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Why Do Women Get Horny During Pregnancy?

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As an expectant mother, your appetite for food isn't the only thing going into overdrive. It’s possible you’ll want to get it on — like, all the time — and there's a biological reason why women get horny during pregnancy.

“Women may find that their powerful bodies, larger and fuller breasts, hormone shifts, and lack of a period bring them more interest in experiencing pleasure,” says Dr. Lyndsey Harper, M.D., board-certified OB-GYN and clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Medicine. In a pregnancy with no complications, it's generally safe to have sex in the first trimester and up until the big day, and you may find yourself more excited than usual to get busy with your partner — or not. But the reality is, not all women will experience an uptick in desire. “With pregnancy, we know that many women may deal with nausea, vomiting, back pain, headaches, insomnia, etc that may negate an increased sexual drive,” Dr. Tamika Cross, M.D., OB-GYN at Memorial Hermann Healthcare in Houston, Texas tells Romper. You should know that whether you're more or less horny during pregnancy, both are totally normal.

If you're trying to jump your partner's bones 24/7, be sure to listen to your altering body's physical needs. “Later in pregnancy, women experience more changes in the body like pelvic heaviness and pain and may have less energy due to the work of growing a human,” explains Dr. Harper. “To overcome some of these challenges, many couples find trying new positions, for example, woman on top, side by side, or all fours — and alternatives to intercourse, like kissing, hugging, toys, and oral sex — to be helpful in maintaining a healthy sex life during pregnancy.”

Your body is in a pretty remarkable state right now, and everything is bigger — boobs, belly, thighs, butt — and that's hot! So feel yourself like never before, and slay between the sheets. And if you (and especially your partner) are curious about why you’re feeling especially aroused during pregnancy, well, here’s why.

Increased Estrogen

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Your pregnant body produces a cocktail of hormones, which accounts for your increased sex drive. “During pregnancy, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and cortisol increase. These hormones are responsible for sexual arousal, lubrication, and enhancing the sexual experience,” explains Dr. Cross.

A Bump In Oxytocin

At the end of your pregnancy, your levels of oxytocin, the so-called "feel-good" hormone will be through the roof. It’s the same hormone that brings on that feeling of mild euphoria in the days before pregnancy, notes Parents. Not only are you going to feel like nesting, you're going to crave human connection.

Sensitive Vulva

Your vulva may become engorged during pregnancy and extra sensitive, causing you to feel more sensations when you do have sex. As explained in this 2016 study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, the clitoris is the specific part of the vulva that’s responsible for the best orgasm experience. “During the second trimester when a woman’s blood volume is significantly increased, the clitoris becomes engorged more easily which leads to increased sensitivity, easier and more powerful orgasms,” says Dr. Cross. So, in turn, you're gonna want to do it more often.

Sensitive Breasts

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Some women experience pleasurable sensations from breast sensitivity. Did you know you can have nipple orgasms? Yup. Nipples are an erogenous zone and have hundreds of nerve endings that can communicate arousal to the brain, per Healthline.

Intense Orgasms

“The emotional bonding between two partners when expecting a new addition to the family is sometimes expressed through increased intimacy and sex,” Dr. Harper says. “Women most often experience these positive effects at the end of the first trimester into the beginning of the second.” When your emotional connection is more intense, the orgasm can be more intense.

Studies referenced:

Prause, N., et al. Clitorally Stimulated Orgasms Are Associated With Better Control of Sexual Desire, and Not Associated With Depression or Anxiety, Compared With Vaginally Stimulated Orgasms (2016) Journal of Sexual Medicine, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/308575988_Clitorally_Stimulated_Orgasms_Are_Associated_With_Better_Control_of_Sexual_Desire_and_Not_Associated_With_Depression_or_Anxiety_Compared_With_Vaginally_Stimulated_Orgasms

Experts:

Tamika Cross, M.D., OB-GYN at Memorial Hermann Healthcare in Houston, Texas

Lyndsey Harper, M.D., board-certified OB-GYN and clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Medicine

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