Pregnancy and sex

Jay Dee

Pregnancy and sex

May 09, 2012

Are you or your wife pregnant? Has it changed your sex life, or are you worried it will? Here’s my experience of how sex life changes due to pregnancy.

We recently welcomed our fourth child into our family and I thought I’d write a bit to reflect what’s going on. Today I’m writing about how pregnancy affects sex, from the male’s perspective, from conception through the pregnancy itself, and then after the birth of the child.

Now, I know this may upset some of the women who read this because pregnancy is typically all about the women.  I can’t speak for that side, so I’m going to post on behalf of the men, myself in particular.  I want to let people know about the struggles involved with the husband.  Why?  Because often we get overlooked during this time, and frankly, I think it’s dangerous to do so.

Note: I’m basing this post on my experiences, and those of men I’ve talked to. Your experience might be different, but here’s what I see as fairly common in married couples.

Sex before pregnancy

If you’re the high-drive spouse in your marriage, when you’re first trying to get pregnant, things start great!  Your wife’s sex drive likely will suddenly take off and she wants sex all the time, or at least while she’s fertile.  She seems to be in the mood for sex more often and ready at the drop of a hat, especially during that one week of the month near ovulation. Even at other times, you might find she’s interested in “practicing”.  

Now, here’s where the first conflict emerges:

  1. You want to get pregnant because, well, that’s the goal – you want to have kids
  2. You don’t want to get pregnant, because, possibly for the first time in a while, you’ve felt more connected than ever, more loved than ever, and you’re worried that once the child is conceived, things are going to go back to how they were

That’s how I felt anyway. In our case, we seem to be very fertile.  Great for having kids.  Not so great for enjoying that trying to conceive phase.  I think with one of the pregnancies, we tried for 2 fertile periods.  The others, only one. Added in the future: For our fifth one, we weren’t even trying!

This is not great if you’re in a sexless marriage at the time, which we were in for our first two pregnancies. As a husband, you really feel like all you’re wanted for is your sperm. If you struggled with not feeling loved before, if you didn’t feel attractive, if you felt like all your wife wanted you for is as a pay-cheque and a handyman, well, this just confirms your worst fears, because suddenly your sex life becomes what you want it to be, but it’s only as a means to an end – it’s not about you or their love for you. It’s because they want something.

That’s how it can feel anyways. That’s how it felt for me for our first two children. Things improved later on, but those first ones were rough.

Sex during pregnancy

Assuming everything goes well, congratulations, you’re pregnant!  What does this mean? What’s pregnancy sex like? Well, it means a few things.  Your spouse may experience some or all of:

Morning sickness

Morning sickness is poorly named because it doesn’t just happen in the morning for many women. For some pregnancies, it’s all day, every day. This generally happens between the 4th and 16th week of pregnancy. Some women never get it, some women get it for much longer. Some people say that morning sickness is worse if you’re having a boy, or worse if they’re going to have more hair (or red hair). I’ve not seen any studies proving either. Sounds like old wives tales to me. I can’t say I saw a pattern myself.

Now, trying to get in the mood for sex while you’re nauseous is difficult at best. Impossible at worst. As well, sometimes you have to be careful about sex, because too much of a rocking motion can trigger the nausea.

One thing we did find that helped was sour candies. When I figured that out, every time my wife realized she was pregnant, I’d go out to the nearest candy store and buy a variety of the sourest candies I could find. One called Toxic Waste seemed to work fairly well – particularly the lemon flavour.

Shifts in hormones

Pregnancy involves a lot of hormones at levels women aren’t used to dealing with on a regular basis. These hormone shifts can cause a lot of mood swings, because hormones are very important to emotional regulation. It’s a bit like PMS, but for much longer and sometimes far worse.

Which makes trying to gauge whether or not she’s in the mood for sex a bit like playing roulette. A lot of the time, she can’t even tell you if you have a shot. You might get crazy high sex hormones, or she might suddenly want to kill you for making her pregnant or because you’re blinking loudly.

It makes life interesting is what I’m saying. The key thing to remember is – she’s likely as frustrated as you are by the mood swings, and can’t control them. It’s not her fault.

Her body changes drastically

The obvious example is that she’s growing a human inside of her, and so her abdomen is going to get larger. That alone is hard for many women. The increased weight and waist-line often makes them feel insecure about their bodies. Unfortunately, this might also mean she can’t possibly understand how you’d want to see it, or assume that you don’t want to see it and are lying about how beautiful and sexy she still looks. This can lead to her not wanting to be seen or touched, which can make it difficult to initiate sex.

I’d highly suggest learning how to give her a good massage if you don’t already know because with pregnancy comes a lot of soreness as well, and massage makes almost everything feel better.

On top of this, her breasts are likely to increase in size as well, particularly towards the end of the pregnancy. This can be pretty awesome, but for many women it also comes with a lot of soreness and tenderness, which only increases with breastfeeding. That can be frustrating because they’re big and new, and sometimes off limits.

