Low Sex Drive During Pregnancy: Why, When & What To Expect

| Reviewed By Amanda Lundberg, BSN, RN

During pregnancy, it is not uncommon for women to notice a decrease in their sexual desire due to the physical changes in their body. This is a natural phenomenon and usually improves after childbirth.

Does a low sex drive during pregnancy indicate a boy or girl? Low sex drive does not indicate if you’re having a boy or a girl. Some women think that a higher sex drive means you’re having a boy because of the rise in testosterone in your body. However, the only way you know you’re having a boy or girl is by blood tests or ultrasounds.

In the following, you’ll learn more about handling low sex drive during pregnancy and what you can expect as your baby grows.

Low Sex Drive During Pregnancy

Changes in sex drive are common during pregnancy and usually resolve after giving birth. Here’s what you should know.

What Causes Low Sex Drive During Pregnancy?

Hormonal changes, fatigue, and mood swings can cause low sex drive during pregnancy. Breast sensitivity, exhaustion, and stress leave little energy and desire for intimacy.

If you’ve had difficulty conceiving or are in the midst of a challenging pregnancy, you may also be concerned that sex will harm your baby.

When Low Sex Drive Is Most Common During Pregnancy

Low sex drive can happen at any point in the pregnancy, but it’s most common during the third trimester.

During this time, you may be bloated, tired, and focused on preparing your body for delivering a baby. Any sudden movement can be uncomfortable.

You may also have low libido during the first trimester when nausea, fatigue, and breast tenderness affect your mood.

No Sex Drive During Pregnancy

While some women experience a decrease in sex drive during pregnancy, you may have no sex drive as you carry your baby. This pregnancy symptom can be challenging as you maintain your relationship with your partner.

During this time, try to be open about your feelings and practice intimacy in different ways, such as showering together or getting a massage.

When Sex Drive Will Return To Normal

If you’re experiencing a decrease in sex drive during the first trimester, you may notice your libido returning to normal around the second trimester. You’ll have more energy, and the morning sickness will get more manageable.

If you’re one of the women with low sex drive throughout your pregnancy, you can expect it to return to normal about six months postpartum.

What Many Women Experience

Although every woman has different levels of sex drive with each pregnancy, here’s what most women experience.

Sex in First Trimester

Due to unpleasant symptoms such as morning sickness, fatigue, food aversions, and breast sensitivity, many women avoid sex in the first trimester.

The emotional roller coaster that comes with pregnancy because of hormones can cause exhaustion, and your changing body may make you feel guilty for not wanting sex as often as before.

Sex in Second Trimester

Libido in the second trimester tends to increase as your hormones decrease and your morning sickness subsides.

With a new burst of energy and a renewed sense of confidence, you might be more willing to get into bed than you were in the first trimester. Take advantage of the enhanced vaginal lubrication and engorged clitoris by having sex more often.

Sex in Third Trimester

As your body prepares to deliver a baby, you might notice a drop in sex drive again during the third trimester. The extra weight gain may give you pain and make movement uncomfortable.

Many women are also hyper-focused on preparing their bodies for birth and getting their homes safe and comfortable for their babies.

Does Sex Drive Indicate the Gender of Your Baby?

There’s no evidence that sex drive indicates the gender of your baby.

Some women swear that a higher sex drive means you’re having a boy because of the increased testosterone levels in your body. However, no clinical evidence supports this old-wives tale. 

Consequences of Not Having Sex During Pregnancy

Some possible consequences of not having sex during pregnancy include:

  • Stress on your relationship: Pregnancy is an emotional time for you and your partner, and sexual intimacy can help keep you connected. If you don’t have sex during pregnancy, your partner may feel distanced from you.
  • Increased pain and discomfort: Orgasms stimulate the release of oxytocin, enhancing your pain tolerance. Without this increase in oxytocin, you may feel more uncomfortable.
  • A poor mood: Sex can help level out your emotions during pregnancy. If you miss out on sex, you won’t get that boost of oxytocin to make you happier.

Disadvantages of Sex During Pregnancy

Sex during pregnancy is generally normal and safe for most pregnancies, but it may come with some unpleasant side effects in some conditions.

Besides the aches and pains that you may experience, having sex during pregnancy comes with the following disadvantages in some cases:

  • STIs: Use condoms that help prevent the spread of STIs if you’re not in a monogamous relationship.
  • UTIs: Some women are also at risk of developing urinary tract infections (UTIs) during pregnancy, which could cause preterm labor if they develop into kidney infections.
  • Heavy bleeding: If you have a low placenta, placenta previa, or hematoma, sex may cause a higher risk of bleeding and is sometimes discouraged.

Increased Sex Drive During Third Trimester

Even though most women experience a drop in sex drive during the third trimester, some women have an increased sex drive during the final months of pregnancy. This rise in libido is due to the change in hormones.

If you’re feeling more in the mood during the third trimester, you’ll want to try comfortable positions, especially side to side.  

When To Stop Sex During Pregnancy

You should stop sex during pregnancy under the recommendation of your healthcare provider. You’ll usually have to stop under the following conditions:

  • You’re carrying more than one baby.
  • You’re leaking fluid vaginally with no known cause.
  • You have a history of premature birth or preterm labor.
  • Your water has broken.
  • Your placenta covers the opening to your cervix (placenta previa).
  • Your cervix has opened prematurely.

Related Questions:

Is Sex Better During Pregnancy?

Yes, for some women, sex is better during pregnancy. Sex while pregnant has many advantages, such as increased oxytocin to regulate mood swings and improve sleep.

You’ll also have to get creative with positions as your belly grows, allowing you and your partner to have fun as you learn together.

Can Sex During the First Trimester Cause Miscarriage?

Usually, sex during the first trimester does not cause miscarriage. Sex is generally safe during any part of the pregnancy, including up to birth.

You should only avoid having sex during the first trimester if your healthcare provider has recommended you wait.

Conclusion

Sex during pregnancy can bring you closer to your partner, but you may need to closely monitor how you are feeling to be sure it will still bring you pleasure. Be encouraged that your libido will return to normal a few months after giving birth.

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