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How Much Sex During Pregnancy?

At some point, every expecting couple wonders how pregnancy will affect their sex life. Will you ever have uninhibited sex again? Will you have as much sex during pregnancy as you did before?

Whether you're completely uninterested in sex now that you're pregnant, or you're feeling sexier than ever, most women find that pregnancy changes their sex lives in ways they never expected. This is probably the first time you have been able to make love without worrying about getting pregnant!

The majority of couples experience ups and downs in sexual desire during the nine months leading up to a baby's birth. Here's an outline of what to expect:

First Trimester

Many, though not all, pregnant women find their sex drive diminishes during the first trimester. You may be too exhausted and nauseated to think about sex, and sore breasts may also limit your desire to be touched. If you're not feeling in the mood, you're in good company: One study shows that 54 percent of pregnant women experience diminished desire during the first trimester. Don't worry. Your interest is likely to pick up again in just a few weeks.

Second Trimester

For many women, this is the golden time of pregnancy, particularly when it comes to sex. The fatigue and nausea have lifted, and you may be feeling sexy again as you begin to "show." Physically, your clitoris and vagina are more engorged from the increased blood volume, which may increase pleasure. (Many women become orgasmic or even multi-orgasmic for the first time during the second trimester.) Be aware that dads may feel inhibited as they come to terms with the fact that you are carrying a real, live baby. They may be concerned about hurting the baby or about him "overhearing" sexual activity. Talk to your doctor or midwife about any concerns you have, and try to enjoy this period.

Third Trimester

Toward the end of the final trimester, many couples experience a drop in sexual activity. The sheer girth of a pregnant woman's belly may make lovemaking difficult -- except in a few "creative" positions. Even so, many couples continue to enjoy relations right up until the end. Can sex late in pregnancy cause preterm labor? A recent study by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists shows that intercourse after 29 weeks does not increase a woman's risk for preterm labor (assuming that the pregnancy is a normal one).

How to Maintain Intimacy

Mutual understanding and open communication will help you and your partner survive these nine months. In the meantime, you may need to get creative. Try different love-making positions or experiment with massaging and touching your husband in new ways. Most importantly, start to stress quality over quantity when it comes to sex. This advice will carry over into the exhilarating but busy child-rearing years.

Source: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.