How to Connect When Pregnancy Makes Sex Difficult


Pregnancy perpetually increases discomfort in a woman’s body. By the eighth and ninth month most women feel like they have become a constant ache. Questions often asked are: is sex safe during pregnancy? Will intercourse induce an early labor, causing a catastrophic event of losing your little one? Not only are those questions frequently asked, but once answered with, “Yes, sex is safe during pregnancy unless your doctor states otherwise,” the next inquiry is: how can we connect intimately when sex is completely uncomfortable?

First Trimester

During your first trimester, you will most likely be hit with a wave of symptoms, making sex and intimacy difficult. Many women experience intense nausea, vomiting, severe exhaustion, and tender breasts. The vast range of hormones coursing through your body are doing amazing things for your baby, but making you feel less and less sexy. “In the mood?” We think not. Sex becomes lower on the list of priorities during the first trimester, but that doesn’t mean you cannot connect with your partner! Work hard to engage in more cuddling and kissing, rather than sexual intercourse. Snuggling on the couch together will bring you close, plus it will help with your raging nausea.

Dr. Sheryl Ross, OB-GYN at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California says you know your body best, so listen to your body’s cues, and “most importantly, communicate well with your partner.” //

Second Trimester

More often than not, the second trimester is noted as the favorite trimester. Most women make it out of the intense nausea and vomiting stage, their breasts have decreased in tenderness, and their energy begins to pick back up. This is the ideal trimester to engage in sexual intercourse! Your body is not quite as round as it will become in the nearing months. It is encouraged to take advantage of this trimester and connect intimately with your partner, enjoying the sexual pleasures and increase of hormones, often making orgasms more attainable.

Third Trimester

Here is where you should be fully embracing the change of your body and your future. Instead of hating your rounding body, do your best to speak positive words of affirmation, claiming your beauty. Remind yourself that sexy doesn’t mean skinny and flat; it means you. It is difficult enough feeling sexy without the added feelings of inadequacy. This is usually the most uncomfortable part of pregnancy; you are rounder than ever, your feet and hands are swollen, your back aches, and everything simply hurts. During this trimester, Ross says intimacy may mean “being held and being cared for, not the physical act of sex.” Do your best to take advantage of these last weeks before baby arrives: go on dates, walk around a park, feed the ducks. Simple dates that don’t add pressure to either of you will bring you closer as your due date nears.

“If you and your partner choose to have sex , it’s always important to know which positions are going to be most comfortable,” Ross suggests. Again, it’s important to be honest with each other and have healthy communication about your emotional and physical desires. //

If you are adamant about attempting sexual intercourse, play around with new positions. Discover pregnancy-friendly positions and start the conversation with your partner about it; communicating about these vulnerable aspects of life is healthy. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to perform, and be open with your partner about how you are feeling. If you prefer snuggling and holding hands, let him know. If you desire his soft kisses up and down your body, especially where your baby is growing, tell him. He will be delighted to serve you in the ways that you ask.


Thanks for reading, have more questions? check out our article on “12 Questions you’re too scared to ask your doctor when pregnant


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