SEX DURING PREGNANCY
PICTURES AND MOVIES FOR THRILLING MARITAL SEX
To View, Learn and Enjoy CLICK HERE
I.ENJOYING SEX WHILE PREGNANT
Pregnancy can change your appetite for many of life's simple pleasures, from making dinner to making love. How you will feel about sex while pregnant depends on your individual feelings about sex, your partner's feelings, and the physical and emotional changes of this particular pregnancy. We can give you one guarantee - while pregnant you will feel different about sex. For many women, and their partners, this difference is exciting. Some women become aroused more easily, and climax more quickly, pleasurably, and frequently, and many men find their pregnant wives sexier than ever. Yet while some couples experience pregnancy as a peak erotic time in their married life, others experience a downturn in desire or satisfaction. Most couples report both ups and downs. Fortunately, all of these feelings are normal. And the good news is a little knowledge helps most couples increase their sexual pleasure during these pregnancy months. Once you and your mate realize why sex is different during the nine months of pregnancy (and for that matter, the months after birth) you'll find it easier to adjust to this biological fact of life. It is just one more season of your marriage, one that needs sensitive understanding. First trimester. In the early months fatigue, along with nausea and fear of miscarriage, turns sex into an uncomfortable obligation for many women. Second trimester (called "pregnancy's honeymoon"). Hormonal surges level off. Fatigue and morning sickness usually lessen, the fear of miscarriage subsides as the statistical risk decreases, and many women show a surge in sexual desire. It is not uncommon for men, enjoying the new erotic feelings of their mates; to feel that the sex they didn't get earlier was worth waiting for. The heightened sensitivity of the erogenous zones is so thrilling to many women that they experience more enthusiasm for sex during the middle months of pregnancy than at any time in their lives. Final months. Do not be surprised if in the final months you are too large, too awkward, or too preoccupied with the coming birth to enjoy sex. In the third trimester, as a ballooning abdomen literally comes between a woman and her partner, most women report that they focus more on becoming maternal rather than being sexual. Even if the body is willing, it is clumsy. SEXUAL CHANGES BRING PLEASURE OR PAIN The changes in the sexual organs that accompany pregnancy can lead to one woman's pleasure and another woman's pain. The same hormones that prepare your body to birth and nourish your baby also change the way your body experiences sex. During pregnancy, your breasts become increasingly full and your nipples become larger and more sensitive; during lovemaking blood flow to your breasts increases even more. While your more voluptuous look may be a turn-on for your mate, heightened breast sensitivity can be either irritating or stimulating for you, depending on where you are in your pregnancy. The changes in your vaginal canal that get it ready for baby's passage also make it feel different during lovemaking. The increased blood flow to the muscles and lining of your vagina cause a feeling of fullness. For some women - and their partners - this change can accent sexual joy; for other women, it's uncomfortable. Vaginal secretions increase and the odor changes. The naturally increased lubrication of the pregnant vagina may seem a perk to women who previously experienced dryness during intercourse. For other women, this is just another of nature's nuisances that will soon pass. The increased snugness and lubrication of the pregnant vagina may accentuate sexual enjoyment for some couples. Other couples may feel the venous congestion makes the vagina feel too snug, leaving less room for the penis. Changes in sexual organs during pregnancy tend to be more pronounced in subsequent pregnancies than for first timers. Due to the increased blood supply to the cervix you may experience occasional bleeding or spotting after intercourse, caused by breaking of tiny blood vessels at the tip of the cervix. Avoiding deep penetration during intercourse can lessen this harmless but scary sight. If bleeding occurs during intercourse and worries you, your practitioner can examine you to determine whether the bleeding is coming from your uterus (which is of concern) or is harmless bleeding from the congested vessels lining your vagina or cervix. Communication changes, too. You will find that the language of lovemaking changes during pregnancy. You will need to show and tell your mate what produces pleasure and what produces pain or irritation. There may be days or nights when the rising sensitivity of your breasts and vagina give you immense pleasure during foreplay; at other times, the ultra-sensitivity in the sexual organs make breast and clitoral fondling off limits. To increase your pleasure and help you avoid discomfort, tell your partner what feels good and what doesn't. When your breasts or pelvic organs enjoy touch, welcome it; if not, nudge those massaging hands toward less sensitive areas.
hroughout the course of your pregnancy, you will experience a wide range of emotions and physical changes. One change you or your partner may encounter is an increased or decreased sex drive. Hormones, body image, relationship issues and prenatal health can affect your sex drive and your ability to engage in sexual activity.
