Pregnant? Sex is better if you don't know
Pregnancy puts a damper on sex -- but research has found that it may be psychological to an extent.
The bad news: being pregnant puts you off sex -- and not surprisingly, with issues like sore breasts, tiredness and nausea.
You don't feel in the mood, you don't get turned on, your vagina is dry, orgasms just aren't happening and it hurts. But here's the good news: it's partly in the mind. Women who don't realise they're pregnant aren't put off sex, a new study found.
Pregnancy can be a real passion-killer. The reasons can be physical -- you're weary, you feel queasy, you keep throwing up and your breasts are too sore to touch. They can also be emotional -- your moods are all over the place, you're worried about miscarriage or you feel thoroughly unattractive.
© www.lovematters.info is a journalistic website about love, sex, relationships and everything in between.
Photographs: Nina Matthews/Flickr.com from Wikimedia Commons
Once you know for certain that you're pregnant, you start realising the changes and responsibilities you'll soon be facing. So apart from the physical and hormonal factors that start affecting your life, there are also emotional, social and cultural concerns added into the mix. Not surprisingly, sex can drop to the bottom of your to-do list.
But what if you don't know you're pregnant? Do you experience the same sex problems as when you're blissfully unaware?
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters
To answer this question, Turkish researchers surveyed 122 healthy married women who were between four and ten weeks pregnant. They'd all conceived naturally and had no complications or complaints.
The researchers talked to the women at an Istanbul hospital. Just under half of them already knew they were pregnant. The rest had only just found out.
The women were asked who initiated sex in their relationship -- the woman, the man or either of them -- and how often they'd had sex in the last four weeks. The women who already knew they were pregnant were also asked if they thought sex could affect the pregnancy or the baby.
It turned out that sex was better for the women who didn't know they were pregnant. For one thing they had made love more often. But they also felt more turned on, their vaginas got more lubricated, they had better orgasms and they felt more sexually satisfied.
Photographs: Klaus Hoffmeier/Wikimedia Commons
Scared of miscarriage
Forty-five percent of the women who already knew they were pregnant said they worried about whether sex would have a harmful effect on the pregnancy. Twelve percent of them actually avoided sex because they were scared it could cause a miscarriage or harm the baby.
(This is a shame, because sex can't do any harm at all during pregnancy and it can't cause a miscarriage. Sex might trigger a miscarriage, but only if it was going to happen anyway.)
Photographs: Jeremykemp/Wikimedia Commons
So even though physical and hormonal changes do start affecting sex right from the start of a pregnancy, the social and emotional factors may only kick in after a woman finds out she's pregnant, the study concludes.
When it comes to sex and pregnancy, it seems that ignorance is bliss.
Photographs: Steven Whyte/Wikimedia Commons