You might also find that she doesn’t have the same sexual response that she used to. It might increase, or decrease, or just change. What “worked” in the past to get her aroused or achieve orgasm might not work anymore. Or, it might work much better – the increased blood flow in the pelvis can really enhance arousal, which might make her want to have sex more. Or it might not. It’s a bit of a gamble. We found that with every pregnancy, we sort of had to reset and figure out what sort of physical sensations worked this time around, and it often shifted during the pregnancy and after the birth as well.

Learn some new sex positions during pregnancy

On the topic of her body changing – some positions might not work so well anymore. For example, missionary position is likely going to make her feel a bit uncomfortable after a while, because, well, there’s a baby between you. Likewise, the woman-on-top position might get difficult due to the extra weight and strain on the hips. Doggy style as well might be uncomfortable, because there’s the weight of a baby pulling her down, and if her breasts have increased in size, she might not like the feeling of them moving as much as they are.

So, find solutions are don’t put pressure on the belly, and offer support. One that we found works really well for us was what calls Twisted Mrs.

Basically, you have your wife lie on her side, then bring her top knee up. You can then kneel behind her on the bed while straddling her lower leg. This position is handy because:

  1. Her belly is supported by the bed
  2. You’re not putting any weight on her
  3. She can hold her breasts to stop them from moving too much if that’s uncomfortable.
  4. You can get pretty deep penetration
  5. Your leg can rub against her clitoris, which can help her achieve orgasm

We used this position a lot during our later pregnancies. Try a bunch of different positions and find one that works for you.

Is sex safe during pregnancy?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, yes, sex is perfectly safe throughout pregnancy for most people. Some men and women feel a little weird about having a baby in there, but the baby has no idea what’s going on. Plus, it’s protected by amniotic fluid and there’s a cervix between where the baby is and where the penis goes, so you’re not going to harm it, no matter how enthusiastic you are.

The same goes for oral sex – you may find the wife is a little more … juicy. You may find her fluids are more copious due to the increased blood flow.

As well, it seems a lot of couples start engaging in anal sex for the first time, or with more increasing frequency, during pregnancy for some reason. I’ve had quite a few wives admit that it just felt really good while pregnant, others just say they were suddenly curious – possibly due to the changing hormones affecting their general desire for sex and how they feel about different sexual activities.

Lastly, I’ve heard from a few couples that fisting (inserting the entire hand into the vagina) seems to help with training the muscles used for birthing. Some people swear by it. I’ve heard some midwives quietly suggest it.

Does being pregnant make you hornier?

It doesn’t seem to be consistent. Some women say that pregnancy makes them horny.  I have never experienced this, and it doesn’t seem to be the average experience, but it does happen. However, don’t assume your wife will suddenly be a sex-fiend while pregnant because there’s a good chance her desire for sex might drop, at least at some point. But, it can also fluctuate from the first trimester to the second trimester and again to the third trimester.

Having sex near the due date

If you are in your third trimester, particularly close to term, sex can actually help induce labour. For one, orgasms can start contractions. Secondly, semen actually helps “ripen” or soften the cervix, which is necessary for birth. For a couple of our pregnancies, my wife specifically asked for sex in the hopes that it would bring about delivery, which I was more than happy to oblige with. So, have fun with it.

Birth and sex

So, if everything goes well, after pregnancy, you have a birth.  I highly suggest being there, catching the baby and experience cutting the cord.  Take tons of pictures.  Do anything to be involved, because frankly, it can be difficult to feel involved sometimes. One more note about birth:  If you are squeamish, this might mess you up for a bit.  Some of your favourite parts of your wife aren’t going to look like you remembered.  It’s OK, they go back.  Don’t let it freak you out.  I’m telling this because you’ll be too embarrassed to ask the professionals in the room – but I get quite a few emails about it aftewards.

Back to your involvement.  Assuming you have family and friends, they are going to be around all the time for the next week.  But they won’t be interested in you.  Your wife and the baby will get all the attention.  Plus, your wife will naturally overdose on oxytocin, a hormone that chemically bonds her emotionally to the new baby.  So she’s absolutely focused on your new addition.  That’s why she can sit and just stare at the baby for minutes or hours on end.  Men don’t get that benefit.  For a lot of men, babies are sort of boring.  It’s not until they get to about 2 years old that they become fun, because then they can start to play and connect. Don’t get me wrong, they’re cute, it’s nice to hold them and everything, but they don’t do much. Simply gazing at them for hours doesn’t seem to happen the same for men.

Sex after pregnancy

So, to recap:

  1. Trying to conceive, you started having tons of sex (unless you’re ultra-fertile …)
  2. Then you likely have dwindling sex during pregnancy (if at all)
  3. Lastly, not only no sex after the birth but often no attention at all

At this point, husbands are emotionally starved, our love tank is empty.  Being men, we never learned to cope with this.  In fact, most of us don’t even know why we’re miserable.  We think it’s just because we’re not having sex, but that’s just the most obvious metric.  There is cognitive dissonance (conflict) in our brain.  Our mind is telling us “Remember, she loves you”.  But our emotions are telling us “She’s ignoring you, she’s pushing you away, she doesn’t want you”.  Go with your mind on this one, it’s better at thinking long-term.