A woman�s desire for sex during pregnancy can fluctuate month-to-month or trimester-to-trimester. During the first trimester, fatigue, vomiting and nausea may put a damper on sexual activity. By the second trimester, many women regain energy and feel more aroused due to physical changes such as full breasts, increased vaginal lubrication and increased blood flow to the pelvic region. Once the third trimester arrives, fatigue and body aches and pains may decrease your sexual desire.
Your partner may also experience an increased or decreased sex drive. In one respect, your partner may be aroused by your full breasts and round belly, trying new sex positions (to account for your growing abdomen) and a newfound freedom from concerns about contraception. On the other hand, your partner may feel anxious due to a fear of causing you discomfort, harming the fetus, or nervousness about becoming a parent.
Communicating With Your Partner
Talk to your partner about your comfort level regarding the amount of sex you would like to have, the different positions you would like to try, and where you would like to be touched. Ask your partner about his preferences as well.
Participating in sexual activity while pregnant can be enjoyable, and as long as you are experiencing a healthy or �normal� pregnancy, sex during pregnancy does not harm your baby. The penis does not come into contact with the fetus during sex due to the mucus plug in your cervix and the muscles of the uterus. In addition, it is safe for a pregnant woman to reach orgasm.
When Sex During Pregnancy is Not Safe
Sex may not be a safe activity if your pregnancy is considered high-risk or if other significant complications exist. Your doctor may advise against sex during pregnancy if you are diagnosed as having any of the following conditions:
If you are unsure whether sex during pregnancy is safe for you, contact your obstetrician. In addition, if you notice any unusual symptoms after intercourse, contact your health care provider immediately. Mild cramping may follow sexual intercourse and orgasm. This cramping is due to the prostaglandins (hormones that help induce labor) in semen and contraction of pelvic muscles during orgasm. The cramping should be mild and short-lived. If cramping persists or intensifies to regular contractions, contact your obstetrician.
It is important to abstain from sexual activity with a partner who has or may have a sexually transmitted disease (STD) such as genital warts (HPV), chlamydia, herpes or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Some STDs can be transmitted to the fetus or to the newborn at the time of birth. Some people with an STD may show no signs or symptoms. Avoid having sexual intercourse with a partner whose sexual history is unknown to you.
Sexual Activity During the Latter Stages of Pregnancy
During the latter half of your pregnancy, sexual intercourse in the missionary position (woman flat on her back) should be avoided. When flat on your back, the enlarged pregnant uterus may compress the blood vessels along your spine that are returning blood to your heart. This can cause a sudden drop in your blood pressure and a feeling of dizziness. To maintain good blood flow to the uterus, lie on your side during the latter half of pregnancy.
Talk to your doctor about sexual activity during the final weeks of your pregnancy. If you experience vaginal bleeding or have a history of preterm labor, your doctor may advise you to abstain from sexual intercourse. The hormone prostaglandin is present in semen, but not in the amount required to induce labor. In general, sexual activity will not trigger labor unless your body is ready.
How Soon Can One Have Sex After the Baby is Born?
Medical opinions vary as to when you should resume sexual activity after delivery. It is recommended that you wait until after your postpartum checkup before you resume intercourse.
Every woman's pregnancy is different. Talk to your doctor, nurse or midwife regarding any concerns you may have about your sexual activity and prenatal health.
