It's perfectly normal for pregnancy to kick your sex drive into high gear. Here's what you need to know before getting it on.

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Pregnant and Horny
Credit: Getty Images

DEAR DR. JENN,

I am four months pregnant and horny as hell. My husband is psyched that I'm so turned on, but is getting stressed about sex hurting the baby. Is that a thing? Is there anything else we need to worry about? There is no way I am going to make it through the next five months without some serious action. Help! —Pregnant and Horny

DEAR PREGNANT AND HORNY,

When it comes to pregnancy and sex, most women I know are at one extreme or the other. Either they are in a place where they do not want to be touched, often because they are having side effects like nausea, back pain, sore breasts, and sensitivity in general, or they are hornier than ever. How wonderful that you are part of the second camp! Many women who are in your group have some of the best sex of their lives during pregnancy.

Sometimes a big belly can get in the way of a good time, so make sure you experiment with different positions so that you are comfortable while doing the deed. Some positions that can be particularly successful for the pregnant lady are: women on top, side by side, spooning, or sitting at the edge of the bed. But in general, pregnancy sex is safe and is extra-sexy — so don't be afraid to go for it!

Why Pregnancy Sex Is the Best

1. Hormones are raging, in a good way. During pregnancy, there is an increase in estrogen, progesterone, human placental lactogen (hPL) and, most importantly for libido, testosterone. And just like puberty, when your hormones start acting wild, your desire — and your ability to keep it in check — goes wild, too.

2. You're feeling sexy. Some women feel very in touch with their female energy and sensuality during pregnancy. Your body changes in a lot of unexpected ways during pregnancy, but for many people, fuller breasts and sudden curves all over can feel sexy and exciting.

3. Blood is flowing to the area. During pregnancy, there is an increase in blood supply to the uterus, cervix, and vagina (basically the female version of getting an erection). This increased supply makes your genital area more sensitive and makes it easier to become lubricated. But you probably already knew that, considering your call for help. (Make the most of it!)

4. Your partner is excited. A male client once told me that having sex with his pregnant wife was especially exciting because he got to play with new boobs. He said it was like having an affair without the guilt. While there's a lot to unpack in that particular fantasy, having your partner excited about you and your body is often a turn-on.

5. You are connected. You are sharing this amazing new bond together. This new life inside of you connects you in profound ways that can lead to deeper, more meaningful sex.

6. Different things turn you. Again, the novelty factor is huge. You may be excited by activities, positions, or fantasies that don't normally do it for you. Keep in mind communication is especially important during pregnancy sex since so much is so different. New things might feel great, or terrible, that didn't use to.

7. No birth control worries! Yeah this one gets an exclamation point. The freedom to get it on whenever you want without worrying about condoms or diaphragms (or your period, for that matter) can be liberating. And there may be a little urgency motivating you, too, as you probably know — on some level — that the "whenever you want" aspect is not going to last forever.

Other Ways to Get Off During Pregnancy

If you are wanting to get off with your partner but not in the mood for traditional intercourse, you can still do all the other stuff.

1. Oral Sex

Oral sex is perfectly safe. The one caveat that is very important: make sure your partner never blows air into your vagina while you're pregnant as this can cause an air embolism, where an air bubble blocks a blood vessel and could be life-threatening for you and the baby. This is very rare and, again, can be avoided as long as your partner does not blow any air into the vagina.

2. Anal Sex

Anal sex should be fine but you may want to skip it if you are experiencing pregnancy-related hemorrhoids. Also, make sure to avoid anal sex followed by vaginal sex since this could cause a bacterial infection which could be particularly dangerous during pregnancy.

3. Sex Toys

The most important thing to keep in mind when using sex toys during pregnancy is that cleaning them really shouldn't be overlooked (even when you're feeling lazy). If you do not clean your sex toys properly, you run the risk of a bacterial infection — which are more serious and dangerous for pregnant women. (If you have any concerns about this, you can always put a condom on your sex toy.) Also, make sure your toys are made of a non-porous material to keep bacteria at bay. It is recommended that you stick to materials like silicone, stainless steel, or glass.

The Final Word on Sex During Pregnancy

Breast stimulation, female orgasms, and certain hormones in semen called prostaglandins can cause uterine contractions or cramping after sex. Some women experience some spotting after having sex. If that happens, don't panic, but do check with your doctor to make sure everything is okay.

While you always want to consult with your doctor to make sure it is safe to have intercourse, most healthy women are able to have sex throughout their pregnancy. If you fall into one of the following high-risk categories, though, you should be especially careful: If you are pregnant with multiples, you have a history of miscarriages, you have had a premature baby, you have signs of preterm labor, you have a cervical insufficiency, you have placenta previa, or you are leaking amniotic fluid. If any of that is the case for you, you likely are already under close supervision by your ob-gyn, and you should feel empowered to ask them what is and isn't safe in the bedroom.

Otherwise, go forth and enjoy your new heightened state.

In Hump Day, award-winning psychotherapist and TV host Dr. Jenn Mann answers your sex and relationship questions — unjudged and unfiltered.