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Sex during pregnancy may come across as a complicated matter for a mother and father-to-be as they may have a lot on their minds. Pregnancy brings with it a lot of bodily changes, one of which is an increased libido. From the first to the third trimester, there will be a lot of fluctuations in a pregnant woman’s libido. Regardless, a mom-to-be’s primary worry would be whether having sex during pregnancy is detrimental to the baby.
One must know that sex during pregnancy is not off-limits and will cause no damage to your health or the baby’s. Adapt to the changes in your body and indulge in lovemaking with your partner as it is highly beneficial and poses no harm to you and your baby. Indulging in sex during pregnancy is absolutely safe, and there are several benefits associated with it.
Benefits of Having Sex During Pregnancy
Once the baby arrives, you may not find yourself physically and mentally ready to interact sexually with your partner, which is obvious. It may take a while for you to get your rhythm back again, so just follow your sexual drive and indulge in some lovemaking during pregnancy. Sex can help a woman feel good about her pregnant body, and also help solidify the relationship between the expecting couple. Making love during pregnancy can be a great way to ensure that you as a couple are strong and able to deal with the life change that is about to commence.
Pregnancy sex has a lot of benefits- some physiological and some emotional. It can relieve stress and provide a good night’s sleep. It can help in easy delivery and certain components of the sperm can abate any painful condition that may affect pregnant women. Read on to find out the benefits of sex during pregnancy.
1. Aids Circulation in the Body
Blood supply doubles during pregnancy to meet the requirements of the mother and the growing baby, but slow circulation can hinder the process. Increased circulation is one of the many benefits of sex during the pregnancy period. With the release of hormones, sex aids in the additional supply of oxygen and nutrition to the foetus that in turn helps in growth and development.
2. Leads to Greater Satisfaction and Better Orgasms
The release of estrogen and progesterone – the two main hormones during pregnancy – helps women experience better orgasms. Increased estrogen leads to more blood flow in the pelvic area, thereby arousing a woman. Increased sensitivity in the area helps women achieve better orgasms. It is one of the most lasting benefits of intercourse during pregnancy.
3. Strengthens the Pelvic Floor Muscles
One of the greatest benefits of sex during pregnancy, especially in the 3rd trimester is that it strengthens the pelvic floor muscles. Regular sex during pregnancy keeps these muscles toned and strong to deal with the arduous task of a vaginal delivery.
4. Improves and Boosts Immunity
Immunity in a pregnant woman can dwindle often. Doctors prescribe a healthy diet and lifestyle to ensure that pregnant women are not susceptible to any illnesses, and sex plays an important role in strengthening immunity.
Researchers have found that sexual activity increases the level of IgA antibodies to improve immunity and provide resistance to seasonal cold and flu which is common during pregnancy, although this is still debatable.
5. Improves Bonding Between a Couple
Sex during pregnancy releases endorphins that reduce stress levels, thereby providing a healthy environment to the baby and mother. Apart from this, sex also increases the production of oxytocin, a hormone responsible for attachment and love. This stimulates better bonding and intimacy between partners. If you have sex regularly with your partner, it could cement a strong bond during the pregnancy phase and help in the complication-free progression of pregnancy and labour.
6. Lowers Blood Pressure
Due to the hormones released post-orgasm, the entire body goes into a relaxed state, which decreases blood pressure. This, however, does not reduce the chances of preeclampsia, and it is important that you consult your doctor in case of preeclampsia.
7. Improves Self-Esteem
Sex during pregnancy can improve self-esteem by leaps and bounds. The many physical changes in your body can be a little too much to take in – you are most likely not going to look like your older self, which may make you feel less attractive. It is common to feel that your body is not your own. An increased sex drive may give you more confidence and help develop a positive attitude towards yourself. It will make a difference in how you see yourself, and how others see you.
8. Fewer Bathroom Leaks and Better Bladder Control
You may find yourself visiting the bathroom frequently, or you may experience slight incontinence when you laugh or sneeze. Sex helps to contract the muscles and make them strong, thereby helping the regulation of the flow of urine.
9. Accelerates Postpartum Recovery
Orgasms during sex when pregnant prepare the pelvic muscles for birth, which in turn speed up postpartum recovery. If you are not able to perform kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic muscles, indulge in some lovemaking to contract them.
10. Aids in Inducing Labour and Easy Delivery
Regular sex during pregnancy helps contract the pelvic muscles and open the cervix. This helps in vaginal delivery, as the process of labour becomes easier and does not warrant any external help to bring the baby out. Some doctors even suggest having sex closer to your due date to induce labour.
When Not to Have Sex During Pregnancy
While sex has immense benefits for the pregnant woman and the dad-to-be, there are some conditions under which sex is best avoided. You should reconsider having sex during pregnancy if:
- You are at a risk for miscarriage or have a history of miscarriages
- Your amniotic sac has a ruptured membrane
- You are at risk of preterm labour
- You are cramping and bleeding with the cause unknown
- Your cervix has dilated early
- You are expecting twins or more
- Your placenta is too low in the uterus
- you have short cervix or cervical incompetence
Pregnancy will see you adapting to the many changes that accompany it, so follow your instinct and your libido and do whatever makes you feel comfortable. If you feel like relaxing, do it, but don’t hold yourself back if you wish to satisfy your sexual urges. Enjoy the transition your body is going through for a smooth delivery and a great sense of personal esteem.
Resources and References: WebMD