Feeling Dizzy During Pregnancy Sex Is Common — Here's Why It's Happening

by Cat Bowen

During my pregnancy, I experienced a bevy of crappy symptoms ranging from severe morning sickness to skin so dry it could serve as pavement for the roads in the desert. One weird thing I developed was an inner ear disorder that caused me to get overwhelming bouts of vertigo and positional dizziness. I had no idea that this was a thing that could happen, or that it could sometimes manifest at the worst time, like while I was getting busy with my husband. It turns out, I'm not the only one to feel dizzy during pregnancy sex, and I am probably not the only one confused and worried by the experience.

There are many reasons why you could experience dizziness during sex while pregnant, and most of them are pretty benign and easy to correct. It can also mean different things at different periods during your pregnancy. For instance, in your first trimester, the rush of hormones can cause dizziness at any point of your day, according to the American Pregnancy Association. When you add on the surge of hormones that happens during sex, it can feel like a veritable naked tilt-a-whirl. (When your partner said they wanted to rock your world, you weren't thinking about it quite so literally.)

The ear condition I developed during pregnancy is called patulous eustachian tube (PET) dysfunction and it's just one of several that can develop, according to The Journal of Laryngology & Otology. PET is a condition sometimes brought on by the hormones of pregnancy that cause the eustachian tube to stay open for long periods of time, according to Dallas Ear Institute. Imagine having your ear "popped" all the time. It is painful, annoying, and one of the many symptoms is dizziness when your heart rate increases — like during sex.

No one wants to get dizzy when they're getting down to business, but pregnancy is just a carnival of fun when it comes to the unexpected. According to Kidspot, "Dizziness can also be caused by low blood sugar, or going too long without food... It helps to eat protein like egg, cheese, or meat at each meal to even out blood sugar." I know that I couldn't go for more than a few hours without at least trying to eat a few calories. With my nausea and morning sickness, that wasn't always the easiest feat, but it did make the dizziness slightly more tolerable. However, going from sitting to standing or from laying down to sitting up, was still a bit of a struggle as the waves of dizziness would want to keep me in place.

According for the Centre For Excellence OB-GYN clinic in Tennessee, getting too hot while you're getting heated can also cause dizziness. The website suggested staying cool and breezy to prevent this sort of dizziness. So maybe your fantasy of knocking boots on a bearskin rug in front of the fire will have to wait for baby to be born. (Just another thing to add to the list of stuff that will need to be delayed until you're postpartum. Like wine and skydiving.)

It turns out that your position might also have a lot to do with your dizziness. According to Dunwoody OB-GYN, "Approaching the third trimester, a pregnant woman should avoid lying on her back due to the extra pressure placed on her veins — this could lead to a drop in blood pressure and dizziness." So obviously that means missionary is straight out. Might I suggest reverse cowgirl?

As is the case with many things, talk to your doctor if you're concerned. The Centre for Excellence OB-GYN wrote that "dizziness or lightheadedness can be discussed at a regular visit, but call your doctor as soon as possible if you faint." And I think that's incredibly reasonable. Trust your gut, because with all that dizziness, you certainly can't trust your eyes or your legs.

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