When I was pregnant with my son last year, I felt completely flattened throughout the first trimester. As many women experience, I had the constant companionship of nausea and exhaustion and couldn't bring myself to expend any energy that wasn't absolutely necessary, sex included. After a while I began to wonder, when will my sex drive come back during pregnancy. Was I doomed to wait a year before I could enjoy a romp in the bedroom again?
And then, the glorious second trimester came and put my fears to rest.
Apparently I'm not alone. Deena Blumenfeld, founder of Shining Light Prenatal Education in Pittsburgh, tells Romper that it is widely common for women to experience extreme dips in sexual arousal during the first 13 to 16 weeks of pregnancy. And it's no surprise: Between morning sickness that lasts all day, extreme fatigue, and the emotional upheaval that often accompanies the beginning of a pregnancy, most women spend those first few months just wanting to take a nap.
In an interview with Romper, Blumenfeld emphasizes that just like every other pregnancy symptom, there is a wide spectrum of normal when it comes to sex drive. While some women continue to struggle to find any interest in bedroom activities throughout the entire length of gestation, many find the second trimester brings the highest arousal they've ever experienced.
If and when you do notice a positive change in your sex drive halfway through your pregnancy, you have your heightened estrogen levels and blood flow to thank. Enjoy the extra libido while you have it, but don't be surprised if it diminishes by the end of your pregnancy, when you begin to feel exhaustion and physical discomfort more acutely again.
Even though sex during pregnancy can be a struggle for some women, it's an important area of your well-being worth putting extra care and intentionality into, Yvonne K. Fulbright, PhD, and coauthor of Your Orgasmic Pregnancy told Parents magazine. "Couples who don't make intimacy a priority now are only going to find more excuses when the baby comes home. The happier you are in all aspects of your relationship, including your sex life, the better parent you'll be."
If you've found the thrill is gone, don't forget there are other ways to nurture your relationship and deeply connect as a couple. Things like going on dates, sharing a delicious meal, and engaging in good conversation can keep you feeling bonded when you're not ready to head to the bedroom. And in the meantime, enjoy some extra naps.