8 TIPS FOR BETTER SEX DURING PREGNANCY :-
1. Think round, think big. Consider what you're getting and not what you're losing. Your new roundness provides more surface area for your lover to see and touch. Any time you feel yourself falling back into your old mindset, call a friend who's been there and ask her to talk you out of it. Stand in front of a mirror and embrace the new version of yourself. Take pride in your "new" body - give it the respect it deserves.
2. Give yourself a sexy look. Just because your body is getting bigger doesn't mean you shouldn't look your best. Treat yourself to a new hairstyle, change your make-up, and buy a new nightgown revealing what's appealing. This is likely to spark your mate and push your sexual image up a notch.
3. Act sexier than you feel. Social scientists have shown that acting can affect feeling. Smiling, for example, causes your brain to release the same chemicals it would if you were actually happy - thereby making you happier. If you act unsexy, you may cause your partner to feel unsexy, making him retreat. If you act sexy, you may soon surprise yourself with feeling sexy!
4. You are attractive to your mate. If you convince yourself that your blossoming belly is no longer attractive to your husband, you are setting yourself up for a sexual slow down. Besides, this probably isn't true. It's the different shape that attracts males. And certainly during pregnancy you will look and act differently than at any other time in your relationship. Research doesn't support your assumption that you are not attractive to your mate; most men find their wives' newly rounded bodies appealing. Your mate is likely to love the fleshy feel and curvy look of your pregnant body. Add to these features the possibility that once you are past the yucky early months of pregnancy you are initiating lovemaking and your mate is likely to feel excited about your sexuality while pregnant.
5. Have a sex talk. Tell your mate about the way pregnancy is affecting your sexuality; and ask your mate to tell you how he feels about your new look. Each partner should explain his or her feelings. Be sure that he does not interpret your disinterest in sex as disinterest in him, for example, or you don't assume his confusion over how to touch you now means he's not interested. By the same token, avoid projecting your sexual uneasiness onto your mate. He will probably find you more attractive than ever.
6. Share your body. Be sure to include your husband in the pregnancy by being proud of - rather than hiding - your body's milestones: your darkened nipples, the first tummy bulge. Focus on what is new and exciting that you will both enjoy only during pregnancy. For example, your new breasts will be "all his" for the rest of the pregnancy - what a turn on, without resorting to silicone! Lie nude together watching and feeling the baby move. Your mate will enjoy side views that he has never before seen. One fun project can be taking "as you grow" photos, month-by-month photos showing, from all angles, your changing pregnant image. Your mate will enjoy his "pin-up wall."
7. Have a fling. Have periodic weekend "dates" before baby arrives; after he or she comes you will have less energy for each other. The best time for ambitious sexual retreats is during the middle months of pregnancy, but make an effort to spend romantic time enjoying each other throughout the pregnancy.
8. Avoid the "sex as a service" feeling. While for most couples a certain amount of "obligatory" sex is usual during pregnancy, don't let your mate feel you are always "servicing" him (or her!), even though sometimes you are.
II.Physical Changes during pregnancy to undertake Sex Positions
The body undergoes so many changes during pregnancy, and your sexuality is no different. Here is a look at the physical and emotional changes that might occur in each trimester:
Remember this special time in your lives, and enjoy yourselves fully during pregnancy. There are very few things a pregnant woman can't do sexually. If you are having problems your practitioner may advise you to limit intercourse or orgasm, but the one thing that should never be done is to blow air into the vagina, it may cause a placental air embolism.
III.Common Myths about Sex during Pregnancy
Myth #1 - Sex will hurt the baby.
Sex is not harmful for your baby, in fact in most cases, the motion of having sex will rock your little one off to sleep. You won't hurt the baby by making love, even with your partner on top. The thick mucus plug that seals the cervix helps guard against infection. The amniotic sac and the strong muscles of the uterus also protect your baby. You may notice that your baby is very active after your orgasm. This is because of your pounding heart, not because your baby knows what is happening or feels pain. On the same note, you partner's penis will not be able to reach the baby, even if he is that well endowed, because the cervix is shut tight. (We hate to deflate dad's ego but it just isn't possible!)
