Q. I'm in my second trimester, and lately every time I make love with my husband, I start crying when I have an orgasm. Why does this happen?
A. Pregnancy is a time of such huge biological changes that many women feel trapped on a hormonal roller coaster. In the second trimester particularly, "higher estrogen levels and increased blood flow in the pelvic area may make orgasms more intense," says Thamara Davis, MD, a psychiatrist at Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island. This -- combined with all those hormonal swings -- is bound to make you more emotional.
Crying during orgasms isn't necessarily a bad thing. "If you're in a warm, loving relationship, you may feel a strong unity with your partner during lovemaking," says Dr. Davis, and weeping is one way to express that.
On the other hand, if you're anxious about impending motherhood or feeling estranged from your partner, you may tear up during that vulnerable, post-orgasmic state because you're sad or angry. "Pregnancy can be lonely, as your partner's experience can never be the same as yours," explains Dr. Davis.
Whatever the cause, try to understand the emotions beneath the tears and share them with your husband. Impending parenthood will pose so many new challenges that you can't afford to hide from each other at this stage of the game. Besides, you may be surprised to hear that your husband's feeling vulnerable, too, even if he's not reaching for the Kleenex.
Holly Robinson is a Boston-area writer who lives with her husband and their five kids.
Originally published in American Baby magazine, June 2004.
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.