Pregnancy and Sex

Having sex during and following pregnancy can be a problematic topic for many couples. This is not because it is implausible, or that it causes pain to the woman, but because many couples feel that they will in some way cause harm to their unborn child. This usually only becomes a problem when the ‘bump’ begins to appear. This can place strain upon a relationship during a time in which anxiety is an unwanted circumstance.

Is it okay to have sex during pregnancy?

There is nothing wrong with having sex during pregnancy, and there is by no means any link to having a miscarriage. Up to the point when the water breaks, which signifies the start of delivery, sex is completely fine. However, you should check with your midwife to make sure there are no problems. Sexual desire can change for many women during pregnancy, during which their emotions can be all over the place. Enjoyment of sex can vary for many women, with some finding it even more enjoyable, while some can find sex painful and experience abdominal pain.

Will having sex harm the baby?

Partaking in sexual activity will not cause harm to your baby. There is a substantial mucus stopper that seals the cervix and which combats infection, and the muscles of the uterus provide more than sufficient protection. Some women experience their baby kicking after having sex. This is not because they are being caused harm, but actually due to their heart rate increasing. However, there are instances in which sex will be advised against, and you should check with your midwife to be sure. These instances include any bleeding, a history of cervical weakness, a low lying placenta, if your water has broken or if your partner has a sexual infection.

My sexual desires are all over the place

During different stages of the pregnancy your sexual libido will rise and fall and this can be very disorientating. This can vary, with many women feeling unattractive due to the large bump on their stomach. Sex can seem more enjoyable to some couples as they don’t need to worry about contraception, while for some women it can cause feelings of nausea, and for some men it can cause unease at the prospect of harming the baby.

Is it safe to have oral sex?

Oral sex is completely fine during pregnancy. If couples are having difficulty having sexual intercourse then this can be a great way to feed any sexual desires you may be feeling. However, it is advised that your partner does not blow air into your vagina. This is because in some cases this can cause an embolism. For the most part however oral sex is a completely safe act to partake in

The missionary position is uncomfortable

During pregnancy it is possible that the ‘man on top’ position will become uncomfortable. But if this is the case then there are many other positions you can use:

  • Lying on your side - This prevents weight from being placed on your stomach and is comfortable for both parties involved
  • Woman on top - This allows the woman to control the deepness of penetration and the speed of intercourse
  • Lie on the edge of the bed - Lie on your back on the edge of your bed with your legs raised. Your partner then stands by the side of the bed where he can penetrate the vagina
  • Sitting - With your partner sitting down, you can gently ease yourself down to penetration

How long after delivery is it safe to have sex?

Your midwife will most likely advise you to have sex when it feels comfortable. However, the general consensus is to wait for six weeks, but for some women sex can be a possibility after 2-4 weeks, while for others it can take months for sex to become un-painful, let alone appealing. It is advised that you take things slowly and that you do not rush into having sex until you feel ready. If sexual intercourse seems daunting then you can try partaking in other sexual acts such as oral and touching to get things started.

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