Is sex safe during pregnancy?

Women and their partners often wonder whether it is safe to have sex during pregnancy. There are questions asked about whether it will harm the unborn baby, or perhaps result in a miscarriage. Some want to know if certain sex positions need to be avoided. Studies have shown that sex is a normal part of pregnancy, and the penetration and movements of intercourse will not harm the baby who is protected by your abdomen, as well as the muscles of the uterus. The fluid in the amniotic sac also acts as a cushion for the baby during pregnancy.

Unless it is a definite multiple birth, or the doctor advises against it, sex is usually safe when pregnant.

What happens to a woman’s sexuality when pregnant?

Every woman feels differently about sex while pregnant. Here are some of the feelings some women may experience.

  • Depending on how you might feel about your pregnancy, you may be more connected to your sexuality, and be more aroused when having sex.
  • Some women find that their desire fades as the pregnancy progresses and the body changes.
  • You might feel a bit self-conscious as your belly expands and your breasts become fuller. However, studies have also indicated that some women have reported that they actually feel sexier during the body changes, especially the fuller breasts.

There are also hormonal fluctuations that take place when you are pregnant which may cause mood swings and loss of libido. These feelings are normal, but the key to managing your sexuality is to communicate with your partner if you get concerned.

When you should not have sex while pregnant.

During a regular check-up, the doctor will monitor your progress, and if there are issues present that can make your pregnancy high-risk, you will be advised to stop having sex. This can happen early or later in your carriage of the baby.

Here are some of the risk factors which may arise:

  • At risk for a possible miscarriage.
  • Unknown reason for vaginal bleeding, or cramping.
  • The amniotic sac is leaking fluid.
  • Your cervix has dilated too early in the pregnancy.
  • The placenta has dropped too low in the uterus.
  • You are expecting twins or more.

Note that a survey conducted of doctors handling pregnancies, unanimously agreed that “no sex” means NO SEX – not only intercourse but including sexual arousal or anything else which involves orgasm.

Sex after childbirth

Intercourse is generally safe after 6 weeks. All incisions (C section, or vaginal to assist birth) would have healed, including the sensitive areas of the uterus. You can also consult your doctor just to be certain all is okay. However, you and your partner need to be patient, as it could take a while before your sex life is normal again.

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October 18, 2021

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