Most pregnant women have inhibitions about having sex during pregnancy. Is sex during pregnancy safe? Will it harm my baby? Will I be able to enjoy sex as I did before I was pregnant? These are but few of the concerns most of the pregnant ladies out there have. Just like any other physical activity, sex in moderation is safe during pregnancy.
One of the greatest thing about having sex during this phase is that you can enjoy it without having a fear of getting pregnant. But the desire to have sex may or may not be the same during pregnancy.
Sex During the First Trimester
The majority of the women do not feel the desire to have sex during the first trimester. This could be because of the major changes that are taking place in your body. The feeling of tiredness, nausea and high sensitivity towards smell, taste and touch all prevent women from indulging in this act.
Sex During the Second Trimester
At this stage, most of the women regain their sexual desire. The feeling of tiredness and nausea would have gone which makes them feel sexy. Moreover, the increased flow of blood to the sexual organs and better lubrication makes the act more pleasurable. The only drawback is that because of the growing belly you may not be able to try all the positions as before. But it is still the best time to have sex as the belly has not fully grown.
Sex During the Third Trimester
Sex during this phase becomes more difficult because of the fuller belly. Most of the couples out there even refrain from the act as they fear that they might hurt the baby. There is also the fear that sex during the last few weeks can induce preterm labor.
Moreover, the majority of the women will be tired because of the growing belly and lack the desire to have sex during the third trimester. If at all you feel the urge to indulge in the act, it is best to use a condom to prevent any last-minute infections.
Though sex is safe during normal pregnancy, there are times when your health care provider advices you against it. This happens when you are in the high-risk pregnancy group. He/she may recommend not having sex when you have:
- Had a premature birth, i.e. you have delivered a baby before 37 weeks of gestation.
- Have previously had a miscarriage or run the risk of suffering from a miscarriage. A miscarriage occurs when the fetus dies inside the womb before 20 weeks of gestation.
- Pregnant with twins, triplets or more babies
- Placenta previa, i.e. a condition where the placenta is low lying thus blocking the cervix. This can lead to bleeding and other complications during pregnancy.
- Experienced vaginal bleeding, cramp or discharge after having sex
- Experienced foul smelling discharge after having sex
- You or your partner suffer from a Sexually Transmitted Disease. In this case, it is best to use a condom to prevent the infection from spreading.
- Dilated cervix. If your cervix is dilated or if you have an incompetent cervix the chances are high for a preterm labor
- Water has broken, i.e. leakage of amniotic fluid
In all the above circumstance, it is better not to indulge in sex. Similarly, if you experience pain or bleeding during intercourse, remember to inform your healthcare provider about this.
One of the greatest worries most of the couples have about sex during pregnancy is whether it will hurt the baby. Your growing baby is well protected by amniotic sac and strong muscles of the uterus. The thick mucus near the cervix protects the baby from infection. Above all, the penis does not go beyond the vagina and does not even touch the baby. Thus, there is no fear of the baby getting hurt during intercourse. On the other hand, sex during pregnancy can provide the following benefits:
- Increases contraction: Sex increases the contraction in the pelvic region thereby strengthening the muscles. This will help during delivery and a speedy recovery afterwards.
- Better bladder control: Since the pelvic muscle gets strengthened as a result of intercourse, you will have better bladder control. Thus, you can avoid frequent trips to the bathroom.
- Creates a positive feel: With all the changes taking place in the body, its quite natural that you feel less confident at times. But having sex helps in gaining confidence and instilling a positive feeling in you.
- Reduces stress: Though pregnancy is considered to provide happiness to the pregnant mom, there are times when you can be stressed out. The care and comfort you experience during intercourse helps in reducing stress.
- Prepare for labor: Having sex during the later stage of pregnancy will not induce labor. But prostaglandins contained in semen can stimulate the cervix thus helping in safe delivery.
When it comes to sexual position, always select one which you find comfortable. As the belly grows, it may not be possible to try out all positions which you were comfortable with earlier. Try to use a pillow or towel to make the position comfortable. Avoid lying down flat as you can feel the weight of the growing belly.
Cleanliness is very important after having intercourse, not to mention if you are pregnant. You can ensure cleanliness the following way:
- Wash your private part neatly of any bodily fluids. If not cleaned properly, it can lead to vaginal infection. While washing, remember to clean from vagina to anus as the reverse position can transfer germs from the anus to the vagina.
- Peeing is another way to clean your private part and prevent Urinary Tract Infection.
- Clean your hands especially nails to prevent transfer of germs
During pregnancy, sex is not the only option available to feel close to your partner. Cuddling, kissing and massaging are other ways you can strengthen the bond with your partner.
Not all couples enjoy sex the same way as before once the wife becomes pregnant. You should try to build an intimacy amongst yourselves. Mutual understanding and respect for the pregnant woman goes a long way in building a strong relation between the father and mother.