Whatever the circumstances of a pregnancy, it is one of life’s greatest landmarks. Few other events can match it for emotive impact… surprise, shock, elation, fear, anticipation … you name the emotion and a pregnancy can bring it out.
Sex is how a pregnancy starts and there are a lot of things about pregnancy that affect how sexuality continues once it is under way … the growing fetus, the woman’s changing body shape, sore expanding breasts, tiredness, nausea, anticipating all the changes to your lives. All sorts of questions come up, especially during the first pregnancy when everything is so new.
The whole subject of sex during pregnancy is heavily weighted with old myths. Once upon a time, sex during pregnancy was one of those taboos. It just wasn’t the done thing. Nowadays attitudes are more moderate and take into account that sexual activity in pregnancy will vary from person to person, and from time to time. The only certainty is that there can be no hard and fast rules.
For some women, pregnancy is a turn-on. Tricia recalls, ‘I really enjoyed sex when I was pregnant. I felt really womanly. We had endured years of infertility studies and sex had become incredibly mechanical. You had to do it on this particular day when your temperature was right and we had both started to hate it. When I became pregnant it was this enormous release for us; we could do it whenever we wanted. John appreciated the changes in my body and I just loved what was happening to me. Since then every time I have been pregnant it’s been the same. I don’t seem to orgasm as often when I’m pregnant, but that doesn’t matter.’ Anna’s experience was different. ‘My first pregnancy was unplanned, so for the first few weeks I was in shock. I figured sex had started all this and actually felt a bit angry about it, so that turned me off for a while. Once I got used to the idea I really enjoyed not having to worry about contraception any more. I felt better as I got bigger. I felt more sexual and we ended up having a great sex life. Pete thought it was wonderful!’