Is Sex Safe During Pregnancy?
Sex is a natural, normal part of pregnancy -- if you're having a normal pregnancy. Penetration and intercourse’s movement won't harm the baby, who is protected by your abdomen and the uterus’ muscular walls. Your baby is also cushioned by the amniotic sac’s fluid. The contractions of orgasm aren't the same as labor contractions. Still, as a general safety precaution, some doctors advise avoiding sex in the final weeks of pregnancy, believing that hormones in semen called prostaglandins can stimulate contractions. One exception may be for women who are overdue and want to induce labor. Some doctors believe that prostaglandins in semen actually induce labor in a full-term or past-due pregnancy since the gel used to "ripen" the cervix and induce labor also contains prostaglandins. But other doctors think that this semen/labor connection is only a theory and that having sex doesn't trigger labor.
Keep in mind that if your doctor says "no sex," that may include anything that involves orgasm or sexual arousal, not just intercourse. Discuss it so you’re clear on what they mean. Call your doctor if you have unusual symptoms during or after sex
A pregnant woman’s sex drive typically spikes in the second trimester, when energy levels rise and nausea subsides. Sex may be on your mind a lot due to an increase in blood flow to the vagina, says Perez-Delboy. The vagina becomes more engorged and vaginal lubrication increases. As a result, your desire to have sex rises, and orgasms become stronger. As your anatomy changes and you experience pregnancy weight gain, getting the most enjoyment from intercourse may call for variations to your usual routine.
Here are some useful tips to keep in mind to mak sex enjoyable during pregnancy
1. Try comfortable positions
During the later stages of pregnancy, people should choose positions that do not put pressure on the pregnant belly, such as the missionary position. If a woman lies on her back, the weight of the baby might put extra pressure on her internal organs or major arteries. A pregnant woman might feel more comfortable in positions where she can control the depth and speed of penetration. Comfortable positions may include the pregnant woman being on top of her partner, side-by-side spooning, or sitting at the edge of the bed.
2. Communicate openly
You and your partner may have different ideas about how often to have sex during pregnancy. Talk about each other’s changing needs. If intercourse, when pregnant becomes difficult, particularly in the final stage of pregnancy, find ways other than penetration to be close, such as using massage or cuddling.
3. Use Lubricants
If there are annoyances during sex, using lubricants is advisable. If you start bleeding, visit your doctor at once.
4. Skip, in case of fatigue
Fatigue is a classic symptom of early pregnancy and one that can quickly derail your sex life. After all, who has the desire to make bedroom eyes when you can barely keep them open? "Getting your body ready for pregnancy is a huge energy draw," says Roger Harms, M.D., an obstetrician-gynecologist and author of Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy. Late hours at work before maternity leave, sleepless nights, frenetic nesting, and carting around 30 or so extra pounds can also take their toll. Do your best to slow down and get the recommended eight hours of sleep. If you still don't have the energy for intercourse, use this time as an opportunity to explore other activities that give you pleasure, whether that's massaging, kissing, or oral sex, says Dr. Fulbright.
5. Wait till morning sickness ends
Wait until you feel less woozy, or schedule sexy time for a different time of day (like the evening if your nausea strikes in the a.m.). And take comfort in the fact that morning sickness typically tapers off by the beginning of the second trimester of pregnancy.
6. Embrace your body changes
Chances are, your partner will find your new pregnant figure super sexy. But taking care of yourself and the power of positive thinking are key to tackling this problem. First, try to focus on how your body is changing in incredible ways to support your growing baby. Adding more pregnancy safe exercises to your routine, like prenatal yoga, can also bolster a healthy mind-body connection. So can doing things to pamper yourself. All that can help you tune out (or at least turn down the volume) any self-doubt you may be experiencing so that you can have more fun between the sheets.
7. Make changes in foreplay
If you’re concerned about colostrum getting in the way or if tenderness is creating foreplay trouble, ask your partner to focus on other parts of your body. As for the latter issue, take heart that the sensitivity tends to subside by month 4. Until then, suggest your partner enjoy looking without touching — and build anticipation for a more hands-on approach later.
8. Fluctuating sex drive is okay
Rest assured that these ups and downs in your sex drive are completely normal. Just as no two pregnancies are exactly the same, there isn’t a boilerplate way that pregnancy will affect your libido either. Some women experience a higher sex drive thanks to hormonal shifts. Interest can either pick up or wane during the second trimester.
9. Try Oral and Anal
Oral sex is perfectly safe to continue throughout pregnancy. Anal sex will not harm the baby, but it may be uncomfortable if a person has pregnancy-related hemorrhoids. People should avoid anal sex followed by vaginal sex.
10. Put safety first
If your partner has a history of a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or if there’s even a possibility of STD or HIV exposure when you’re having sex, always use a condom. HIV can be transmitted to the baby, and some other STDs can be transmitted to the baby during delivery.
Expect pregnancy to bring waves of changes — physical, emotional, and sexual. By listening to your body and recognizing your needs, you will be better able to enjoy the unique pleasures of this special time in your life.