Most men reconnect emotionally with their spouses through sex.  You’ve likely had little sex (read: emotional connection) for the last 9 months.  Now we’re not only getting no sex (emotional connection) but no attention, causing even more of a drop in oxytocin.  It’s natural to feel disconnected from your wife.  But, because we’re men, we grow up believing we’re not allowed to have emotions or express them when we do.  And so, we lack the emotional tools that women are taught.  As a result, we don’t even know how to name what we’re feeling.  Coping with it, or addressing it is just impossible for most of us. What usually happens is burying it.

And, here’s the ugly part.  If you manage to realize what’s going on.  If you notice that you’re feeling emotionally disconnected.  If you recognize you need time and attention from your wife.  You still won’t ask for it.  Why?  Because she has enough to worry about with the new baby.  I don’t mean this sarcastically. It’s a big shift for her too, there’s a lot going on.  But I’m not writing about that, enough other people will.

What I do think is that any time you put your children ahead of your spouse, your marriage will suffer.  Granted, occasionally that needs to be done.  I think having a baby is one of the best reasons for it.  I just think that we often fail to remember/notice that there is suffering going on that isn’t as noticeable as lack of sleep or lack of time.  It’s a lack of intimacy, and I don’t just mean sex.

Most of this is just a rant, because, well, it’s been just over a week since we had a baby, so you know what stage I’m at.  I’m writing this mostly to help me process what’s going on, in the hopes that I won’t be so frustrated.  So, here’s my advice.

Advice for the men

You know, pregnancy is hard for the husbands too in a lot of cases.    I know, I know, the wives have to deal with the morning sickness, the weight gain, mood swings, growing pains, birthing and then the post-birth recovery and everything else that changes.  But men have their own struggles in this and are often told just to be quiet because it's not about them.  So, they suffer in silence without support.  While everyone is focused on the mother and baby, the father is going through this massive life change of his own - and in many ways, alone.  I know, I know, the wives have to deal with the morning sickness, the weight gain, mood swings, growing pains, birthing, and then the post-birth recovery, and everything else that changes.  But men have their own struggles in this and are often told just to be quiet because it's not about them.  So, they suffer in silence without support.  While everyone is focused on the mother and baby, the father is going through this massive life change of his own - and in many ways, alone.

Be patient.  Your wife will be yours again soon.  If she isn’t within a month or two, seek help.  Sometimes it happens that the wife forgets to be a wife when she becomes a mother. Don’t let that happen, because too many couples wake up decades later after the kids are grown and gone and realized they don’t know how to be a couple without the kids cementing the relationship.

Also, be careful about temptations, because this will be one of those times when you’re most vulnerable to them. Sadly, having a children statistically leads to a drop in marital satisfaction and is one of the major life events that lead to divorce.

But, if you stick through it, you’ll likely come out the other side stronger and happier again as a couple.

Advice for the women

Just show some attention to your husbands.  It doesn’t have to be full on sex, you’re probably not physically ready for that.  But there are alternatives.  And even if you feel that “getting in the mood” is an impossibility, then just give him the attention he needs.  Guys don’t get as much out of hugging and kissing as sex, but, when you’re starving, you’ll settle for crumbs just to survive.

Just try to remember he’s going through a massive transition as well. Because almost no one else is going to have that thought and he’s going to be going through it absolutely alone while you get all the support.

Final Thoughts

Finally, I just want to say, in order not to give the wrong impression:  Having children is an amazing blessing, I highly suggest it.  It’s a life full of sacrifices, but the rewards far outweigh them.  I like to say, your kids will destroy your life … but in a good way. In many ways, I think you don’t really grow up until you have children. I know a lot of couples with no kids who really are still children themselves, regardless of age. Not saying all of them, but too many to not notice a pattern.

Also, looking back (I’m adding this quite a few years after the original post), there are some marriages that have the reverse dynamic. Some wives want to remain highly sexual, and some husbands do not. If you’re in that group, I suggest checking out this post.

Your Turn

Have you been through this?  What was your experience?

Looking for help?

55 thoughts on “Pregnancy and sex”

  1. Steve says:

    Thanks for the encouragement! I have felt the same way as I believe you are feeling now. Our little one, #2 is now 6 months old and well lets just say I felt like I was forgotten… I know she still loved me but I didn’t “feel” it. My Love Tank was empty. Thankfully things have started to turn around it looks like their is a light at the end of the tunnel and it’s not a train.

    — Stand Strong! Remember that we are not allowed to be tempted beyond what we can bare and in Christ we can find the strength to get through this!

    1. sexwithin says:

      Thanks for letting me know I’m not the only one out there feeling like this. I mean, I knew I wasn’t, but no one has ever specifically told me they have gone through this before.

    2. Michelle says:

      I dont agree with this. My husband is the one that dont want sex. I have been deprived for 9 months and now i am starting to pull away and thinking i may not want sex at all even after the baby is born. This is because i am starting to feel as if he doesnt want me anymore. So it is actually the complete opposite for me.

