Sex During Pregnancy – Is It Safe or Not?
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- Is It Safe to Have Sex During Pregnancy?
- When Is It Not Safe to Have Sex During Pregnancy?
- How Can Your Sex Life Be Affected By Pregnancy?
- Benefits of Having Sex During Pregnancy
- Signs of Problems During and After Sex While Pregnant
- How Can You Have Sex Safely During Pregnancy?
- Sex During Pregnancy – Safe Sex Positions
- Can You Have Oral Sex During Pregnant?
- Other Ways You Can Get Intimate With Your Partner
Many parents-to-be often wonder if it is safe to have sex during pregnancy and whether it will affect the baby’s health in any way. Several moms-to-be also grapple with hormonal changes, fatigue, and self-consciousness about the change in their appearance, which can have an effect on their libido. This article should help you with all the necessary information you need about having sex during pregnancy. We shall also touch upon other aspects of the topic and answer some frequently asked questions. Read on to know more.
Is It Safe to Have Sex During Pregnancy?
If you have a healthy and normal pregnancy, it is absolutely safe to have sex right up until the last trimester. Having sex during pregnancy is good for both your body and your relationship. However, if your doctor has mentioned that you have a high-risk pregnancy or suggested that sex should be avoided due to certain health conditions, it is better to abide by the doctor’s advice and abstain from sex.
When Is It Not Safe to Have Sex During Pregnancy?
If you are wondering when a pregnant woman should stop having sex, here are some situations when your doctor may advise you to avoid sex during pregnancy:
- History of Miscarriage: If you have a history of miscarriages before the current pregnancy, it is better to abstain from sex.
- Vaginal Bleeding: Vaginal bleeding or spotting could be signs of a threatened early miscarriage. If you notice vaginal bleeding during pregnancy, it is best that you avoid having sex.
- Pelvic Pain: If you have pelvic pain or abdominal cramps after intercourse, you should contact your doctor immediately and avoid sex during pregnancy.
- Placenta Previa: If you have a low-lying placenta or placenta previa, you must abstain from sex.
- Incompetent Cervix: If you have a weak or incompetent cervix, sex is a big no for you during pregnancy. The cervix is the opening to the uterus and is located above the vagina. A weak cervix can open too soon and cause you to go into labour prematurely.
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD): If you or your partner have a sexually transmitted disease, you should abstain from sex during pregnancy as you may contract that disease, and it could affect the pregnancy.
- History of Preterm Labour: If you have given birth to a premature baby in the past or show signs of preterm labour in this pregnancy, it is better to avoid sex.
- If You Are Pregnant With Multiples: If you are carrying twins or triplets, you should avoid sex as this may cause cramps, bleeding or contractions. Multiple pregnancies are at a higher risk of going into preterm labour and having sex could trigger this.
- If Your Water Has Broken: When your water breaks, the amniotic sac full of fluid that protects the baby in the uterus gets torn. This fluid then leaks from the vagina. It is unsafe to have sex if your water has broken as it can cause infections in the baby.
How Can Your Sex Life Be Affected By Pregnancy?
Pregnancy can drastically affect your sex life. Your sex drive can increase or decrease throughout the pregnancy due to various hormonal changes in the body. Many women may experience a lower sex drive due to hormonal fluctuations, and self-consciousness about their appearance. However, there are pregnant women who also report an increase in libido.
The hormonal fluctuations in each trimester affect sex drive in women differently. Let’s discuss what it’s like in each trimester.
During the first trimester, women have morning sickness, mood swings, and fatigue. They also have the urge to urinate frequently. All these, along with hormonal changes, can cause a decrease in libido.
Many women report an increased desire to have sex during pregnancy’s 2nd trimester. Morning sickness and other discomforts of the first trimester usually disappear in the second trimester. The pregnant belly is still small enough, so you can have sex comfortably. Women have an increased blood volume during pregnancy, and this leads to increased blood circulation in the pelvic region and engorgement of the vagina. This may heighten sensation in that region and help women orgasm more easily.
A lot of women report a decrease in libido when they have sex during pregnancy’s 3rd trimester. This is because many sex positions may feel uncomfortable, as the belly gets bigger. You may also feel less interested in sex as you are anxious about the childbirth and motherhood as you approach the due date. These feelings are completely normal, and it is not uncommon for women to abstain from sex in the last trimester.
The women who have a healthy pregnancy may also want to know if there are any benefits in having sex during pregnancy. Well, yes. There are some benefits of having sex during pregnancy. Let’s find out what they are.
Benefits of Having Sex During Pregnancy
Sex during a normal and healthy pregnancy can be beneficial for both the mother-to-be and the baby. Here are some benefits of having sex during pregnancy:
- Better Orgasms: Increased blood flow to the pelvic areas heightens sensation in the genitals, and this helps women orgasm more easily, even multiple times.
- Better Sleep: Sex during pregnancy relaxes the mother and helps her sleep better.
- Increases Immunity: Studies have found that sex increases levels of a specific antibody that fights colds and infections.
- Improves Intimacy: The hormone oxytocin released during orgasm is also called the ‘love hormone’, and it increases feelings of intimacy and attachment to your partner.
