Sex during Pregnancy: what’s OK, what’s not!

There are many articles out there talking about sex before pregnancy and the multitude of fun ways to conceive. There are many articles on sex post-pregnancy, but when it comes to sex during pregnancy, there’s not much to read. Perhaps pregnancy and sexuality aren’t usually put into one frame, but sex while pregnant is definitely not a no-no! Here’s a Q&A to ease your curiosity.

Can I have sex during pregnancy without harming my baby?

There is no reason to change or alter your sex life during pregnancy unless your doctor advises otherwise. Intercourse or orgasm during pregnancy will not harm your baby, unless you have a medical problem. Remember that your baby is well protected in your uterus by the amniotic fluid that surrounds him or her.

Your doctor may recommend not having intercourse early in pregnancy if you have a history of miscarriages. Intercourse also may be restricted if you have certain complications of pregnancy, such as pre-term labor or bleeding. You may need to ask your doctor to clarify if this means no penetration, no orgasms, or no sexual arousal, because different complications may require different restrictions.

Can sex during pregnancy cause a miscarriage?

Having sex during pregnancy won’t provoke a miscarriage. Most miscarriages occur because the fetus isn’t developing normally.

How can I have comfortable sex during pregnancy?

As long as you’re comfortable, most sexual positions are OK during pregnancy. Oral sex is also safe during pregnancy. As your pregnancy progresses, experiment to find what works best. After the fourth month of pregnancy, a woman may notice feeling dizzy or nauseated while lying flat on her back. This is related to the weight of the growing uterus pressing on major blood vessels. Positions may need to be altered at this time. Let your creativity take over, as long as you keep mutual pleasure and comfort in mind.

Will my sexual desires change during pregnancy?

It is common for your sexual desires to be different now if you are pregnant. Changing hormones cause some women to experience an increased sex drive during pregnancy, while others may not be as interested in sex as they were before they became pregnant.

During the first trimester, some women commonly lose interest in sex because they are tired and uncomfortable, while other women’s sexual desires stay the same.

Are there times when sex should be avoided?

Breast stimulation, female orgasms and certain hormones in semen called prostaglandins can cause uterine contractions.

Your health care provider might recommend avoiding sex if:

  • You have unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • You’re leaking amniotic fluid
  • Your cervix begins to open prematurely
  • Your placenta partly or completely covers your cervical opening (placenta previa)
  • You have a history of preterm labor or premature birth

When should we call a doctor?

Call your health care provider if you’re unsure whether sex is safe for you. Also, call if you notice any unusual symptoms after intercourse, such as pain, bleeding, or discharge, or if you experience contractions that seem to continue after sex. Remember, “normal” is a relative term when it comes to sex during pregnancy. You and your partner need to discuss what feels right for both of you.

It’s normal to feel some cramping during or just after intercourse or orgasm, but if it doesn’t go away after a few minutes, or if you have any pain or bleeding after sex, call your caregiver.

Don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor or midwife whenever you have any questions or concerns about sex, particularly if you’re unsure whether you need to abstain or have fears about the baby’s safety. If you are told to stop having sex, make sure you understand whether you need to avoid penetration or orgasm or both.

 

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