      1. Jay Dee says:

        Unfortunately, that does happen on occasion. Some husbands have a hard time with it. While it is rare (6% according to our Sex During Pregnancy survey), some husbands find pregnancy a turn off. Others are scared of hurting the baby. Others aren’t sure if it’s “okay” to have sex (either for medical or moral reasons, or it’s just “icky”).

        Have you talked to him about it, why he doesn’t want sex? Is it just because of the pregnancy, or was this the case before? There are some men who just don’t want sex (see I want my husband to want me). It can be an issue with testosterone, health, ED, diabetes, Asperger’s Syndrome, or many other causes.

        I guess my advice would be to try and understand your spouse, and not harden your heart towards him.

      2. Anonymous says:

        Girl me too and its pissing me off.

    3. Anonymous says:

      I’m pregnant with our third child and I have to say even if you haven’t heard of it I’m 13 weeks pregnant and my Husband literally went and bought me “toys” to satisfy myself because he can’t keep up with my sex drive while I’m pregnant I feel like a 7th grade boy if it’s there I want it BAD and I’m not getting enough so this goes both way and both times after delivery I wanted it before the doctor okayed it …. For a woman it’s been nothing but miserable and if you think men feel unloved or unwanted when they don’t get enough sex imagine how us as women feel when we are already emotional

      1. Anonymous says:

        Yep, that was me with baby #5. It was excruciating, and lasted 6-7 months after our son was born. I think I might have had a flood of testosterone. My drive has always been on the high side,, but the physical agitation was peculiar–I’d get a female boner (vagina would elongate spontaneously?) a few times a day, when husband wasn’t around and I wasn’t even thinking about sex. And then I felt like I needed him RIGHT NOW

        Ironically, at the same time the opposite was happening to my husband, for health reasons. He had to think about and plan to have sex to get an erection.

        We worked it out, but I wouldn’t wish that on any wife (or husband)

        1. Anonymous says:

          Wow, I happy to hear that I’m not crazy.I’m the husband and I don’t want sex at all right now. I missed my wife.I’m not going to tell her, but it hurts. Her body was so sexy and now she is so big. I just can’t do it. I tried with lights off and with my eyes closed. My mind takes control. I just don’t want it. I loved going down on her and just loving it, And yes, she asked me to eat it. So I did, after that I knew I was done. Every night I’m tired or I gotta do something.I have a few months left. So please don’t get pregnant again.

    4. Anonymous says:

      I also believe everything you just said.

  2. livinginblurredlines says:

    Ok, yes, becoming a pregnant sex fiend does happen. After my morning sickness went away with our 4th, I was insatiable. I mean I could have gone and often MBed several times a day. (Yes, I am not for MBing and am not proud of that fact.). It was sheer torture when I was put on pelvic rest to prevent premature labor. I only lasted 3 weeks post partum. I never refused hubby and always made sure his needs were met. I wasn’t going to be one of those wives who forgets hubby in the wake of new babydom. Funny, though, despite all the sacrificing I did, even enduring excruciatingly painful sex after our daughter was born so hubby would be satisfied (I didn’t let on that it hurt so badly because he would have refused sex out of concern for me), when he’s not feeling up to snuff sexually, I have to suck it up and wait. :/

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Why wait? Get on him about that! You have needs too, and it’s his responsibility to meet them!

      My wife never got the insatiable pregnant phase., it doesn’t happen for everyone.

      1. Angel Dust says:

        Hi Jay Dee, I don’t suppose you could write a post about how to get a man to “meet his responsibility” in that way?

      2. SP says:

        Jay, this has been real awakening for me. I have been lately acting like sexually frustrated maniac with my 5 month pregnant wife.

        Now I know why I am feeling and acting like it as I am unable to come to terms that the more near the time of baby will come, the less attention and love I am going to get from my wife. This is going to be our second child and I know the consequences.

        Thank you for this wonderful article.i have been trying hard to make my wife understand that I don’t want sex but then only sex makes me feel closer to her.

        I was ready to see the doctor or physcologist about this but your article helped me to understand what is the real problem and may be I can overcome this sex drive and not further disturb my lovely wife whom I love very much.

        1. Jay Dee says:

          I’m glad to to have helped!

  3. livinginblurredlines says:

    Jay Dee, it is a long story, but it isn’t as easy as that. Hubby doesn’t like taking the time to pleasure me and his job keeps him away from home and exhausted a lot. We recently came out of a month of celibacy (his choice) and 3 years of him not making efforts to give me O’s. If I didn’t manage to O by self stimulating during intercourse, which he doesn’t like me doing, then I got nothing. We are in a slow process of healing, but just going to him with my needs is out of the question.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to trivialize your situation. I spoke without thinking.

      Don’t give up, and don’t hide the sexual part of you from your spouse. I was complacent (angry, but didn’t do anything about it) in my marriage for too long and in doing so, I enabled my wife to continue acting the way she was.

      1. Angel Dust says:

        Jay Dee, some guys unfortunately take it as an attack if you tell them your needs are not being met. No matter how kind and gently you go about it.

        I haven’t been complacent, but have been careful not to appear in any way pushy as my husband is the type of man who if he feels remotely pushed (even if it’s entirely his imagination) by anyone, he will do the exact opposite.

