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Sex During Pregnancy

Sex During Pregnancy

Sex During and After Pregnancy everything you need to know

Intimacy and regular sexual intercourse between partners is natural and vital for a healthy relationship. Between male and female partners this can lead to pregnancy – the state of the woman developing a child within her uterus.

Planned (and often unplanned pregnancies) help bond partners to be even more intimate together- but is sex safe during pregnancy?

The resounding clear answer is yes (with just a few small caveats we will discuss below.)

Sexual interest and appetite

A woman’s body changes in pregnancy with symptoms of breast tenderness, back pain, fatigue, weight gain alongside mood change from both hormones and psychological stress.pain, fatigue, weight gain alongside mood change from both hormones and psychological stress.weight gain alongside mood change from both hormones and psychological stress.

All of this affects her libido – especially in the first trimester. Sexual appetite can increase or decrease as a result. Most commonly the combination of these factors results in more discomfort than satisfaction reducing sexual activity. However, other forms of intimacy such as kissing and cuddling are unaffected and should be practiced.

 

pregnancy sex 2
What should you watch out for?

 

There are some things to watch out for. The missionary position can be hard in the third trimester, by the judge to sit on or the use of pillows can be more comfortable. Although each stand can be pleasant with some adjustments or pillows in the right place, set generally find sex in a ‘ spoon-replete’-attitude or with the woman on top is most comfortable.

Can having sex induce labour?

It is also important to know that although in theory, certain sexual acts can induce contractions – come by nipple stimulation hormone-free, sperm or physical movements can cause uterine contractions – in practice has never been proven that this works.

Sexual positions and practices

The developing foetus is well protected by amniotic fluid cushioning, strong uterus muscles and a cervical mucus plug. Therefore, sexual activity doesn’t affect the foetus and is safe. At most, the thrusting movements or orgasm itself may result in mild contractions of the uterus – but they are not dangerous and settle down with a little time and relaxation.

However, there are a few precautions. Missionary position becomes particularly difficult in the third trimester although adjustments such as sitting up on pillows can help. Whilst any position may be comfortable with adjustments,

Usually sex side by side or with the woman on top are most comfortable.

It is also important to know that whilst there are theoretical mechanisms for sex to induce labour – through nipple stimulation releasing hormones, sperm chemicals or physical movements causing contractions- none have yet been proven to work.

Other risks

Other risks relate to patients with a risk of pre-term labour or placenta praevia (low lying placenta) and are theoretical as they have not yet been proven by any research studies.

In those with a risk of pre-term labour (twins, cervical incompetence, previous history) there is concern that sex may rupture membranes and trigger early labour. In those with a low-lying placenta there is a concern that sex may trigger a large hemorrhage. Mothers with these conditions are counselled against having sex during pregnancy altogether because of the severity of these potential outcomes, despite no research evidence in support.

Oral sex

In oral sex, it is also important to avoid any blowing activity. There is a rare (almost one in a million) but real chance of air entering the bloodstream and causing a blockage or air embolus that can be fatal.

Other risks

Other risks relate to patients with a risk of pre-term labour or placenta praevia (low lying placenta) and are theoretical as they have not yet been proven by any research studies.

 

 

 

pregnancy sex

Sex after pregnancy

After delivery, it takes at least 2 (more often 4-6) weeks for the female reproductive tract to heal so sex is not recommended during this time. However, even after this, for the first month, sex can feel uncomfortable for the woman.

Once the reproductive tract has healed, a normal sex life can be resumed once more. It is important to note that whilst breastfeeding can afford protection, pregnancy is still possible and so contraception should always be considered in sex after delivery.

Source: Sex during pregnancy; JonesCMAJ et.al. 2011 apr 19; 183 (7): 815-818. Sex during pregnancy; JonesCMAJ et.al. 2011 apr 19; 183 (7): 815-818.

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