Some women are extremely aroused during their pregnancies. All that blood flowing to their downtown, the increased lubrication, and the sensitive nipples make for a fun time. For some women? Not so much. If you're in that camp, do you know how to increase your sex drive while pregnant? (You know, if you want to.)
Pregnant women are goddesses. You may not feel that way, and you may hate your waddle or your tendency to sweat like a congressman at a Town Hall meeting, but pregnant women are definitely goddesses. When you're pregnant, you're the very embodiment of fertility. If this were ancient times, statues would be carved in your honor and you'd be given the best bits of meat and food. You are creating an entirely new life with little more than vitamins and Shake Shack burgers. (This may just be me.) If you were fabulously rich and talented, you would have a push party thrown for you with all of your famous friends in attendance, and you would get a crown and mocktails, and everyone on Instagram would "ooh" and "ahh" over the radiant beauty you've become during your pregnancy.
All women should feel as wonderful and radiant as Queen Bey, but it's not always possible. Sometimes when you're pregnant, you just feel as though you've lost your moxie. According to The Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, a decreased libido during pregnancy is fairly common and totally normal. Your body is awash in hormones, it's constantly changing, and you're just plain old tired. Of course, you may wonder how to increase your sex drive while you're pregnant. You only have a very limited amount of time before the 3 a.m. feedings and firehose nipples; you want to make the best of it.
Unfortunately, there's no magic bullet to do this and there's no safe supplement to rev your engines. The medical website Healthline noted that chocolate and figs may help, but that most of the food-related advice is bunk. The article also suggested meditation (I can just imagine the chant), and working on your self-confidence. But while there's a surfeit of information on the male libido, there's a real paucity of research on the pregnant female libido.
Thankfully, there are people like renowned sexual health and relationship therapist, Dr. Jess O'Reilly, PhD, of Sex With Dr. Jess here to help you figure things out. In an interview with Romper, she says that it's not just about the sex — it's "important that you tell your partner (if you have one) what's going on. Why are you not in mood? Exhaustion? Nausea? They may assume the worst, so talking about what you're feeling is of paramount importance."
But O'Reilly also notes that "it's important for you to know that you don't have to have sex. Your relationship will survive a temporary sex hiatus." (Even if pregnancy sometimes feels like it passes in dog years.) However, she has three tricks up her sleeve that may boost your mood, if you feel like you need to.
O'Reilly begins with my personal favorite — erotic literature. Yes, ladies, those sexy books with all manner of hot dialogue and descriptions may be your key to getting aroused. O'Reilly shares that, "many women find that they respond more strongly to stories than visual cues."
Her next suggestion is honestly one I didn't think of, and I'm ashamed to admit it. Giving yourself the happy hands (or vibrator) treatment first. O'Reilly tells Romper, "Your needs may have changed for both emotional and physical reasons — perhaps you need to try a new position or stimulate a different area to get turned on. Pregnancy, like all transitional periods, requires a degree of unlearning old habits and relearning new ones."
If those two suggestions fail to rouse the randy beast inside you, O'Reilly says that you should not be afraid to be a little demanding in the bedroom. Ask your partner to go down on you. She notes that pregnant women often feel undue pressure to perform for their partner, even when they're hugely pregnant. "Screw that. Ask for what you want. You're going to need this skill once the child arrives and it will pay off in and out of the bedroom." I like her style.
Again, it's important to know that this is just a season in your life, and it is passing, but it can be frustrating. Just remember, you're not alone. Talk to your partner about how you're feeling and, if you're interested in increasing your sex drive, try one of O'Reilly's tips. Don't put any pressure on yourself and remember — you're pregnant. Your comfort seriously matters.