You and your partner may have had a lot of steamy bedroom sessions trying to get pregnant, just to find that after getting pregnant, your feelings about having sex changed. Yes, it’s totally acceptable to feel uneasy about getting intimate during pregnancy. Also, it’s understandable if you have plenty of questions.
Is sex safe during pregnancy? Is it painful? Can it be pleasurable? And above all… is pregnancy sex even worth it? Here’s what you need to know:
Is Pregnancy Sex Safe?
The short answer is yes. If you are undergoing a normal and healthy pregnancy, sex is a normal and natural part of it. Intercourse movement and penetration will not harm the baby, as it is secured by your abdomen and the muscular walls of your uterus and cushioned by the amniotic sac’s fluid.
The contractions that occur during orgasm are not the same as labour contractions. However, as a safety precaution, some medics advise people to avoid penetrative sex during the last weeks of pregnancy. The main reason for this is that some hormones known as prostaglandins, which are present in semen, may initiate contractions. For women who are overdue and perhaps want to induce labour, this is one reason why sex may actually be recommended.
The Best Penetrative Sex Positions for Pregnant Women
When it comes to the actual act, medical professionals advise and pregnant women often prefer woman-on-top, doggie-style, rear-entry, or side-by-side positions. Most of these sex positions will support your belly and make it easy for you to control the penetration depth, as going deep may not be enjoyable as the pregnancy progresses.
By the third trimester, the missionary position will likely not be an option because of the presence of your ever-growing belly. Also, doctors advise against you lying on your back, as the uterus could press on the vena cava and aorta, resulting in increased blood pressure and reduced blood getting into the heart. Overall, this action can reduce the amount of blood that goes to the baby as well.
How Is Pregnancy Sex Different?
Pregnancy sex might be reasonably different than what you were used to before you became pregnant, in part because you are accommodating additional hormones as well as a quickly changing body shape. It may feel fantastic, infuriating or uncomfortable, based on your moods and how you’re feeling in your “new” body. Some pregnant people may experience enhanced sensitivity that comes from engorged genitals, resulting in intense orgasms. Other pregnant women may feel less content than usual due to these physical changes, which may be frustrating if you’re used to having a high libido.
It’s important to be patient with your body through this time, and gentle with yourself as you remember that you are literally growing new life inside of you! If you’re choosing to have sex as a couple, it should be enjoyable for both parties. If you feel any pain as you have sex, make sure you communicate these feelings with your partner and get in touch with your practitioner to make sure there aren’t any underlying issues.
What are the Benefits of Pregnancy Sex?
Pregnancy sex may come with some sweet benefits. Below are some of the benefits of having pregnancy sex:
- Offers a partner-bonding experience: Pregnancy can be an emotional roller coaster for both you and your loved one. Being intimate is a great way to stay connected during this trying and exciting time.
- It eases discomfort and pain: Orgasms initiate the release of oxytocin, a hormone that boosts your pain tolerance. This hormone has proven helpful in relieving backaches and other pregnancy-related discomforts.
- It boosts mood: While you might be super excited about your pregnancy, some irritating hormones can make you anxious. Oxytocin is beneficial in improving your feelings of joy and love and bringing you closer to your loved one.
- It eases postpartum recovery: Pregnancy sex can help you tone your pelvic floor, which makes you well-prepared for both childbirth and recovery. If you want to make sure that the vaginal muscles are in shape, you may also consider incorporating some Kegels, either on your own or with your partner.
- It supports physical health: A thirty-minute round of sex can burn roughly 50 calories, in addition to lowering blood pressure.
- It enhances sleep: In addition to helping you to relax, pregnancy sex can release some feel-good hormones that come in handy in improving your sleep.
When to Avoid Having Sex During Pregnancy
Some doctors may advise against having sex if your pregnancy is high-risk. Some high-risk factors include:
- You have a history of past miscarriages or have a high risk of miscarriage
- You are at an increased risk of going into labour before 37 weeks of pregnancy
- You have ruptured membranes, or the amniotic sac is leaking some fluid
- You are experiencing cramping, discharge or vaginal bleeding without a recognised cause
- The placenta is extremely low in the uterus
- The cervix has opened prematurely in a previous pregnancy
- You are expecting multiples
Remember that if your medic says “no sex,” you might have to eliminate anything that entails sexual arousal or orgasm, not just intercourse.
The Final Take
It is worth noting that women undergo different experiences during their pregnancy journey, including their feeling towards sexual intercourse. While the desire to have sex decreases in some women, others feel much more deeply connected to their sexuality and much more aroused during pregnancy. If sex is something you want to incorporate into your pregnancy, talk to your partner and your team of medical professionals to come up with a solution that is safe (and pleasurable!) for your specific needs.