Some women find sex more pleasurable during pregnancy, while some are not up for it at all during pregnancy. There are a number of reasons that might affect your sexual drive, including apprehensions on childbirth, tiredness, general fear in case of a miscarriage, lack of confidence on body shape, among other hormonal changes taking place in the body. The male partner may have sexual moods too, since childbirth brings with it parenting pressures and life altering changes. Some women feel that their breasts become too sensitive during pregnancy; some find it pleasurable while some may not even like them to be touched. Most men find their pregnant partners attractive, but some do not like the bulk tummy and may not be interested in sex.
Is Sex Safe During Pregnancy?
For most of pregnancy, sex seems like a safe option unless advised otherwise by your doctor. Many women continue to enjoy sex until their water breaks or labor is just around the corner. In the absence of any complications to your pregnancy, sex is safe for the baby, since it is protected by your uterus and a layer of muscles, in addition to a mucus plug that protects the baby from infections. However, one might need to make small changes in the sexual behaviors pattern being observed by a couple prior to getting pregnant.
Sex In First Trimester
Women who suffer from nausea, vomiting, fatigue and get overwhelmingly tired may not deem sex as an attractive option. Other women may be dealing with hormones that makes them craving for intimacy. If your pregnancy is uncomplicated and a low risk one, there is absolutely no reason so as to not have sex during your first trimester of pregnancy, barring the pregnancy symptoms.
Sex In Second Trimester
The second trimester marks the beginning of a more comfortable phase – the nausea settles down, and the belly is still not round and big. You can have sex without the worry of hurting your baby and by making some changes. Women lubricate more, have genital engorgement, and sex sounds appealing and more satisfying as well.
Sex In Third Trimester
The physical difficulties in the third trimester can make sex sound tedious and scary. Women are outweighed with thoughts about birth, labor and other things post child birth. They are also not very comfortable with their growing bellies. Hence sex takes a back seat for many women during the third trimester. However, if you are feeling up for it, there is no reason for you to not do it- unless medical advised.
Orgasms and Oral Sex During Pregnancy
Orgasms generate certain contractions which are harmless to the baby. During the third trimester, having an orgasm causes the release of prostaglandins, which can theoretically cause contractions. This could put you at unease for sometime but will go away just like Braxton Hicks Contractions.
However, if you are indulging in oral sex, air should not be blown into the vagina, though licking is fine. In case any of you is having sex with other people, using a condom is a huge must. Also, HIV+ partners need to consult a doctor. Also, in case of any oral infection, refrain from oral sex. One could also engage in caressing, kissing, self and mutual pleasurable activities, cuddling and being romantic.
When Not to have Sex During Pregnancy?
Your doctor may ask you to refrain from having sex in the event of the below conditions:
- Sex is painful – you have abdominal pains or cramps
- You have a history of cervical weakness
- You have a low-lying placenta (placenta praevia)
- You experience bleeding
- Foul discharge is observed
- You have experienced repeated miscarriages
In case of a premature labor, any bleeding or discharge from the vagina, sexually transmitted infections in the partner, or cervical insufficiency (resulting mostly from second trimester miscarriages) you might have to say no to sex. This needs to be consulted with a doctor, it is best to discuss your concerns with the doctor.
If none of these contraindications are there, a woman can enjoy sex throughout her pregnancy.
At any point, communication is the best key for you to express your desires, comfort level, fears and apprehensions. Keep the dialogue box open and understand sex is not the only way to show your personal desire or love for each other, your relationship is a strong bond and not having sex for some time will not hamper it in any way.