Myth #2 - Sex will hurt me
You probably won't be up for exploring alternative forms of sex but playing with other positions (you on top, sitting in your partner's lap, or a side by side spoon position) may be just the thing to send you over the top during love making. As the old saying goes, "Where there's a will, there's a way." With a little experimenting, you and your partner are sure to find a position and technique that works for both of you. Be encouraged, some women experience their first orgasm while having sex during their pregnancy. This can be attributed to the engorgement of the genitals with more sensitive nerve endings. And oxytocin, the hormone that maintains your pregnancy, is known to spark the libido.
Myth #3 - Having sex will cause premature labor.
There is no medical evidence that the act of having sex causes labor. Stimulation of the breasts can speed up the production of oxytocin which can cause contractions when you are near your due date. As your pregnancy progresses, you will discover that you can and will have all sorts of contractions without going into labor. Your doctor or midwife may limit your sexual activity if your pregnancy is considered high risk with a history of premature labor, early cervical dilation, placenta previa, premature rupture of the membranes or vaginal bleeding.
Myth #4 - Oral sex is a no-no.
This is one of the biggest misconceptions about having sex during pregnancy. Normal oral sex will not harm you or your baby and many couples consider it a nice substitute if intercourse is deemed too risky. It can become a convenient option when you get too uncomfortable to have actual intercourse. Just make sure your partner avoids blowing air into your vagina. If this is the first time you've heard of such a practice, it's being mentioned because blowing hard could cause an air embolism (obstructing a blood vessel) and it could potentially kill you and your baby.
Your pregnancy is a wonderful time for having close and loving sexual experiences with your partner. Take advantage of your down time and get creative with each other. You might just discover a side to you both that you didn't know existed before. Pregnancy is a time when many couples open doors and find new and exciting ways to be intimate with one another other than just the act of having sex.
IV.A.Pregnancy how affects Sexual Activity
1999 study conducted by researchers at
Memorial University of Newfoundland found that more than half of
mothers-to-be believe that making love during pregnancy poses some sort of
threat to the developing baby -- this despite the fact that the Society of
Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada and other health authorities
consider sex during pregnancy to be safe for most couples experiencing
And, of course, it's not just mothers-to-be who worry that the unborn baby will somehow be adversely affected by what's happening between the sheets: according to Anne Semans and Cathy Winks, co-authors of The Mother's Guide to Sex: Enjoying Your Sexuality Through All Stages of Motherhood (Three Rivers Press, 2001, $22), many expectant fathers also share the same fear:
"It's fairly common for men, in particular, to be uncomfortable with intercourse during pregnancy because of a feeling that the baby is in on the action, which can manifest as fear that the fetus might somehow be injured by the penis, or even as embarrassment that the fetus is somehow witnessing the proceedings."
Even if you and your partner feel perfectly comfortable with the idea of remaining sexually active during pregnancy, you can expect to experience a bit of an ebb and flow in sexual desire as you move from one trimester to the next.
According to Semans and Winks, the first trimester tends to be a bit of a sexual wasteland for expectant couples, with fatigue and morning sickness leaving many pregnant women feeling more interested in sleep or soda crackers than in having sex. (Let's just say that the early weeks of pregnancy aren't exactly known for their aphrodisiac qualities!)
The second trimester, on the other hand, is the golden age of pregnancy -- at least from a sexual standpoint. As Semans and Winks note, "By the second trimester, increased blood flow throughout your body is making its effects felt between your legs, where the erectile tissues of your genitals engorge with pooling blood. The increased level of estrogen in your body results in a distinct increase in vaginal secretions. Your clitoris is swollen, your labia are pulsing with extra blood, and your vagina is dripping with moisture."
The third trimester may see a steady decrease in the amount of sexual activity, as your ebbing energy level and growing belly conspire to quelch the flames of passion.
