Pregnancy can bring with it an entire range of experiences starting from bodily changes, mood swings, morning sickness, fatigue and even painful breasts. But, apart from these, you may also notice a change in your libido and things can sometimes look south. But don’t worry, that’s perfectly normal and all you have to do is listen to your body and let yourself feel everything that comes your way.
How does pregnancy affect your sex drive?
During this time, you are likely to experience a waxing and waning libido or even have a consistent one. Each body is different and reacts differently to the hormonal rollercoaster, and while sometimes the increased blood flow to the genitals and breast areas may result in greater sensitivity and increased arousal, several other factors can lead to a lowered sex drive.
Lowered libido in the first trimester
When you conceive, progesterone and estrogen levels in your body experience a surge in the first trimester, which can leave you feeling exhausted rather than energised. Morning sickness and fatigue become your best friends, which can seriously damage your sex drive.
If you also experience a feeling of guilt for having your sex drive lowered, you can deal with feelings of self-doubt that can leave you anxious. Also, if you had a difficult time conceiving, fear of harming the baby can play at the back of your mind, causing you to feel even more anxious and thus, less sexy.
Can there be a change?
Even though the first trimester can make it feel difficult to get in the mood, the second trimester can bring about a change. Your hormone levels begin to drop, which decreases the feelings of nausea, exhaustion and vomiting and as you begin to feel re-energized, your sexual desire may make a comeback.
Further, you may experience extra vaginal lubrication along with a swelling of the clitoris and the vagina, which can contribute to more fulfilling and frequent sex. You may even experience multiple orgasms at this time.
But, in the third trimester, your body changes again where you gain more weight and experience back pain and several other symptoms that can once again lower your libido, but this doesn’t have to be the case for every woman. Some women feel sexy throughout, while others experience a lowered libido for all nine months and both are completely okay.
How do you deal with lowered libido?
The first step is accepting yourself and the changes that your body is going through. Communicate everything you’re feeling honestly with your partner and don’t put pressure on yourself for doing anything that you don’t want to. But, there are a few things you can try to get yourself in the mood if you really want to engage in intimacy with your partner:
- Be well-rested - Try to clock in at least 8 hours of sleep every day to wake up well-rested as being exhausted can hurt your libido and make you not be in the mood for sex.
- Try doing romantic things together - Engaging in romantic activities like watching a romantic movie together or going on dates can actually leave you feeling more loved and intimate, which can positively affect your sex drive.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle - Follow a good diet and exercise regularly to keep your energy levels high. If you feel healthy and active, you will feel better about engaging in sex.
- Engage in other intimate activities - If you still don’t feel up for sex, try getting a massage or a back rub to feel closer and more intimate with your partner.
- Experiment with sex positions - If your growing abdomen is getting in the way, experiment with different sex positions that do not put pressure on your belly like the sideway pose or where the woman is on top and it will make it possible for you to have a fulfilling sex life during your pregnancy.