        I’m at a total loss to how to fix our sexual relationship

  4. Jacob says:

    Hello, I just sent an email regarding seasons, but I wanted to briefly share one other thought regarding the 40 day / six week period following birth. I wrote the following as I gathered my thought the my email I just sent….

    Following the birth of our sixth, Jenn and I mutually agreed to wait a full forty days following the birth before having sex together. I wanted to be able take that time to intensively focus on loving Jenn in every other way other than sex as she healed and we adjusted to life with a new little person, making love to my wife by serving her, by cuddling her, by praising her. It removed the stress of the temptation of trying to clutch and grab for sex through this difficult time, and set a defined time for coming together in a post baby honeymoon after the initial ‘babymoon’. Since our forty days of winter, early spring return in force during the remainder of our first hundred days following birth where we were able to come together once to twice a week, with the time since then (about mid to late August onward through the present), we have enjoyed uniting with one another generally twice a week.

    Just another perspective from one who though many preceding pregnancies struggled much of this same struggle. We all are different 😉

    1. Jay Dee says:

      I think that’s a fantastic idea, to have a predetermined set time, so no one is guessing or worrying. That is a tip I am definitely going to pass on.

  5. gogo says:

    thank you so much i need this big time. I am not alone

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Unfortunately, it seems there are more marriages suffering with this issue than those who aren’t. You are definitely not alone.

  6. ButterflyWings says:

    Jay Dee, just want to reassure you about your comment… “Now, some women say that pregnancy makes them horny. I have never experienced this, or met someone who admitted to having experienced this. So I’m starting to believe it’s a myth to give us men false hope. “.

    It’s definitely not a myth. I wouldn’t say it fits my situation exactly – but that’s because I’m always that way. I want sex at least once a day, and would be satisfied if I could even get it once every second day, but getting it more than once a week from hubby is very hard.

    Pregnancy hasn’t changed things. The stress of not being able to fall pregnant is now gone, so I don’t feel quite as hurt when hubby refuses, but the amount of sex I desire has remained at wanting at least once a day, and feeling incredibly unsatisfied getting it only once a week.

    Even having a severe UTI from pregnancy stuff barely put me off, even though it made sex incredibly uncomfortable. I didn’t realise it was a UTI, just thinking it was normal for being pregnant, even my GP missed that it was initially until the test he sent away came back positive three days later. The only difference it made was in the third week when I started running fevers and was feeling incredibly sick and run down from having a severe infection for three weeks untreated, and then when I started antibiotics and developed thrush, was sex finally imposssible for a week until I finished the antibiotics a few days ago. Then had an invasive procedure, nothing to do with being pregnant, and then had to delay a further 24 hours (probably should have waited 72 hours but after once in three weeks – one week from my problems, had sex and the two week’s before that no sex because hubby wasn’t interested) I wasn’t waiting any longer.

    But even on our honeymoon when I had second degree burns and severe food poisoning, I never said no (he did though, not because of my pain, but rather he wasn’t interested) other than last week, I’ve never said no. Sadly getting a no from hubby is a constant occurrence.

    Being pregnant, I’m still wanting sex every day, but it just hurts a little less as I’m no longer worried I’ll never fall pregnant (I have a lot of reproductive health problems so falling pregnant may have been a long process that may have been impossible) with us rarely having sex when I was fertile (sometimes months of no sex when I was fertile) because hubby wasn’t interested (not because he didn’t want kids, just because he didn’t feel like sex).

    So just letting you know… there are definitely horny pregnant women out there. It’s just really really hard when you have a husband who isn’t interested.

    Oh and as to your four points….

    1. not all women have morning sickness. I’ve had none so far (although with my first, I had it start in the second trimester so may still happen), but even if I do, it definitely didn’t stop me with my first baby and won’t stop me this time.

    2. Not all women have crazy mood swings when pregnant. I have hormonal problems, a LOT of them, but they don’t effect my mood at all. Not all women have their moods effected by hormones. I know a lot do ( my sister and my daughter get feral PMS!) but not everyone. I don’t.

    3. I hate my body. I was overweight before I fell pregnant, and at 6 weeks pregnant, I gained 5kg in the space of three days for no definite reason (doctor thinks fluid maybe), and at 9 weeks, I’m already 10kg heavier than my prepregnancy weight because I had to stop all my weight loss and diabetes meds due to the pregnancy. I know I look fat and disgusting, and it doesn’t help my husband’s constant rejection of me, and no interest in looking at me naked ever, but gaining 10kg, I’m still lighter than when we met (I had lost 18kg before getting pregnant, by having underlying medical conditions treated, but had to stop my treatments unfortunately due to being pregnant), and I realise I could gain another 10 or 20 or even 30kg by the time baby arrives. But I’m already fat and disgusting, hubby never notices my weight, he didn’t notice the 18kg I lost, he’s not going to notice it if I put it back on.

    Knowing I look repulsive doesn’t change my interest in sex. Not everyone’s sex drive is tied to how they feel about their bodies.

    and 4. neither of hubby’s two favourite positions will be effected. I’ve already researched that. Again, it’s one of those things that effect some couples but not all.

