Now that you’re pregnant, the biggest question for many women is whether to continue having sex during pregnancy.
Most expectant parents worry whether sex during pregnancy will harm the baby or cause discomfort, pain or even miscarriage.
These worries are completely normal and while you continue to have a normal pregnancy, are usually unfounded.
If you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy, here a few hints to ensure you can continue to enjoy a happy, healthy sex life during pregnancy.
Sex During Pregnancy – is it safe?
If you are having a normal pregnancy, then sex during pregnancy is considered safe.
If you are considered high risk for complications such as pre-term labor or miscarriage, then you should discuss your concerns about sex during pregnancy with your health care provider.
Having gentle, loving sex will not harm your baby in any way.
Sex During Pregnancy – Satisfying the need for intimacy
Honest and open communication between you and your partner will be the key to a satisfying and safe sexual relationship during pregnancy.
Many pregnant women experience fluctuations in their desire for sex during pregnancy. Some will have no desire at all, while others will feel an increase in sexual desire.
For some, symptoms of nausea, fatigue, breast tenderness, and the increased need to urinate, make sex too much of a ‘chore’ particularly during the first trimester.
During the second trimester, when most of these symptoms subside, some women find their desire for sex increases.
During the third trimester the desire for sex can subside as the uterus grows larger and the reality of what’s about to happen sets in.
Your partner may also experience fluctuations in sexual desire. Some men feel closer to their pregnant partner enjoying the changes in her body.
While others find it difficult reconciling the identity of sexual partner with expectant mother.
Just as you do, your partner may also have anxiety about the burdens of parenthood, or concerns about the health of both the mother and their unborn child.
Sex During Pregnancy – When It’s Not Safe?
If engaging in oral sex, your partner should never blow air into your vagina. Blowing air can cause an air embolism – a blockage of a blood vessel by an air bubble.
This could be potentially fatal for mother and child.
If you are having sex with a new partner, ensure you know their sexual history. If you become infected by a sexually transmitted disease this could be transmitted to your baby.
Sex During Pregnancy – Making the most of it!
As long as the desire is there, there are many ways to satisfy both your needs for intimacy.
Learning how to please each other with or without penetration can actually improve a couple’s sex life.
Oral sex, kissing, caressing, and experimenting with other positions can keep sex comfortable and exciting.
As your pregnancy progresses, experiment with these positions to find the most comfortable.
o Lie partly sideways – this allows your partner to keep most of his weight off your uterus
o Lie on your back at the side of the bed with your knees bent, and your bottom and feet perched at the edge of the mattress. Your partner can either kneel or stand in front of you.
o Lie side by side in the spoon position – this allows for shallow penetration
o You go on top – this puts no weight on your abdomen and allows you to control the depth of penetration
o Sit on your partner’s lap as he sits on a sturdy chair
As you come closer to birth – precuations to take
Avoid lying flat on your back during sex, particularly after the fourth month. If your uterus compresses the veins in the back of your abdomen, you may feel lightheaded or nauseous.
Some doctors recommend you stop having sex during pregnancy in the final weeks as a safety precaution because semen contains a chemical that may actually stimulate contractions.
This need only be a concern if you are near or past your due date.
Sex during pregnancy should be enjoyed as once your baby is born, exhaustion, privacy issues and lack of time may well take the choice out of your hands.
Apart from the intimacy of sex during pregnancy, there are additional benefits as well. Sex releases endorphins, relaxes muscles and helps you sleep.