Those couples who still have the energy and the inclination to make love find that the spoon position (a position in which both partners are lying on their sides and the woman's back is pressed against the man's chest) works best since it allows you and your partner to sidestep your belly entirely.
Most couples find that it helps to keep their sense of humour and -- if they can swing it -- their sense of adventure, too. After all, it takes a bit of creativity to manoeuvre around your growing belly. But provided both you and your partner are willing, you should plan to make hay while the sun is still shining. Before you know it, your pregnancy will be but a distant memory and you'll be facing the ultimate sex life challenge: caring for a new baby.
Sexual practices may not have to change during pregnancy. However, because of the different changes that occur in your body, you may want to make some changes to make things more comfortable. Here is some information to consider when thinking about sex during pregnancy:
Unless your physician tells you otherwise, you and your partner should be able to enjoy sex during your pregnancy. Pay attention to your body and make adjustments so that you can enjoy the experience to the fullest.
V.Under What circumstances Sex is to be avoided during Pregnancy
conditions would I need to abstain?
You shouldn't have sex if you have any of the following conditions or symptoms:
� Placenta previa
� Premature labor in this pregnancy (even if it has stopped)
� Unexplained vaginal bleeding or discharge
� Abdominal cramping
� Cervical insufficiency
� A dilated cervix
� Ruptured membranes (your water has broken)
� You or your partner has an outbreak of genital herpes or feel one coming on. Also avoid intercourse and other genital contact for the entire third trimester if your partner has a history of genital herpes (and you don't), even if he has no sores or symptoms. The same applies to receiving oral sex if he has oral herpes (cold sores).
� Other sexually
transmitted infections (unless you and your partner have been treated
and follow-up testing was negative)
There are other situations in which your healthcare practitioner may advise you to not to have sex. For example, if you had a spontaneous preterm birth in a previous pregnancy, she will probably advise you to stop having sex at some point during this pregnancy, and possibly for the whole pregnancy until you reach 37 weeks.
Whatever your situation, don't be shy about talking about sex with your practitioner. If she has advised you not to have sex, be sure you understand whether she's just talking about intercourse, or about putting anything in your vagina, or about any activity that may bring you to orgasm. (Orgasm can cause mild uterine contractions, as can nipple stimulation and the prostaglandins in semen.)
And, of course, if you notice any unusual symptoms during or following intercourse, such as pain or discharge, be sure to let your practitioner know. If you can't have sex, don't despair: You can still kiss, give each other long massages, and share your feelings for each other.
VI.Advice to Men to have sex with their pregnant Wife
She's carrying your child, the next in your line, your heir. Hopefully, you're both overjoyed -- congrats! Now the question remains: Are you supposed to take a vow of celibacy for the next nine months, or can you still have sex!?
Luckily, you can have lots and lots of sex, as long as she's game and doesn't have any special medical complications.
So here are the extra concerns to keep in mind when you have sex with your (or someone else's) pregnant woman. And there's actually a good chance that she'll love sex more during pregnancy. Increased blood flow to the pelvic area can make her genitals extremely sensitive and heighten her sensations during sex.
her libido & body image
Women are pretty moody in their everyday lives, all thanks to the constant fluctuation of their hormones, so you can only imagine how crazy their hormones get when they're pregnant.
That said, try not to get too pushy. Some women get really horny at times during pregnancy; others can't get past the changing body image and general feelings of discomfort. You have to go with the flow for these nine long months.
position yourselves wisely
As long as you have the doctor's approval, you can have sex right up to the point that she goes into labor. But you'll have to alter your positions of choice as her pregnancy progresses in the second and third trimesters.
For instance, after the fourth month, it is not longer safe for her to lie flat on her back because the weight of the growing uterus puts pressure on major blood vessels.
First Trimester Positions: 1-3 Months
The T-Square: She lies flat on her back, you lie perpendicular on your side, forming a T-square shape. This is safe until about month four.
On the Edge of Missionary: Lie her on her back at the side or foot of the bed with her knees bent, and her feet perched at the edge of the mattress. You can either kneel or stand in front of her. This also should not be performed after the fourth month.
