Last week, Paula over at Strollerderby wrote a piece about “Orgasmic Pregnancy“, wondering whether or not such a thing even existed. The post referred to the book of the same name, which aims to get pregnant women feeling good about themselves…and just feeling good in general. Both Paula’s post and the interview with the book’s author were focused on the idea that pregnancy is often a tough time to feel sexual. I hear that, sisters. But if you can get yourself in the mood (and here’s hoping it happens sometime during your gestational career) there are some things that make pregnancy a unique time for orgasm in particular. Some of them might actually be worth making the effort for.
1. Orgasms are no threat to a healthy pregnancy.
That’s true whether they’re the result of partner sex or solo sex or any kind of stimulation (including vibrators or other sex toys). The only situations where a woman is advised to avoid orgasm during pregnancy is when she is at risk of a premature birth or placental bleeding.
2. Orgasms during pregnancy can feel better than usual.
The increased blood flow to the uterus and other sex organs can make orgasms much more intense. Hormones also play a role, especially oxytocin, produced in later pregnancy and after birth. Many women report amped up orgasms through the breastfeeding phase, too.
3. The belly changes shape during orgasm.
When the muscles of the uterus and abdomen contract, the belly often forms a pointed or triangular shape. The point can be directly in the middle or off to the side, depending. This is normal and not at all dangerous.
4. Cramping after orgasm during pregnancy is normal.
After an orgasm, it’s normal to feel some cramps in the uterus. These are uterine contractions, and they actually happen after any orgasm- you just didn’t feel them when you weren’t pregnant. In pregnancy, they might feel more like mild menstrual cramps. But the intensity can vary from woman to woman (and orgasm to orgasm).
5. Pregnancy can change your ability to achieve orgasm (often for the better!)
The flow of blood to the genitals is the first step in the human arousal process. So physically, pregnant women are one step ahead on the road to orgasm. Many women find they can orgasm much more easily when pregnant (a few even report orgasms without direct physical stimulation). But pregnancy can interfere with ability to achieve orgasm too. Sometimes a position that works for you becomes physically impossible. In late pregnancy, some women find it harder to reach orgasm, or that orgasm doesn’t feel like a real release. This may be because the uterus isn’t able to contract in the same way when it’s full of baby!
One more thing you might not know—and this one’s for the future:
Sex after pregnancy gets a bad rap (what with all the vagina anxiety). But many women find that the changes in their pelvic area after pregnancy and childbirth actually make orgasms easier to achieve…permanently.
photo: Jamie Campbell/flickr