Just when you think you know everything to expect from pregnancy, a new symptom or change appears. There are the swollen boobs, the insomnia, the heartburn, the stretch marks, the restless legs, and the round ligament pain, to name a delightful few. One thing is for certain: Pregnancy is not for the weak. Aside from the prize at the end, many aspects of pregnancy are less than fun. But... could there be a glorious, even orgasmic, side effect of the process? Do orgasms change when you're pregnant? As it turns out, your body may make up for the negative stuff with one big positive.
The short answer? Yes, orgasms change during pregnancy! And if you take a look at the nine-month-long chemistry experiment going on in your body, it's not too surprising that they do. First, your overall volume of blood increases dramatically during pregnancy, "and some of that extra blood heads downtown, making your nether regions swollen and extra sensitive," according to Heathline. In other words, your body is basically primed for orgasms, all the time.
Second, over the course of your pregnancy, your body produces more and more of the hormone oxytocin. This hormone causes your uterus to contract, your milk to let down, and your connection with your new baby to intensify – but that's not all. "The hormone that takes the cake in terms of making you a hot, sexy mess is oxytocin, often called 'the love hormone,'" explained ScaryMommy.
"In addition to making you feel happy and horny, oxytocin is responsible for the contraction and release that happens during an orgasm." Increased oxytocin, plus that increased blood flow, mean your orgasms will likely be next level good.
So... what can you expect? Many women report reaching orgasm more easily while they're pregnant, and experiencing more intense, more pleasurable orgasms. In fact, in an article with Parents, sex educator and author Lou Paget stated, "I've heard so many women say they wish they could have pregnancy orgasms again because they were off the charts." You may not think of pregnancy as the sexiest stage of your life, but I'd urge you to take advantage of its distinctive perks.
One thing holding many expectant moms back, however, are some of the stranger sensations that can occur during and after climax. Many women report cramps or even contractions post orgasm which can be a bit concerning while you're carrying precious cargo. However, these sensations are both normal and totally safe for both you and baby. "After orgasm, your body sends a rush of blood to your uterus, which can cause those uncomfortable cramps in your groin," said What To Expect. "Don’t force yourself to power through them. Instead, give yourself a chance to recover with a little R&R until the discomfort passes."
As always, though, the first person you should speak to if you have any concerns about sex and orgasms during pregnancy is your doctor. Women who have certain risks or complications, like a history of premature birth, placenta previa, an incompetent cervix, or unexplained bleeding are often instructed to abstain from sex during pregnancy, according to the Mayo Clinic. While you may not be happy to hear that, a safe, healthy baby is always worth it.
Like all pregnancy symptoms, better orgasms are not universally experienced by moms-to-be. Some women experience decreased sex drive, uncomfortable orgasms, or generally feel too blah to get sexy at all. If this is your situation, take comfort in knowing the experience is temporary. And, if your orgasms are out of this world, take advantage... again, knowing that the experience is temporary.
Editor's note: This post has been updated from its original version.