trigger premature labor. You may therefore be asked to avoid sexual activity after a certain number of weeks of amenorrhea.
  • The membranes surrounding the baby are ruptured or the mucous plug has fallen: vaginal intercourse should be avoided because it increases the risk of infection.
  • The placenta is placed too low. In this situation, sexual practices with vaginal penetration can cause significant bleeding and trigger premature delivery: it will therefore be necessary to avoid them.
  • You are pregnant with twins or more: as multiple pregnancies may be more risky, your doctor may suggest that you stop having sexual intercourse earlier.
  • Your doctor has asked you to rest from all your activities / you are bedridden. Typically, this also involves taking a break from sexual activity–but don't hesitate to ask if this hasn't been made clear to you.

    Final points of vigilance for practicing sexuality during pregnancy

    In general, and as always when we address questions related to your health, we can only recommend that you seek the advice of the health professional who is treating you. If you have the green light for sexual practice then GO! you have nothing to fear! Here we just give you the last points of vigilance to remember for a fulfilled sexuality without guilt!

    1. Don't force yourself: During pregnancy, as in everyday life, you listen to your body, your desires and act accordingly! For some women, pregnancy is a sexual fireworks display, for others, sex is not on their minds: there is no model and even less objective. Only one rule: listen to yourself. ♥️
    2. Protect yourself in the event of risky sex: If you have risky sexual relations during pregnancy, protect yourself with a condom. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV or syphilis are highly dangerous for your baby. And if you have not protected yourself and fear an infection, talk to your doctor or midwife.
    3. Avoid uncomfortable sexual positions, pain: In general, we recommend that you stop your practice from the moment you feel discomfort, pain, or you start bleeding.
    4. Discuss with your partner: Pregnancy is a special time for you who are pregnant but also for your partner. He may be afraid of hurting you and hurting the baby, be embarrassed, excited or on the contrary uncomfortable with your changing body... it's normal. It is important to protect your relationship and your sexuality and this requires discussion.
    5. Get the advice of your healthcare professional: If you have any doubts about what you can or cannot do, do not hesitate to speak to your healthcare professional.

    Benefits of fulfilling sexuality during pregnancy

    When we talk about sexuality and pregnancy, it is normal to highlight the risks associated with this practice... but what about the benefits of fulfilling sexuality during pregnancy? We are talking about it !

    Does good ♥️

    Sex feels good – that’s why we enjoy it! The hormones released during sex and orgasm, the pleasure that comes from sex: whether we are pregnant or not, we feel it and we appreciate it.

    Brings the couple closer

    For many couples, sexual activity as a couple is a moment of sharing, intimacy and complicity. If this is the case for you, then continuing to have sex during pregnancy seems essential to unite the couple and, simply, share good times. In addition to these sweet moments, oxytocin – the hormone of attachment and love – acts like a glue between you.

    Relieves minor pains

    The hormones generated by the body during sexual activity, whether as a couple or solo, can tend to alleviate the minor pains you feel. Thanks to endorphins, oxytocin and other dopamines for their beneficial action! Stomach ache, chest pain... they can be alleviated by sexual practice, whether you reach orgasm or not!

    Helps you get to sleep

    Do you suffer from insomnia during pregnancy due to hormonal fluctuations and associated minor pains? Making love can help you! The endorphins released by sexual activity and orgasm make it easier to fall asleep.

    Relieve stress

    Last good reason to make love during your pregnancy (if you want to, of course!): endorphins also have a de-stressing power! In this potentially very stressful time, this can't do you any harm! ;)

    Myths and realities about pregnancy and sexuality

    Let's finish this article on pregnancy and sexuality by tackling all the prejudices / clichés that we can naturally have! Some are true, others completely false: let's take the time to answer them together!

    Can sex hurt the baby?

    Unless there are circumstances and very specific health problems (we mentioned them a little earlier), sex cannot hurt the baby. First of all, your partner's penis cannot touch your baby. Then the uterus and amniotic membranes surround and protect the baby. Finally, the mucus plug prevents bacteria and sperm from entering the uterus, protecting the baby from infections.

