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Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Is It Safe To Have Sex During Pregnancy

Posted On: Dec 23, 2019

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Often the prime concern couples have during pregnancy, is about their sex life. They are concerned about the safety of the baby or probable injuries that may be caused. Besides the inconveniences during later stages of pregnancy, their worry is that sex or orgasm may trigger miscarriage due to the contraction and relaxation of the uterus.

The medical truth is that in a case of a normal healthy pregnancy, there is no reason why the couple cannot have sex unless the doctor has advised something to the contrary. The couple can keep making love regularly right up to the time when the water breaks.

 Sex Doesn’t Cause Miscarriages Nor Induces Labor

The myth that having sex can bring on labor before the baby is ready to be born is not true. If the body is not ready to go into labor, having sex will not cause premature birth, even during later stages of pregnancy.

Also, the concern that the male organ might hit the baby’s head is a myth, as the baby is placed at a far enough secure distance. If the baby moves around a bit after orgasm, it only means that the baby’s reacting to the pounding of the heart or enjoying the rocking movement. He will not feel any discomfort, nor will have any idea what is happening. The baby is well covered under layers of flesh and in the amniotic fluid which acts as a shock absorber.

Can Sex Cause An Infection?

The thick mucus plug that seals the cervix, keeps the uterus and amniotic sac well protected and insulated from the outside world and helps guard the baby against infection. However, it should be ensured that the male partner does not suffer from any STD.

When Sex Is To Be Avoided

There may be certain situations where one has to abstain from sex or be careful while having sex. Such restrictions are based on the following circumstances:

In a case of vaginal bleeding or spotting in early pregnancy, or a history of preterm labor, signs of pre-term labor. If there is a history of miscarriages, then the doctor may advise not to have sex until 14 weeks.

In cases of an incompetent cervix or a history of cervical weakness or, a low-lying placenta or placenta previa, the doctor may say it’s best not to have sex for the rest of your pregnancy.

Also, in cases of a vaginal infection, or genital herpes, sex may be forbidden.

In case any restrictions are placed, then this is to be shared with the partner and alternatives should be devised to address the issues. In situations where penetration is not allowed, mutual masturbation can be done to reach the climax.

If having sex is okay but an orgasm is out of bounds, then one can stop before reaching climax. If all such activities are totally banned, then try cuddling, petting, necking, etc.

Sexual Drive During Pregnancy

Sexual drive may come down during pregnancy due to hormones. Also, any issues in the relationship or the state of mind may affect the sex drive. As the pregnancy progresses the onset of weight gain, back pain, and other symptoms tend to reduce the desire for sex. Also, many women are worried about their appearance and ability to give sexual satisfaction to their husbands.

The First Trimester is a period full of apprehension and concern, while during the Third Semester, the physical changes and an enlarged belly make sex inconvenient and more laborious. However, it has been found that during the Second Trimester, sexual desire in women is on the rise and it is called the “honeymoon period”.

Sexual Positions During Pregnancy

During the latter stages of pregnancy, the usual man-on-top or the missionary position may not be found to be convenient any longer. One can try other several other variations or positions. A few suggestions are given below.

Side-by-side or Spooning

As the name suggests, both lie on their sides, a man lies behind the woman, like two spoons placed together. This position ensures full-body contact yet inhibits deep penetration.

Edge of the bed

The woman lies on her back with her waist and bottom at the edge of the bed. Her knees are bent with her feet on the edge of the bed. The man can either kneel or bend near the edge facing the woman.

The woman on top

In this female version of the missionary position, the woman is on top. As this posture allows the woman to be in control it is said to be the most satisfying of all.

On the chair 

The man sits on the chair with the woman on his lap, her back towards him. There is no pressure on the uterus and the woman can control the speed and depth of penetration by squatting up and down,

Doggy on knees or kneeling down

The woman kneels on all fours on the bed and lets the partner approach from behind. If it is strenuous, then the woman can stand on the floor, bend down taking the support of the bed or sofa.

To conclude, the most important point to note is, sex during pregnancy is absolutely safe, unless otherwise advised. In fact, it has been found that having regular sex or having an orgasm during pregnancy makes it less likely to give birth prematurely!

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