Sex during pregnancy. Is it possible?
Sex during pregnancy is good for the three of you: you, your partner and the baby: It can help you sleep better, lower your blood pressure and even make you happier!
It is completely safe for a woman to continue having sex throughout her pregnancy unless her doctor or midwife has told her otherwise. In fact, a woman’s sex drive may increase at certain stages of the pregnancy, and sex can have some benefits. Sex is considered safe during all stages of a normal pregnancy.
So what’s a “normal pregnancy”? It’s one that’s considered low-risk for complications such as miscarriage or pre-term labor. Talk to your doctor, nurse-midwife, or other pregnancy health care provider if you’re uncertain about whether you fall into this category.
Of course, just because sex is safe during pregnancy doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily want to have it! Many expectant mothers find that their desire for sex changes during certain stages in the pregnancy. Also, many women find that sex becomes uncomfortable as their bodies get larger.
As her belly starts to grow bigger, a woman may discover that certain positions are more comfortable for her. Talking openly about sex can help both partners to enjoy sex throughout the pregnancy, as there’s less talk about the topic of sex during pregnancy, perhaps because of cultural tendencies to not associate expectant mothers with sexuality. Like many parents-to-be, you may have questions about the safety of sex and what’s normal for most couples.
Well, what’s normal can vary widely, but you can count on the fact that there will be changes in your sex life. Open communication will be the key to a satisfying and safe sexual relationship during pregnancy.
No. Your baby is fully protected by the amniotic sac and the strong muscles of the uterus. There’s also a thick mucus plug those seals the cervix and helps guard against infection. Furthermore the penis does not come into contact with the fetus during sex.
In cases of normal, low-risk pregnancies, the answer is no. The contractions that you may feel during and just after orgasm are entirely different from the contractions associated with labor. However, you should check with your health care provider to make sure that your pregnancy falls into the low-risk category. Health care providers usually recommend that all women stop having sex during the final weeks of pregnancy, just as a safety precaution, because semen contains a chemical that may actually stimulate contractions.
Actually, both of these possibilities are normal. Many pregnant women find that symptoms such as being very tired, nausea, breast tenderness, and the increased need to pee make sex less enjoyable, especially during the first trimester. Generally, these symptoms ease up during the second trimester, and some women find that their desire for sex increases. Also, some women find that freedom from worries about birth control and a renewed closeness with their partner make sex more fulfilling. Desire generally lowers again during the third trimester as the uterus grows even larger and the reality of what’s about to happen sets in.
Your partner’s desire for sex is likely to increase or decrease as well. Some feel even closer to their pregnant partner and enjoy the changes in their bodies. Others may have decreased desire because of anxiety about the burdens of parenthood, or because of concerns about the health of both the mother and the unborn child. Your partner may have trouble reconciling your identity as a sexual partner with your new identity as an expectant mother. Again, remember that communication with your partner can be a great help in dealing with these issues.
When it comes to actual intercourse, doctors and pregnant women often tout woman-on-top, side-by-side, and doggie-style positions. Some of these positions may support your belly; others may let you control the depth of penetration, since going deep may not feel good as your pregnancy continues.
By your third trimester, you’ll want to skip the missionary position—partly because your belly will get in the way, but also because doctors don’t want you on your back as this position can elevate blood pressure and decrease the amount of blood getting to the heart, which then decreases the amount of blood going to the baby.
If you don’t feel comfortable in having a penetration, mutual masturbation can be a solution. While it’s not exactly a pregnancy sex position, this outercourse activity lets you connect with your partner wherever you’re comfortable, from the couch to the shower to the bed.
The heightened libido that might come with pregnancy offers an opportunity for women to “expand their sexual repertoire,” and mutual masturbation is one appealing, low-maintenance way to do that.
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 and safer for both of you.