- Increases Happiness: Having an orgasm causes the release of chemicals called endorphins, which are linked to feelings of pleasure, sensuality, pain relief, and elation. This makes both the mother and the baby happy and relaxed.
- Burns Calories: Sex is a good way to burn calories. Just 30 minutes of sex can burn over 50 calories. So, sex during pregnancy is a great way to remain fit.
Although women with healthy pregnancies can benefit from having sex during the term, some of them might experience problems during or after intercourse. You must be aware of the possible issues your changing body might go through if you do have the desire to have sex with your partner to avoid pregnancy-related complications or get them treated immediately.
Signs of Problems During and After Sex While Pregnant
In some cases, women could experience health problems while having sex during pregnancy. If you notice anything usual or experience pain while having sex, it is suggested that you stop and contact a doctor. Some side effects of sex during pregnancy that women may experience include bleeding or spotting, increased foetal activity, and uterine contractions. Watch out for these signs. Light bleeding or spotting and mild cramps after sex are quite common. However, you may want to approach a gynaecologist if you have any of these problems during and after sex during pregnancy:
- Pain during sex
- Heavy bleeding
- Leaking of amniotic fluid
- Painful cramps that do not go away
You must be wondering if there is a way to have sex safely during pregnancy. Let’s find out!
How Can You Have Sex Safely During Pregnancy?
If the physical restriction is not an issue, you must ensure you avoid the following things to have safe sex during pregnancy. They will keep you and your baby safe from infections which could lead to complications in the pregnancy.
- Protect Yourself From STDs: Sexually transmitted diseases are dangerous for the mom-to-be and the baby. STDs can be contracted through oral, anal or vaginal sex. During pregnancy, have sex with your partner only if he does not have an STD.
- Avoid Anal Sex: Anal sex is unsafe during pregnancy as it could lead to bacterial infections that can harm the mother and the baby. It is best to avoid anal sex during pregnancy.
- Avoid Blowing Air Into the Vagina: If you have oral sex, make sure your partner avoids blowing air into your vagina. This can lead to air embolism wherein an air bubble that can block blood vessels.
- Use Protection – Wearing a condom can help you keep infections at bay. However, you must know that condoms also fail, so ensure you take other precautionary measures while having sex during pregnancy.
When you are ready to take all the necessary precautions, you may try these positions when having intercourse during pregnancy.
Sex During Pregnancy – Safe Sex Positions
Here are some safe and comfortable sex positions that you can try during pregnancy.
- Sitting Down: Sit on your partner’s lap while he sits on a stable chair. You can control the depth of penetration by standing or squatting.
- Side By Side: This position is also called spooning. It reduces the pressure on the belly during sex. Lay sideways with your partner lying behind you. This will allow shallow penetration.
- Woman on Top: This position reduces pressure on your abdomen and lets you control the speed and depth of penetration. This position is linked to higher sexual satisfaction in pregnant women. The man lays back or sits, and the woman straddles him while facing either forward or back.
Can You Have Oral Sex During Pregnant?
Oral sex is absolutely safe to have during pregnancy. As mentioned earlier, ensure your partner does not blow air into the vagina. This may cause a condition called an air embolism, which can be dangerous for you and your baby’s health. Also, avoid oral sex with your partner if he has an STD.
Having sex is not always recommended during pregnancy but it depends on pregnant woman’s health. But, there are other ways you can enjoy intimacy during pregnancy.
Other Ways You Can Get Intimate With Your Partner
If you are not interested in having sex, or you cannot have sex because of the health of your pregnancy, you may try some of the ideas given below to get intimate with your partner.
- Massages – Giving each other massages can heighten the intimacy between couples.
- Mutual Masturbation- Touching each other to bring yourselves to orgasm is another way of being intimate with your partner without having sex. Pregnant women, however, need to be 100% sure it is okay for them to masturbate.
- Oral Sex- If vaginal sex makes you uncomfortable, try oral sex. This way, you can be intimate without the discomfort of vaginal sex during pregnancy.
1. Can Having Sex Trigger Labour?
Having sex has not been conclusively linked to triggering labour in any scientific study. However, there is a reason it may trigger labour in the last trimester. Semen contains prostaglandins that soften the cervix. Also, an orgasm can cause the release of the hormone oxytocin, which induces labour.
2. Will Pregnancy Affect the Sex Drive Of My Partner?
Your pregnancy may affect your partner’s sex drive for various reasons. These include anxiety about having sex in the presence of the unborn child, concerns about you and the baby’s health, and worry that sex might hurt the unborn baby. It is best to communicate openly with each other and consult an expert for any concerns you both may have about sex during pregnancy.
3. Can Sex During First Trimester Cause Miscarriage?
There is no evidence that sex during the first trimester causes miscarriage. Most miscarriages occur in the first trimester, but are caused due to chromosomal abnormalities in the foetus and not because of sex.
Sex is completely safe during pregnancy and can be beneficial for the mother and the baby in the case of a healthy pregnancy. However, it is best to consult an expert if you have a difficult or high-risk pregnancy. You can have a satisfying sex life when you are pregnant if you communicate honestly with your partner about your likes and dislikes. Use the tips in this article to make your sex life more fulfilling during pregnancy.
Also Read: Sex after Delivery