Women's Libido Still High During Pregnancy

Mar 18, 2010
Many women report about high sexual interest during the first, second and third trimesters of pregnancy, a new study says.

Dr. Irwin Goldstein, director of sexual medicine at Alvarado Hospital in San Diego, said that the new study helped to examine women's sexual issues and problems of real women, narrowing the gender gap in sexual health studies.

The study conducted in Lisbon, Portugal, included 188 women, aged between 17 and 40, who recently gave birth to a child. The women filled out a survey about their sexual interest and experience during pregnancy.

Frequency of sex during pregnancy

The results of the study revealed that almost 45 percent of women said that they had sex most often during the first trimester of their pregnancy, while around 36 percent of women had frequent sex during the second trimester of their pregnancy.

Only 10 percent of women told about frequent sex during the third trimester of their pregnancy, with almost 55 percent of all women, who reported decreased sexual activity at this stage of pregnancy. Though most participants, that is more than 80 percent of women, said that they had sex during the final trimester of pregnancy and 40 percent of women, who had sexual intercourse during the birth week.

As much as 50 percent of all women said that their sexual activity level did not change during the first and the second stages of their pregnancy.

Sexual satisfaction during pregnancy

Around half of all respondents reported about the same sexual satisfaction during all trimesters of pregnancy, while more than 27 percent of women said that their sexual satisfaction decreased.

Almost 39 percent of women said their sexual interest did not change, while slightly more than 32 percent of women noticed a decline in sexual desire.

Types of sexual activity during pregnancy

Almost all women, which is more than 98 percent said they had vaginal intercourse during pregnancy. As much as 38 percent of women practiced oral sex during pregnancy, while more than 6 percent had anal intercourse while expecting.

Around 20 percent of women said they practiced masturbation during pregnancy.

Sexual concerns during pregnancy

Around 40 percent of women said that they felt less sexually attractive during pregnancy, while more than 75 percent of women reported about the same sexual interest from their partner.

More than 23 percent of women were worried that sexual activity during pregnancy may hurt the unborn baby. Some men were also concerned that sex during pregnancy might somehow hurt the baby or reported about the feeling of being watched by their baby during sex.

Many people also believe that sex during the third trimester of pregnancy may cause premature birth or cause other problems for the baby.

Most specialists and the authors of the study agreed that sex during pregnancy is safe enough. They say that vaginal intercourse is not dangerous during all trimesters of pregnancy. There is some risk of air embolism, concerning oral sex during pregnancy, if a partner blows some air into vagina. Also partners should be careful with anal sex to reduce the risk of infections.

Women with current health problems, such as placenta previa, a condition when the placenta is located lower in the uterus, may also need to avoid sex during pregnancy because it may lead to hemorrhaging.

It is also important to take into account numerous changes that take place during pregnancy, including hormonal fluctuations, exhaustion, worries for their baby, which may affect sexual desire and sexual activity during pregnancy. The study was published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.