For couples, it’s only natural to want to have sex frequently when you are trying to get pregnant. But what if you are already in the family way? A lot of couples are still apprehensive about sex during pregnancy. The good news is that it is generally safe.
There’s really no fixed answer when it comes to how frequent you should be having sex during pregnancy, considering that each pregnancy is different. If you are interested in pregnancy sex and are wondering how safe it is, continue reading.
Libido Changes During Pregnancy
You may find that your sex drive is on a roller coaster when you’re pregnant. During the first trimester, a reduction in libido is a common occurrence, although not all pregnant women suffer from a diminished sex drive.
Studies indicate that as many as more than 50% of pregnant women experience diminished desire for sex during the first trimester. That’s usually the time when many pregnant women feel too nauseated or exhausted to even think about sex. Your libido may also be affected as you emotionally and physically adjust to your condition.
Don’t be too affected if you find yourself uninterested at all in sex during your first trimester. Your body is going through a lot of changes, and it’s normal for your libido to be affected. For instance, you’re producing more prolactin, which is a hormone that promotes lactation but also inhibits sexual behavior.
A lot of women, however, find the second trimester a more comfortable time to engage in sex. By this time, you may no longer be suffering from morning sickness and fatigue, making you more receptive to sex.
In addition, during the second trimester, a pregnant woman’s vagina and clitoris tend to be more engorged with blood due to the increased blood flow to the genitals. A lot of women actually experience increased sexual pleasure during the second trimester, and many experience multiple orgasms during this period.
Even during the third trimester, many couples still continue to enjoy sex. If your pregnancy is normal, there’s no reason why you should stop having sex with your partner even when you’re almost due.
The only consideration at this time is whether sex will be comfortable for you, so you and your partner may need to be extra creative and adventurous in exploring sex positions. Oral sex is also a great option when you’re already in your third trimester.
Is Sex During Pregnancy Safe?
In general, engaging in sex while you’re pregnant won’t cause harm to your baby. That’s because your baby is protected by your uterine muscles, as well as by the amniotic fluid that surrounds the developing fetus.
If you’re worried that pregnancy sex may cause you to have a miscarriage, the chances of that happening are actually very low, especially if your pregnancy is a normal one. However, if you’re suffering from certain complications such as placenta problems, you may want to ask your doctor first if it’s alright for you to engage in pregnancy sex.
When to Avoid Pregnancy Sex
There are cases when medical professionals advise against sex during pregnancy. If you have experienced preterm labor in the past, or if you have a history of premature birth, your doctor may recommend that you avoid pregnancy sex. The same goes if you’re suffering from unexplained vaginal bleeding or if your amniotic fluid is leaking.
Cervical incompetence, a condition wherein a woman’s cervix opens up prematurely, is another condition that can prevent you from engaging in pregnancy sex. If you’re suffering from placenta previa such as when your placenta is covering your cervical opening, your doctor may also advise that you refrain from having sex during your pregnancy.
During high-risk pregnancies, some doctors allow sex as long as there’s no penetration. There are also instances when doctors allow sexual penetration, as long as a condom is used. Women with high-risk pregnancies are often told to avoid achieving an orgasm, as this may cause premature contractions.
If you suspect that your partner may have an STD, or if your partner had a sexually transmitted infection in the past, you may want to avoid having sex altogether. Better yet, have your partner undergo an STD examination. Certain STDs can be passed on to your developing baby, so you may want to use a condom if you do engage in pregnancy sex.
How to Maintain Intimacy During Pregnancy
Even if it’s a high-risk pregnancy, it shouldn’t stop you from being intimate with your partner. If you don’t want your passion for each other to fade while your tummy is growing bigger and bigger, there are many ways for you to maintain intimate relations with your partner.
Oral sex, for one, is an excellent way of being intimate with your partner during your pregnancy. There’s no limit as to how often you can do it, even when you’re already almost due. Just remind your partner not to blow air into your vagina, as this can cause an air embolism, which can be dangerous for your pregnancy.
One thing that’s really nice about pregnancy sex is that you get to explore various sex positions that you may not have tried before your pregnancy. Yes, your growing girth may make conventional missionary sex uncomfortable for you, but it’s a great excuse for you and your partner to try various rear-entry or side-by-side positions.
If your doctor advises you to avoid penetrative sex altogether, ask your doctor if foreplay is alright. And if it is, ask whether it’s safe for you to orgasm or not. If your healthcare provider gives the go signal, then there’s no reason why you and your partner shouldn’t enjoy mutual masturbation.
If your pregnancy happens to be extremely high-risk, holding hands, kissing, hugging, and cuddling are still great ways to stay intimate with your partner. An intimate massage is also a great option, and you can also explore various ways to please your partner as he masturbates.