Pregnancy adds a whole new dimension to your love life. Embrace the changes and you might find that sex has never been more satisfying.
1. You may be rampant in the bedroom
Increased levels of the hormones progesterone and oestrogen make your breasts and vagina more sensitive than usual. Your man will be especially happy to know that you could reach orgasm more quickly and more often during sex. These changes are perfectly normal so enjoy them â€“ they beat stretch marks and swollen ankles as pregnancy side effects.
2. â€¦But then again
Your libido could take a nosedive, particularly in your first trimester when you are coping with exhaustion and nausea and the last thing on your mind is roof-rattling sex. Desire can also wane during the end of your pregnancy if youâ€™re feeling like a beached whale and finding a comfortable sexual position seems like too much hard work. If youâ€™re overdue though, it might be worth making the effort, as semen contains a substance that may stimulate contractions.
3. Youâ€™ll have fantastic sex (in your dreams)
Yep, pregnancy hormones can cause vivid dreams, and, if youâ€™re lucky, theyâ€™ll be of the bonking-Brad-Pitt type rather than the being-chased-down-a-dark-corridor-by-your-old-maths-teacher variety. Some pregnant women find that they orgasm in their sleep (probably best not to share that one with your partner if youâ€™ve been on a sex strike for the past couple of monthsâ€¦)
4. Your boobs might surprise you
Your boobs were designated to lactate, and thatâ€™s what theyâ€™re going to do, even before the baby is around to appreciate them. In the later stages pf pregnancy, sexual stimulation can cause your boobs to leak colostrum, which is a thin, pre-milk. Itâ€™s perfectly normal and adds a whole new meaning to the phrase â€˜wet patchâ€™. If leaky boobs arenâ€™t really high up on the list of things that turn you and your man on, invest in some breast pads and sexy maternity bra and wear them in bed.
5. Youâ€™ll taste different
Pregnancy hormones can give your vaginal secretions a stronger odour and taste than usual and youâ€™ll probably become wetter during foreplay than you did before. The increased blood flow necessary to grow your baby can also make your vagina swell slightly and soften.
6. Youâ€™ll discover new positions
After a certain point in your pregnancy, the good old missionary position will cease to be viable. Spare your bump and your sore boobs by going on top. This also has the advantage of allowing you to control the level of penetration, as deep penetration can be uncomfortable when you are heavily pregnant. Spooning â€“ where you and your partner lie on your sides with your partner curled in behind you â€“ is another option many pregnant women find more comfortable. Or try lying on your back with your bottom at the edge of the bed and your feet at the floor with your partner kneeling or standing between your legs. Or you can try sitting on your partnerâ€™s lap, facing him as he sits on a (sturdy) chair.
7. Youâ€™ll know if itâ€™s a boy or girl (may be)
If your sex has gone into overdrive since you became pregnant, it could mean you are expecting a boy. According to research, boy babies produce more androgens â€“ the sex hormones that increase your libido â€“ than girl babies. But there are a number of factors involved in determining your sex drive so donâ€™t go on a pink-buying spree just because youâ€™re feeling about as sexy as a pumpkin right now.
8. It can cure a cold
Well, not exactly, but good sex can boost your immune system by up to 20 per cent and seeing as you canâ€™t take over-the-counter cold remedies when youâ€™re pregnant, it's your partnerâ€™s duty to haul you into the bedroom at the first sign of a cough or sneeze.
9. Your baby may feel â€˜itâ€™
Having an orgasm can trigger harmless contractions in your uterus, which your baby will feel. Some babies may be soothed by this while others may decide itâ€™s playtime, so donâ€™t worry if you feel no movements for a while after having sex, or if your baby goes a bit hyper. If you feel contractions that last longer than 30 minutes, or have pain or heavy bleeding after sex, call your doctor. But bear in mind that light bleeding is quite normal and is usually caused by small, harmless polyps on the cervix.
10. â€¦But not â€˜itâ€™
Your baby is protected by amniotic fluid and a thick mucus plug, which seals your cervix, so he or she wonâ€™t be aware of you having sex, and will just feel the gentle movements as your uterus contracts after orgasm. Nor can your man â€˜hurt the babyâ€™ with his penis, although deep penetration may be uncomfortable for you. In fact, in a normal, low-risk pregnancy, you can have sex up to the moment your waters break (after this point, your baby is no longer protected from infection so you should avoid sex). So, if you were wondering what to do in the down time between contractionsâ€¦