Unless your doctor or midwife has told you otherwise (perhaps if you’ve had a lot of bleeding, or if you are at term and your waters have broken), there is absolutely no reason why you should not continue to enjoy having sex throughout your pregnancy (but it is also perfectly normal if you find your libido has died a death and you don’t feel like it in the slightest!)
Early on in pregnancy
Early on in your pregnancy, you might find morning sickness, sore boobs, and general feelings of tiredness leave you totally wiped out and not feeling in the least bit sexy. If you are worried about the effect this might have on your relationship, talk it through with your partner and take time out to find other ways to enjoy intimate, one on one time together.
Later on in pregnancy
As your pregnancy progresses, you might find your sex drive returns, but bump logistics get in the way! You and your partner may have to experiment a little to find a comfortable position to make love in as the months go on, perhaps lying side by side, either with your partner behind you, or with you both facing each other. You might also find penetration uncomfortable in some positions if your partner goes too deep inside you, so again, experimentation is the key.
Will it harm the baby?
Some moms-to-be (and dads too) feel uncomfortable about sex during pregnancy (talking about it or doing it) in case baby is somehow ‘aware’ of what is going on. Rest assured they won’t be! There is no risk to your baby from penetration, and your partner will not be able to reach them while inside you.
Can sex help bring on contractions?
As you near your due date, sex could help set off your contractions, as semen can help soften and ripen the cervix, so it could be a fun and practical way to pass the time if you are overdue!
Many couples are concerned that sex during pregnancy is off-limits. However, sex during pregnancy can be a great stress reliever, as well as a way to bring couples closer together. Here’s what you need to know about sex and pregnant women.
Will Sex Harm the Baby?
If you’re having a normal, safe pregnancy, sex can continue right up until labor — there are no links with miscarriage or harm to the mom or the baby. Additionally, the mucus plug helps seal the cervix and protect the baby from infection so as long as you haven’t lost your mucus plug, there’s no concern about infection.
Some couples worry that sex will squash the baby, but he or she is well protected by the strong muscles of the uterus and the amniotic fluid. Your baby cannot feel what’s happening outside of the uterus. You may notice that he is slightly more active after sex, but this is only because your heart rate has gone up and so has his. During an orgasm, your uterus may contract slightly, but this will not hurt the baby. It could make you feel slightly crampy though.
When Your Doctor Might Say to Abstain
In some cases, your healthcare provider might advise against sex during pregnancy. This includes:
- If you’ve had any bleeding or a large amount of discharge
- If you have a low-lying placenta
- If you’re at risk of premature labor
- If you’ve had a few miscarriages in a row
Sex and Pregnant Women: What Your Husband Thinks
It’s not uncommon for many men to feel awkward about having sex during pregnancy. They often worry about hurting the baby or their partner. If you’ve noticed that your partner is avoiding sex during pregnancy, talk to him about any concerns he’s having.
What Positions Can Work?
The missionary position won’t work well during pregnancy — your belly will surely be in the way. However, this just means you need to get creative. Rear entry, side-by-side and spooning positions can work well, as you don’t need to worry about your bump.
What Will It Feel Like?
Different women can have different opinions about sex during pregnancy. Some say it’s wonderful, while others can feel uncomfortable or even have pain. Late in your pregnancy, you may have to experiment to see what feels the best for you.
Will Sex Induce Labor?
No one can say for sure if sex during pregnancy will induce labor, but it can’t hurt! Many experts think that orgasm gives the uterus a kick start and releases oxytocin, the hormone that causes contractions. Semen also contains high concentrations of prostaglandins, a hormone that helps the cervix dilate.
Most healthcare providers recommend that you wait at least six weeks after birth to have sex. It usually takes that long to be physically comfortable, but don’t worry if you don’t feel emotionally ready for longer.
Before you start having sex again, make sure that you’ve thought about birth control. Although many women think they can’t get pregnant while breastfeeding, this is a myth.
As with all body niggles you might experience in your pregnancy, it is always worth flagging up with your midwife if you experience any pain, soreness, or have any bleeding or unusual discharge after having sex, just to be on the safe side.