Second Trimester Positions: 4-6
The Cowgirl: Basically this is the well-known and loved "woman on top" position. This is great during pregnancy because it allows her to control the pace and depth of penetration and it puts no weight on her abdomen.
Have a Seat: Sit in a chair and have her sit on your lap and enter her from a sitting position. This puts no weight on the uterus and gives her lots of control. She can either sit facing you or facing away.
The Perp Search: She leans against a wall facing away from you with arms and legs spread, as if you're about to frisk her from behind.
Third Trimester Positions: 7-9
Spoon Man: You lie on your side, with your knees bent while she lies on her side, with her back pressed against you, her legs slightly parted and her knees bent.
Leap Frog: This is her on all fours, like doggy style but with one major change: She rests her arms and head on the mattress. That way, it's easier to hold up the weight of her stomach.
Remember: If intercourse is deemed too risky, you can always resort to oral sex alone.
when to stop
She should know at what month to stop having sex, as the doctor will advise her about it. But if you need to be sure, accompany her to her doctor's appointments.
Some doctors recommend that all women stop having sex during the final weeks of pregnancy. This is just as a safety precaution, because semen contains a chemical that may actually stimulate contractions.
Most doctors advise that you stop having sexual intercourse with her if
she is at risk of:
what to expect during & after sex
Sometimes we feel responsible if pregnant women have certain symptoms or pains during or after having sex that they normally wouldn't feel. But they are not caused by you per se, but rather the situation. These symptoms could include cramps, abdominal pain or even light contractions.
labor of love
Sex can be quite pleasurable while she's pregnant, for you and for her. Unless the doctor tells her otherwise, sex during pregnancy is safe for her and the baby. So don't feel bad about indulging.
(A)Certain Important Questions Answered
Can I have sex
while I'm pregnant?
Absolutely. With a normal pregnancy, you can keep doing it right up until your water breaks. Do check with your doctor or midwife first if you've been treated for premature labor or if you're having any problems with your pregnancy, such as a shortened or dilated cervix, leaking amniotic fluid, placenta previa, or bleeding, or if you have a history of miscarriages. There are some instances when you should avoid having sex.
But as long as your pregnancy is normal, you won't hurt the baby by making love, even with your partner on top. The thick mucus plug that seals the cervix helps guard against infection. The amniotic sac and the strong muscles of the uterus also protect your baby. Though your baby may thrash around a bit after orgasm, it's because of your pounding heart, not because he knows what's happening or feels pain.
Will it feel
Even better for some women, not as good for others. Increased blood flow to the pelvic area can cause engorgement of the genitals and heighten the sensation. But the same engorgement gives other women an uncomfortable feeling of fullness after intercourse ends. Also, some women may have abdominal cramps during or after intercourse. Your breasts may become enlarged and can be more tender, which can cause discomfort when they're fondled. You may have more vaginal discharge or moistness, which can make sex either more pleasurable or can result in some vaginal irritation. If you notice a sudden change in the amount of vaginal discharge or a foul or unusual odor, check with your practitioner. You could have a vaginal infection or your bag of waters may have broken. When your water breaks, you may feel a slow leak rather than a gush of fluid all at once.
I haven't really been in the mood since I got pregnant. Is this normal?
Yes, it can be. The big changes in your body are bound to change your sex life. Some women, finally free from worries about conception and contraception, feel sexier than ever. But others are just too tired or nauseated to make love, especially in the first trimester. The second trimester is often marked by a resurging libido. Your desire may wane again in the third trimester as birth, labor, and your belly loom large, or you may simply feel unattractive or tired.
Will my partner's sex drive change?
Most people find their pregnant partner as attractive as ever. But your partner's desire may be dampened by concerns for your health and the baby's, apprehension about the burdens of parenthood, fear that sex can hurt the baby, or even self-consciousness about making love in the presence of your unborn child.
Is oral sex safe?
