Sex and Pregnancy: The First Trimester

Posted by: Center for Growth Therapists

Sex and Pregnancy: The First Trimester 

The first trimester of pregnancy is a different experience for every woman, especially when it comes to your sex life. Some women have morning sickness, some women have exhaustion, some women have no appetite, some women have a sexual appetite, and other women may be too sick and tired to even think about sex. For the pregnant women who are, or want to think about sex, there are many sexual benefits to being pregnant. For the women who want nothing to do with sex right now, that’s okay, we emphasize, “right now.” Your experiences and symptoms when pregnant can change daily, even by the hour, and this also goes for your sex life. You may need the first few months to adjust to pregnancy and let some of the symptoms settle. It is common for some women’s sex drive to decrease during the first trimester. The good news is, most women who report a decreased libido in the first trimester have an increased libido during the second trimester. Sex during your first trimester can be really fun and exciting. You have recently discovered you are pregnant, and physical and emotional changes are starting to happen for you. Some changes that can help your sex life besides a higher libido: bigger boobs, more intense orgasms, more lubrication, engorged genitals, and that’s just the beginning! There are many sexual benefits to being pregnant in the first trimester, including increased sexual pleasure, more frequent or more intense orgasms, and overall more enjoyment. 

Benefits of Your First Trimester: You Can Let Go 

Depending on your journey towards conceiving, your “job” is now done. Congratulations! The pressure of making a baby is now off the table. The worry of whether or not this specific time is creating life is no longer there. Also, the worry of preventing pregnancy is no longer something to distract you or occupy your mind. You and your partner can now focus on simply having fun, pleasing one another, marveling at your changing body and connecting. This is your chance to let go and explore more sexually. Maybe there’s positions that you have been wanting to try, or haven’t done in a long time. You and your partner can celebrate and enjoy each other sexually, without having to compensate for an enormous belly getting in the way or the random kick to the rib cage. For many women, you will have little to no baby bump in the way of you and your partner, which allows for most sexual positions to still be achievable. With or without the bump, there is more of you to love: your stomach is slowly starting to round and your breasts are growing, a lot of your assets are now accentuated, which can be a huge turn on to your partner. Unless your planning on trying Cirque du Soleil type moves in the bedroom, your sexual activity during the first trimester can all proceed as normal (even if your tastes change). If you have had previous miscarriages, bleeding, or experience pain during sex, or other medical problems, speak with your OB/GYN to ensure your safety. Once your doctor has given you clearance, use this time to explore what positions are most comfortable to you (side by side position, you on top, etc.). 

More Desire, More Orgasms

You have the chance to have your first, or more intense orgasm (maybe even multiple!) due to increased blood flow in the genitals. With the increase in estrogen, many women report having an increased libido as early as first trimester, as well as an increase in vaginal lubrication and engorged genitals. This trifecta can leave you extremely sensitive to sexual stimulation and sensation. This can result in orgasming faster and more intense than ever before. If sexual activity is the last thing on your mind right now, at least allow time and opportunities for you and your partner to connect through touch and non-sexual intimacy. Keeping the connection going with your partner now is not only beneficial to your relationship currently, but sets you up for a more connected and more intimate future, and will help you in your transition to parenthood. During the first few months of the baby’s arrival, the adjustment to you and your partner’s new role will impact the time and energy you both have to give to your sexual connection. Engaging in intimacy, touch, and connection now will make it easier for the two of you to return to your sexual activities following your baby’s arrival. 

Homework: Getting the most out of sex and pregnancy during the first trimester

Make an intention for yourself and your partner to set two nights a week for just the two of you in your bed together. Setting an intention means you are creating a plan for a specific change. You are creating a plan for your relationship with your purpose being more intimacy. Making an intention means you are taking control of what you want for yourself, and in this case, what you want for yourself and your partner when it comes to intimacy. An example of an intention might be, “I plan to spend 15 more minutes of uninterrupted time, (free of technology) with my partner each night before bedtime. Another intention may be, I intend to show my partner more affection by giving him/her more hugs, handholding, and back rubs on a daily basis. 

Feel free to change the time of these “dates” depending on your energy level and symptoms. If you feel more “normal” and energized in the morning, talk to you partner about making this a morning activity. This does not have to lead to intercourse. The purpose is to increase sexual intimacy. Achieving sexual intimacy does involve touch: ask for your partner to massage your back or feet, or simply lay beside each other while you play “footsies” and review your day together. This is a great opportunity for your partner to check you out and take a look at you and the daily changes your body is going through: the new curves you’re developing, etc. At least creating the opportunity for you and your partner leaves a small window for sex, but regardless of the outcome the two of you made the time for each other to be physically close and put each other first before your new arrival shifts the dynamic.