    Pregnancy may effect some couples, but for others it may have no effect at all.

    the only way pregnancy has effected us is hubby is more worried about finances, is depressed and even less interested in sex than normal and it’s crushing me.

  7. Jane says:

    It’s not a myth I’m one of those woman and my husband wants nothing to go with me “NOTHING”. He won’t even hold my hand something that so routinely to due. We always found ourself holding each other no matter where we are now he is on one side and I’m in another 🙁

    1. Jay Dee says:

      I agree, it’s not a myth. I’ve had a few women correct me now. My apologies for saying that.

      I’m sorry you are going through this. Will your husband say WHY he wants nothing?

  8. Bill says:

    This is a great article and it was actually pretty funny.

    I am happy that there are men and women talking openly about it without anyone getting defensive or argumentative.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Glad you enjoyed it. Some do get defensive of argumentative, but that’s OK, it’s a touchy subject, and we all try to be understanding.

  9. Bill says:

    It’s a great talk to have.

    We have been trying to have number two for about 1.5 years. Our sex life has been pretty scheduled but we made it an opportunity to have fun. That worked for about the first 1/2 year.

    Then, in the course of 6-9 months, my wife had two miscarriages, and two chemical pregnancies. This is course created a huge emotional drain for her. We told ourselves that we would be parents who got so caught up in trying to conceive that we would loose ourselves in the process. It happened. We both agreed that the emotional toll it took on my wife was too much so we agreed to stop trying to get pregnant.

    So after it’s all said and done, we have a 1% chance with IVF. It was time to be okay with our amazing daughter and get back to ‘us’. It’s not happening. We are great with our daughter and do a ton of things together but we are having a hard time reestablishing our sex life unless it’s geared toward having a kid-which can not happen.

    So yeah…we are co-habitating. We have fun with our kid, talk about bills and schedules, and eat. It’s boring.

    Sorry I let all that out. I’m just a little bummed out and I don’t know what our options are.

    1. Bill says:

      *We told ourselves that we would not be parents who got so caught up*

  10. Mrs n says:

    I had a thought. Maybe when a couple is purposely planning to conceive, and planning to budget in for the baby once born…. Maybe planning to have a budget for a romantic getaway once ready would be a good idea. Plenty of friends and family already want to have a chance at baby sitting and we’re not even planning to conceive for a little while so there would be no problem finding ‘nan’ or ‘uncle’ to the baby to baby sit once mum and bub are settled a bit at home.
    I know some women may find a getaway and separation from bub stressful but if it’s intentional and planned ahead of time, my brain could probably handle it. Especially since I really want to make sure I keep a happy hubby. I only thought ‘jealousy’ after a baby may come from breast feeding (I’ve heard wives are tired of being touched there by the time it’s hubby’s turn, which is sad) but I never considered the bigger picture. Thank you for giving me some great insight. I’ll make sure I keep all this in mind as our time comes :p

  11. Kat says:

    I, unfortunately, understand your plight. I’m the pregnant wife, I came across your post while looking for solutions on how not to go insane with our ‘sex life on life support’. All of the things you said, with respect to a few points, is how my side of the pregnancy has been. And, for the record, I too have not met another woman who had a crazy high libido while pregnant. Truthfully, I’d kill to be the one with no drive or initiative in the bedroom right now. We’re 8 months in and I am going crazy with the severe lack of sexual and physical intimacy.
    I abhor bringing the topic up, maybe two or three times. I don’t want him to feel bad, I know he’s got his reasons and it seems he’s having a hard time pin pointing them do himself, let alone for me. I make sure he’s included in everything, going so far as scolding friends and family for focusing solely on me. I didn’t make the baby alone! I just worry it isn’t enough. I worry a lot, especially about this. With hormones kicking my ass it’s sometimes hard to do the whole, “Remember, he loves you” bit. But I am trying.
    I hope you’re right. I hope things go back to how they used to be. The feelings accompanying the loss of attention in an intimate fashion are so much deeper than is easy to explain.
    Thank you for writing this. It’s the first honest and helpful thing I’ve found.

  12. Sheena says:

    I’m the very same. You say that women wanting sex is a myth it’s not. After I was 12 weeks pregnant and not feeling like crap 90% of the day. I would beg my husband to have sex with me and I would always get the same answer (I’m afraid to hurt the baby, I’m afraid to burt you, this is freaky, no sorry I just can’t) every excuse he could or would give he does. Do you know how hurtful that is to hear every time!! I do love my husband but at the moment I don’t want to even be around him because it’s not the same at all. It’s so hurtful being told no to having sex. I don’t feel half as sexy as I did before I got pregnant I see I’m big I’m 7 months pregnant. Does he understand that when the baby comes there won’t be time to have sex again and why would I even want sex after she’s born. You can only be told so many times no before you go off it completely.. And that’s the way it’s happening now. He turned me down so much in the last 7 months I don’t want sex again.

