Sexuality During Pregnancy: 17-20 weeks

By the beginning of the second trimester, the pregnancy process begins to smooth out. While your body is still growing, it has become adjusted to the changes that are a part of pregnancy, making you feel more comfortable.

The fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and breast tenderness that you experienced in the early part of your pregnancy have probably lessened by now. In all likelihood you are beginning to enjoy being pregnant and are excited about this time of planning and sharing with your partner.

With the increasing change of your shape, you may need special reassurance from your partner that you are still feminine and desirable. Try to talk openly about how you are feeling, physically and emotionally, and about your need for warmth, intimacy, and sexual intercourse.

Sexual Activity

General factors affecting sexual activity during pregnancy, other than the pregnancy itself, include the following:

  • Your age
  • The length of your relationship
  • The quality of your relationship
  • Your sexual relationship prior to pregnancy

You may experience one of the following sexual desire patterns during pregnancy:

  • Sexual desire and activity remain normal constant throughout pregnancy
  • Sexual desire and activity decline over the pregnancy
  • Sexual desire and activity decline in the first and third trimesters, but increase during the second trimester

Psychological Issues

Increased sexual pleasure may result from the following:

  • Satisfaction stemming from the knowledge that you and your partner were able to conceive
  • Freedom from having to use contraceptives
  • The increased pelvic congestion that often facilitates orgasm in some pregnant women

Increased sexual pressure or decreased desire may result from the following:

  • Mixed emotions about the pregnancy
  • Adjustments to your new shape
  • Concern for the well being of you and your baby
  • Stress factors such as financial and lifestyle concerns
  • Continued physical discomforts

Safety and Comfort

Unless your midwife or doctor has recommended that sexual activity be restricted, it is generally safe to have sexual intercourse at any time during your pregnancy. If either you or your partner has an infection, don't have sex until you have received a complete course of treatment and are symptom free.

The basic guide to sex during pregnancy is your comfort. You and your partner may want to try different positions as your pregnancy progresses.

Notify your provider immediately if you experience severe pain, vaginal bleeding, or if any of the following symptoms persist more than one hour:

  • Unusual vaginal discharge
  • Abdominal cramping or aching
  • Lower backache
  • Contractions, tightening of the uterus, that occur more than four times in one hours

Reprinted from Her HealthCare.