    Does sexual desire systematically decrease during pregnancy?

    There are no rules when it comes to intimacy: in some pregnant people, sexual desire is crazy throughout the pregnancy, in others it is at its lowest. Generally, the second trimester is the most conducive to sexual desire, but there's no need to worry if that's not what you're feeling.

    Do all pregnant women experience an increase in their libido?

    As said just before: there are no rules and even less unanimity. Some pregnant people's libido skyrockets throughout the pregnancy, while others won't have any at all. Many reasons can explain these disparities. Typically, the second trimester is when pregnant women have the most libido but you can totally experiment with something different.

    Can sex during pregnancy cause premature labor?

    Yes in very specific cases. There are very few contraindications to sexual activity during pregnancy and generally, sex does not cause premature labor. However, if you have already had a premature birth or if your placenta is very low, your doctor may recommend that you do not have sex. Penetration and contractions of the uterus linked to orgasm can indeed lead to premature delivery. If you have any concerns about this, do not hesitate to speak with your doctor.

    Is it normal to feel anxious about sexuality during pregnancy?

    It's totally normal to feel anxious about sex during pregnancy–after all, it's totally normal to feel anxious during pregnancy, period 😉. Even more, it is possible that both you and your partner are stressed. It is essential to talk about it and test your limits.

    Is penetration the only option for couples during pregnancy?

    No. Vaginal penetration is by no means the only option for sharing a moment of sexual pleasure during pregnancy. Pregnancy is even an opportunity to try other sexual practices and diversify your practices to have fun in a different way. We think, for example, of sex toys without penetration, scenarios/role plays and so on!

    Are orgasms during pregnancy dangerous for the baby?

    Orgasms during pregnancy are generally not dangerous for the baby. The main contraindication is the fact that contractions of the uterus during orgasm can trigger childbirth. If you are at risk of premature birth, your doctor may recommend that you avoid sexual activity.

    Can you use lubricants during pregnancy?

    Yes, it is totally possible to use lubricants during pregnancy: the mucus plug present during pregnancy at the entrance to your uterus has the function of preventing bacteria / products / sperm from contacting the baby. However, we recommend that you opt for a lubricant compatible with pregnancy and avoid products containing CBD.

    🌈 At Gapianne, we like the water-based lubricant from the My Lubie brand because it has the advantage of being natural and composed largely of water. It is compatible with pregnancy.

    Two hands holding a water-based intimate lubricant from My lubie which flows over them

    I want this lube >

    Can you use sex toys during pregnancy?

    Yes, it is totally possible to use sex toys during pregnancy–unless your doctor has advised you to rest and warn you about having sex and orgasms (to avoid premature labor in particular). All the sex toys you usually use are compatible with pregnancy. However, if penetration makes you uncomfortable, you can totally consider non-penetrative sex toys that focus on clitoral pleasure.

    🌈 On our e-shop, we have selected for you the pulsed air clitoral vibrator from the Lelo brand. With a very large head, it adapts to all anatomy and its body offers 8 levels of intensity of vibrating waves.

    Sila the purple sonic clitoral sex toy from Lelo which is placed on a mirror

    I want this clitoral vibrator >

    Are there any sex positions to avoid during pregnancy?

    There are no sexual positions prohibited or to be avoided during pregnancy : everything will depend on your comfort. For example, the missionary position, which involves your partner on top of you, may become uncomfortable as your belly grows–your partner may also be uncomfortable squishing the baby. In this case, adapt this position or change positions to find one that suits you.

    How long can I have sex during pregnancy?

    Again, there are no rules. To speed up the onset of childbirth, a few days before the due date, sexual practice may for example be recommended, as orgasm can trigger contractions of the uterus. Also, everything will depend on you, your feelings, your partner and the advice of your doctor depending on your medical situation.

    Except in special medical cases, identified and discussed with your doctor, sexuality during pregnancy , as at all times of life, depends above all on you, your desires and those of your partner. It's normal for your libido to change throughout pregnancy , with the hormonal fluctuations, physical changes, symptoms, and emotions you experience. The key is communication and exchange with your partner.

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