You and Your Partner: 0-12 weeks

Studies have shown that many expectant fathers have worries and fears related to themselves, their wives, the pregnancy, the baby, sexuality, finances, childcare, and the new role of father they will be expected to fill. It is important to discuss those needs and concerns early in the pregnancy. The father's adjustment to pregnancy can have a significant effect on his happiness, the immediate and future health of the mother, and many aspects of the growth and development of the baby. Involving your partner in your pregnancy will help decrease his anxieties and make him more of a "team member". Have him join you for visits to our office, and encourage him to read about pregnancy and parenthood.

Sexuality During Pregnancy

Talk to your provider about specific factors that may affect your sexual desires and experiences while you are pregnant, including:

  • Communication and intimacy
  • Comfortable positions for sexual intercourse
  • Alternative methods of sexual satisfaction
  • Sexual interest and frequency
  • Partner's response
  • Use of condoms
  • Orgasm
  • Personal hygiene
  • Any restrictions that may be required due to your specific situation or complications such as vaginal bleeding

There are many physical and emotional changes that affect desire and actual physical pleasure, and understanding how these changes affect making love during pregnancy can help. It's not surprising that a decrease in sexual interest may occur early in pregnancy. After all, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and painfully tender breasts tend to make sex less appealing. In women with comfortable first trimesters, however, sexual desire often remains more or less the same. A minority of expectant women find it increases significantly. This increase in desire is often due to hormonal changes in early pregnancy that leave the vulva more sensitive and/or because of heightened breast sensitivity. These women may experience orgasms or multiple orgasms for the first time.

The most common concern related to sexual activity during pregnancy is the fear of hurting the developing baby. Except for certain medical complications, intercourse does not have to be interrupted during pregnancy unless a couple wishes to do so. The fetus is well cushioned and protected inside the amniotic sac and uterus, and the uterus is securely sealed off from the outside world with a mucous plug that "seals" the opening of the cervix.

Not all women know what to expect or not expect, in the intimate part of their relationship. You should always ask your provider if you have any concerns about your normal sexual activity and any signs or symptoms they want reported. A basic rule of thumb is that any abnormal or unusual symptom that you experience should be reported immediately.

Reprinted by Pregnancy.org, LLC from Her HealthCare.