  13. kt says:

    I am 19 weeks with my first and the lack of libido has really gotten me down. I love and care for my husband and we are still “active”…but I am just not into it and it is uncomfortable to slightly painful. I was discouraged and looked for a Christian’s opinion and found this article very encouraging. I don’t want to hurt my husband’s feelings and I really do feel so loved and special when he really wants me…I don’t want to turn him down.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      I’m glad I could help in some way. My wife is currently 39 weeks pregnant. We get where you’re at. Hang in there.

  14. Laura Varnishe says:

    Hi there, thanks and great article.
    I was thinking alot recently about how pregnancy affects sex in a marriage (a few friends were talking about and going through it) so it’s useful to read the article and some of the comments and see what other people are thinking.
    I don’t plan on getting pregnant anytime soon but it’s still useful to know others’ experiences.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Thank you, I hope it helps in future conversations with your friends.

  15. A says:

    I’m currently 21 weeks pregnant with our second, and have pretty much lost all interest in sex. However I’m still interested in my husband and find him extremely attractive. He’s been getting upset that I haven’t wanted sex, and it upsets me when he thinks that I’m not attracted to him or don’t want him anymore. I couldn’t even figure out why I didn’t want it, and thought something was wrong with me. However this pregnancy has been a lot harder than my first one. I’m still constantly sick, tired, and gaining a lot more weight than my first. This one is just a lot harder on me, but I don’t think he understands even though I’ve tried talking to him. I’m going to send him this article. Hopefully he reads it and it helps. It sure helped me. Thanks!!!

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Thank you for the wonderful encouragement. I’m so glad you were helped.

  16. Deano says:

    Thanks for the encouragement. My wife is 17 weeks pregnant and we have no sex or intimacy. I feel invisible at home like she doesn’t even know I’m there. Before the pregnancy we only had sex about twice a month which was already very hard. I’m so unhappy and I can’t see any light at the end of the tunnel but it did feel good to read everyone’s experiences.

  17. Jayden says:

    My wife and I went through the cycle all three times: basically little or no sex in the first trimester, lots of sex the second, and much less the third. Although with the second we had a toddler to worry about and with the second a toddler and a young and all too curious small child.

  18. Stephanie says:

    My hubby and I are currently expecting our second little princess and other than brief periods when I’ve been either too sick, too exhausted or in too much pain we haven’t given up our regular “routine” of twice to 5 times a week but maybe a couple times. I’m the slightly higher drive spouse in our marriage, but luckily on the sexual (and most other fronts) we’re pretty “equally yoked.” He tends to be the one to succumb to the “I’m too tired” bit on occasion but after a sincere and deeply heartfelt chat I finally opened up and expressed fully my need for sexual intimacy with him. I have to say though, God blessed me deeply with him in every imaginable way. He’s a devoted father, wonderful provider, intensely trustworthy and honest in word and deed, a tiger in the bedroom and isn’t afraid to open up and share what’s going on in his head, though he still needs the occasional push in the form of “get naked now.”
    I’ve read countless blogs and posts from men and women alike on the topic of pregnancy and it’s impact on marital intimacy and it breaks my heart to see the pain both husbands go through desiring their sexually unavailable wives and the struggle some wives have deeply desiring their husband who, for whatever reason, withhold sex during the pregnancy. I know, for me personally, pregnancy is hard, VERY hard. I’m one of the not so lucky few who experienced severe “morning” (all daggum day) sickness up until the mid second trimester with both, and while I have struggled to gain weight with both pregnancies (averaging about 10 lbs so far with each) the body image issue is still very mentally vexing. Luckily my husband is one who adores my body, pregnant or not, and reassures me of it often. In the end, though, while pregnancy and the anticipation of the Grand arrival of your co-creation are wonderful, it is a completely different experience for each spouse. Unfortunately husbands will never be able to fully understand just how much it effects a woman to relinquish her body for the better part of a year, albeit willingly, for the greater good and joy of the family, and wives will generally have difficulty relating with the struggles besieging their husbands during this time. The best thing we can all do is openly communicate our feelings and thoughts with one another in understanding and love, keeping in mind that while we each have our own individual struggles associated with the pregnancy and thereafter, it is something wonderful that we both choose to enter into and to be that pillar of love and support for one another, even when we can’t quite wrap our heads around what they’re feeling. While children are wonderful and a true gift from God, He intended marriage to last and thrive from the I do ‘s, through the children, and into the grave. I think we can sometimes lose sight of that amongst the hustle and bustle of pregnancy, child rearing and life in general. Your union and relationship together, with God at it’s core, should always be, after God, the tippy top priority. Just my two cents.

  19. JJ says:

    wow. thank you. I knew this, but reading it really help me. We’re currently pregnant with our fourth.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Glad to be of service. Congrats on your fourth. Hang in there.

  20. sabastine says:

    I also believe and agree with you.
    I am also passing through thesame problem right now but since i read what you wrote i came to understand

    1. sabastine says:

      Please you guys should help me how often can i have sex with my pregnant wife

      1. Jay Dee says:

        In what sense? Physically, I don’t think there is a limit. But, whether or not both spouses are willing is typically the limiter.

