When you get pregnant, there are a number of questions that you are likely to have that deal with the issue of sex during pregnancy. This post hopes to answer some of the most commonly-asked questions.
1. Is it safe to have sex during pregnancy?
You might not want to ask the question, but you are likely wondering it! The answer to this is, “yes, unless you have or develop risk factors.” Under normal circumstances (a low-risk pregnancy), you can have sex during all three trimesters.
Whether you and your partner choose to have sex during the entire pregnancy is a separate issue. You may be feeling more tired, especially during the first and third trimesters. Nausea during the start or all of the pregnancy can also put a damper on sex.
However, as your hormones fluctuate, you may be feeling more turned on and wanting to have sex more. The increased blood flow to the pelvic region can result in engorgement of your genitals. For some women, this correlates with an increase in desire, while others find it makes sex more uncomfortable.
2. Does having sex hurt the baby?
Once again, if you have a normal, healthy pregnancy, having sex will not cause harm to the baby. The baby is enveloped in the uterus and membranes, and the mucus plug blocks the cervix. However, if you or your partner have sex with other people, make sure to use condoms to decrease the risk of you and your baby becoming infected with a possible sexually transmitted infection (STI). Better yet, avoid the risk of STI’s to your baby through monogamy.
3. When is sex not advised during pregnancy?
Your physician can best advise you when sexual intercourse and/or orgasm are not permitted, but here is a shortlist of some reasons why you may have been advised against sex:
If your cervix is known to dilate prematurely, it can result in a miscarriage or premature birth.
If the placenta covers part or all of the opening of the cervix, your physician will advise you against intercourse. Placenta Previa carries a risk of heavy bleeding and risk to both the baby and the mother.
When the amniotic sac ruptures, there can be leakage of amniotic fluid. Risk of infection is high if sex occurs during this time.
Previous History of Miscarriage or Premature Labour
If you have a history of this, your physician may advise you against intercourse, orgasm, or both.
Previous Premature Birth(s)
Babies born before 37 weeks gestation are considered premature. Your physician may advise you against sex if you have gone into early labour before, resulting in a premature baby.
Bleeding or Cramping
Your physician will need to do an evaluation and will be able to advise you further whether it is safe to be having sex during your pregnancy.
To conclude, sex during pregnancy is safe when you have a low-risk pregnancy. Sex, under healthy circumstances, does not hurt the baby. However, there can be some conditions that put you and the baby at risk during pregnancy, making sex inadvisable. Your doctor or midwife know best, and will be able to guide you throughout your pregnancy, and as new questions arise.