Yes, oral sex won't harm you or your baby, provided you're in a monogamous relationship where both you and your partner are HIV-negative. In fact many consider it a nice substitute if intercourse is deemed too risky. If you're not sure what your partner's HIV status is, then you need to use a dental dam (a sheet of latex that you place between your genitals and your partner's mouth) because there's some evidence suggesting that a person may be able to transmit HIV through micro-abrasions or tiny cuts in his mouth.
Which positions are the most comfortable?
Here are some time-tested positions and tips for making love while you're pregnant:
� Lie sideways. Having your partner on top demands increasingly creative gymnastics as your tummy swells. But lying partly sideways allows your partner to keep most of his weight off your uterus.
� Use the bed as a prop. Your bulge isn't an obstacle if you lie on your back at the side or foot of the bed with your knees bent, and your bottom and feet perched at the edge of the mattress. Your partner can either kneel or stand in front of you.
� Lie side-by-side in the spoon position, which allows for only shallow penetration. Deep thrusts can become uncomfortable as the months pass.
� Get on top of your partner. It puts no weight on your abdomen and allows you to control the depth of penetration.
� Have your partner enter you from a sitting position, which also
puts no weight on the uterus. Try sitting on your partner's lap as he sits
on a sturdy chair.
Have faith � where there's a will, there's a way. With a little experimenting, you and your partner are sure to find a technique that works for you.
Unless you have been told to avoid orgasms, there is absolutely no reason to stop having them, whether through sex with a partner or by masturbating. In fact, many women report that they have orgasms more easily, frequently and intensely when they are pregnant. Masturbation will not hurt your baby. You may even use a vibrator, although it is advisable to use it near your clitoris, rather than inside the vagina. Mutual masturbation with your partner can also be a great alternative if either of you does not feel like having intercourse or is unable to have it. Occasionally, women may feel contractions during orgasm that they worry may be the beginning of labor. These contractions are short-lived and are no cause for concern. They are not the same as labor contractions, which grow more frequent and intense as labor progresses. However, if you experience contractions that seem to be lasting too long (more than an hour), contact your doctor.
As pregnancy advances, many women find that avoiding pressure on the abdomen and more shallow penetration during intercourse makes sex more enjoyable. Even if intercourse is not possible or comfortable, however, other activities can still be intensely pleasurable. Although some positions may be uncomfortable or difficult, this is a great time to share and experiment with new ways of sexual (and nonsexual) expression. It may be necessary to modify sexual positions, or find new ones. The "missionary position" (with the man on top of the woman) may be awkward if you are pregnant, but many couples find side-by-side, woman-on-top and rear-entry positions to be more comfortable. This is especially true during later stages of pregnancy, when it is not recommended that women lie on their back or stomach.
Because our standards of sexual attractiveness do not usually include pregnant women, most women probably feel themselves unattractive or undesirable at some point during their pregnancy. However, many men and women delight in the bodily changes and enhanced sensitivity. This was the case with Mark and Marilyn. The San Francisco couple found Marilyn's pregnancy to be a highly sensual time. "We could hardly believe how interesting a time it was for us sexually," says Mark. "It felt as though we were brand-new to each other." Marilyn agrees. "I was so sensitive that I could get a 'thrill' from his lightest touch."
On the other hand, men can experience conflicting emotions during their partner's pregnancy. Some men are fine until their partner becomes obviously pregnant, at which point they may lose interest in sex. There are even some men who are so worried about harming the baby that they develop erectile difficulties. Men may need reassurance that the fetus is well cushioned within the uterus by the fluid that surrounds it and that the tightly closed neck of the uterus provides a firm barrier between it and the outside world. And, in case you are wondering, the baby has no idea what you are doing!
Pregnancy need not and should not be the end of sexuality. Intimacy, eroticism and sexual satisfaction can increase and continue throughout all stages of pregnancy, even if intercourse must be avoided. If you are sensitive and aware of the changes in both your body and feelings, as well as accepting of the need for adjustment, this can actually be a time of special excitement and intimacy.