You probably know that sex is safe for your baby during pregnancy, but you may wonder if you can continue to enjoy physical intimacy. Intimacy during pregnancy can come in many forms, including cuddling, kissing and fantasy.
If you’re healthy, sexual desire is normal throughout pregnancy, but it’s important to talk about how you want to approach intimacy with your partner. Here are some things to consider:
Your uterus has expanded
By 35 weeks pregnant, your uterus is about the size of a pineapple or honeydew melon and may be up under your rib cage. It is growing at a rate of a half-pound each week, which will continue until the end of your pregnancy.
Your baby is gaining weight and developing fatty tissue that will help it regulate its body temperature once it enters the world. At this point, it may also be practicing breathing movements in preparation for the birthing process.
Fatigue is common at this stage of pregnancy, but you can expect to have extra bursts of energy as well. You may also experience back pain as the pressure of your uterus and the increased weight of the baby puts strain on your abdomen and spine.
Shortness of breath is another symptom that is normal as your baby and enlarged uterus push upward toward your lungs. It can be improved by slowing down, adjusting your posture and getting regular exercise.
At this point in your pregnancy, it’s a good idea to start stocking the freezer with foods that can be easily heated up once you have the baby. It’s also a good idea to get in the habit of carrying around a water bottle or snack bag with you throughout the day. This can help prevent dehydration and also keep you hydrated during contractions.
You may experience discomfort
At this point in pregnancy, many women may experience pain or discomfort during sex. This is due to the extra weight and pressure on the pelvic area, which makes finding a comfortable position difficult. It can also be caused by anxiety, which causes the pelvic muscles to tense up. If you are experiencing a lot of pain or discomfort during sex, it is important to talk with your doctor. It is possible that you have a condition that needs to be treated, such as a genital infection or an ectopic pregnancy.
Another cause of discomfort during sex at 35 weeks pregnant is the stretched round ligaments. These are two small ligaments on either side of the uterus, which can become tense and painful during sex. Try using a pillow or lubricant to alleviate this discomfort.
If you are uncomfortable, it is OK to let your partner know. They should be supportive and encourage you to communicate about what feels good or doesn’t feel good. You can also experiment with different positions to see what feels best for you. Some positions, such as rear-entry, can be particularly comfortable as they don’t put any pressure on the uterus or bladder.
It’s important to note that while some discomfort is normal, it is important to stay hydrated and eat healthy during your pregnancy. This will help keep you hydrated and provide your baby with all the nutrients it needs.
You may experience orgasms
Having orgasms during pregnancy is normal and can actually improve sexual pleasure. This is due to increased blood flow in the pelvis and a more sensitive clitoris. Orgasms may also trigger Braxton Hicks contractions, which feel like a tightening of the uterus and come and go in an unstructured pattern. However, these contractions don’t cause labor and do not increase your risk for preterm delivery.
Many women avoid sex during pregnancy because they are afraid of harming the baby or causing premature birth. This is a big myth and there’s no reason to avoid sex unless your health care professional tells you not to. In fact, there is some evidence that having sex during pregnancy can help prevent complications such as high blood pressure, gestational diabetes and intrauterine growth restriction.
Orgasms during pregnancy increase oxytocin and endorphins, which are natural feel-good hormones that improve mood and boost the sense of well-being. These hormones may also help you sleep better and decrease stress levels. In addition, orgasms may help you cope with discomfort and pain during pregnancy.
Although sex is recommended during pregnancy, some women don’t want to have penetrative sex because they are nauseous or worried about harming the baby. If this is the case, oral sex or masturbation is an excellent option. It’s important to communicate with your partner about what you prefer.
You may want to avoid certain positions
At this stage of pregnancy, it’s important to avoid positions that put too much pressure on your belly. Try to experiment with different sex positions and make sure to use plenty of lubrication. Some women also find that using a pillow or sleeping in a reclined position helps to relieve discomfort.
Some positions you may want to skip at this point include the classic missionary (partner on top), which puts too much pressure on your bump and can restrict blood flow to your uterus. You may also want to steer clear of lying flat on your stomach for long periods of time, as it can make you dizzy and even reduce blood flow to the baby.
Other areas of the body that can become uncomfortable or painful during pregnancy sex are engorged breasts and nipples, which can go from being a pleasure zone to a turnoff in a hurry. Practicing sexual techniques that avoid these areas or switching to a different pleasure technique such as cuddling, kissing, massage and mutual masturbation can be pleasurable alternatives.
Some women and partners also report that they feel less sexually aroused during late pregnancy. This is completely normal, and it can be a good idea to talk about what’s going on with your partner. Communicating openly and discussing alternative ways to connect can help keep the intimacy alive.