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Sex and Pregnancy

Sexual relations undergo a form of “change” during the nine months of pregnancy. This does not mean that sex will be less enjoyable or that is should be avoided. In fact, many couples report that their sexual desire increases during the nine months of pregnancy.

It is normal for the libido of a pregnant woman to decrease during the first and last months of pregnancy. During the first weeks of pregnancy a woman may be experiencing nausea, painful breasts and fatigue. The last month of pregnancy may bring about aches and pains in the back and abdomen as well as a general feeling of fatigue.

Fear of Sex

Many expectant couples have fears that sexual intercourse will hurt the baby, or the expectant mother. Many couples fear that orgasm will stimulate early labor or even a miscarriage. In a normal pregnancy, sexual intercourse will not hurt the mother or the fetus. Likewise, having an orgasm in a normal pregnancy will not hurt the baby or bring on labor or miscarriage. Some studies even report that couples who stay sexually active during their pregnancy may actually lower the chances of premature labor.

Special Concerns

There are instances when sex may be restricted. In the case of a high risk pregnancy, sexual intercourse may be limited at certain times. Sexual intercourse may also be restricted if the mother has unexplained bleeding, a history of miscarriages, a history of premature labors, a twin pregnancy, or if the mother has placenta previa.

Reasons your physician may recommended you abstain from sexual intercourse for a while.

  • Unexplained vaginal bleeding.
  • Preterm labor.
  • If you or your sexual partner has a sexually transmitted disease.
  • Problems with the cervix. If your cervix begins to open prematurely intercourse may not be recommended.
  • Problems with the placenta. If your placenta partly or completely covers your cervical opening intercourse may not be recommended.

If your doctor tells you not to have sex during pregnancy, find out what they mean. Do they mean no orgasms? Do they mean no intercourse? If a doctor tells you not to have sex, it is important to ask for how long. For example, a woman who has a slight bit of bleeding in the first trimester may be told to avoid intercourse and orgasm for the period of one week from the last episode of bleeding.

Comfortable sex positions for pregnant women

If you are unable to have sex in your favorite position. Be creative!

  • Woman on top: This position allows you to control the depth of penetration, and the majority of the movement. This position works really well throughout pregnancy and at the very end of pregnancy.
  • Spooning: This position gets its name from the way spoons fit together in the silver ware drawer. Spooning usually works best if the man is behind allowing his penis to go between your thighs and enter you from behind. This creates no pressure on the abdomen, and allows for a shallow penetration.
  • Hands & Knees: This is a very good position for pregnant women because of the lack of direct pressure on the abdomen.

Oral Sex

  • Oral sex can be very pleasurable during pregnancy, particularly if you are fearful or simply do not wish to engage in intercourse. It’s a great way to try to express your sexuality without intercourse. There is increased vaginal discharge during pregnancy; this is not harmful to either of you. If either of you are bothered by this you can simply wash yourself prior to engaging in these activities. If your partner has cold sores (herpes virus) or any other infections of the mouth, oral sex is not a good idea at any time — particularly during pregnancy. If you engage in oral sex, your partner should not blow air into your vagina. Blowing air can cause an air embolism (a blockage of a blood vessel by an air bubble), which can be potentially fatal for mother and child.

When to Call Your Doctor

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 for both of you.