  21. Edward says:

    I think the 1st trimester adjustments on most couples drive the men to keep a ‘no hope for sex ‘ mental note during the pregnancy period and the unwillingness of the wife to approach her hubby when her body readjust ok for intimacy, could be a reason why couples sex life go down with married time.

  22. Jen says:

    I have been extremely desiring sex while pregnant. Like constantly. My sex drive is way up. If I could have it my way we would be together as much as possible. His drive has pretty much stayed the same. It’s also hard in the middle of the night when I need him….and he is to tired. He is trying though but I need it more!!! I already told him after baby I will be there for him whenever he needs me, within reason of course…so now you know it is true for some women.

  23. Chris says:

    Thank you for this article, as I find myself feeling a lot of what the author did. I find myself very jealous of men whose pregnant wives are sex fiends. My wife is 18 weeks and has no desire for sex at all and sometimes will even tell me to get away from her or not touch her. I find that more hurtful than no desire for sex. We’ve discussed the lack of sex and I get angry at myself for making her feel bad for not wanting it. And to think there are guys out there who won’t have sex with their pregnant wives for one reason or another.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      You’re welcome. I’m going to be tackling the issue of desire in the next month or two (I have some new search to our through first) so stay tuned.

  24. Raul says:

    My wife seems to not be attracted to me, she says she is but we rarely have sex. This is her first trimester. When we do have sex it seems like shes barely into it. What does this mean. Im getting nervouse. Some people say she might be cheating. Wtf lol help asap!

    1. Jay Dee says:

      That’s very common during pregnancy. I wouldn’t jump to that conclusion at all.

      Give her lots of massages and make sure she gets enough sleep. That helped with our last pregnancy.

  25. Danielle says:

    I enjoyed reading this. Hearing stuff from a guy’s perspective about pregnancy is helpful. Especially since I was trying to find an article to send to my boyfriend to help explain to him why sex just isn’t happening right now. However, I thought about some things you may want to throw in there. I know it’s suppose to be from your side but I know some of these things you can just look up and read all about.
    1. About 1 in 10 women become depressed after giving birth. I know that may not seem like a big deal if they do but they will be counting on the dad to help them especially with the baby.
    2. You’re completely right about the whole body changing thing but it’s very bothersome, at least to me, when it seems like sex is the only thing you think about. We can mostly tell you how long it’s been too but with everything going on, it bothers me that I know certain parts of my body aren’t completely shaved either and it’s all because I just can’t see them anymore. I know it doesn’t bother him but like you said we’re not exactly use to these changes and it’s not like we’re very fond of them.
    3. (And I’ll make this my last one) I’m so glad you wrote something about how the dad should catch the baby etc. The problem I’m having and seem to hear about often is that he doesn’t want to see it because he fears he won’t think the same way. You’re telling this to someone who already has had her vagina violated many times and who will have her legs spread wide open in the next month or so to deliver your baby. I know a lot of dads also ask for someone they know to be in the room also. Just maybe try to take into consideration how often others see private parts of her body especially if she’s high risk.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Hi Danielle,

      1) Yes, post-partum is a very real and serious thing. My wife has had it a few times. I should write a post about that. Or maybe my wife will.
      2) I just wrote a post on the “sex is the only thing you think about” point. Might be worth the read in your situation. You can check it out here.
      3) His mind will adjust. Mine did, so did countless others. If it doesn’t, then there’s a larger problem that needs to be dealt with anyways. Don’t let that stop you. I’ve never had a dad ask to have someone they know in the room. I would consider that highly inappropriate personally. I mean, it’s a very intimate thing. I know we need the midwives, or doctors and nurses if there are complications, but this isn’t a social visit. For one of our births, we were in a teaching hospital, and it was the first breach VBAC in that hospital in over a decade due to policy changes. There were over a dozen nurses just watching. My wife made the decision that for her it was worth the loss of privacy for them to learn to help other mothers. But, we definitely know what that loss of privacy is like. 4 births + 1 c-section. It feels like a big deal leading into it, but once it’s in the past, it’s less so.

      1. Danielle says:

        This is both of ours first kid. He’s 24 and I’m 25 so family wise, everyone wants to be in there. I’m comfortable with my parents being in there but only because I’ve been fairly sick before and in the hospital for months at a time. I know how they act when something goes wrong etc. His mom on the other hand is very aggressive and believes she is always right. I would like to be able to have her in there but when I was just recently in the hospital, she told the doctors how they were messing up and they ended up asking her to leave. Mind you, this is not the first time. How do I explain to him that I’m not comfortable having to worry about someone being kicked out when they are already worried about what may happen when the baby comes?

        1. Jay Dee says:

          Just because they want to be there, doesn’t mean they need to be.

          My personal opinion would be to say “We made this baby, and we’ll be there when it comes into this world. No one else is invited. You’ll be able to see the baby minutes after it’s born, but this is a special time for us as a couple. I hope you’ll all respect our privacy during this intimate time.”

          Then just hold firm. That way no one gets preferential treatment and anyone that still insists on being there will look like they’re barging in where they’re not invited.

Share your thoughts