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Is It Safe To Have Sex During Pregnancy?

is it safe to have sex during pregnancy

Are you unsure if you can continue to have sex during pregnancy? The answer is YES unless you have been advised against it at some point of your pregnancy by your gynae! You have probably heard a lot of stories and advice that warn you about having sex as it will hurt your baby. You will be glad that some of these “tips” turn out to be just myths!

Myth #1 Having sex will hurt the fetus

You can have sex throughout your pregnancy (if it does not cause any discomfort) as having sex will not hurt the baby in a normal pregnancy. This is because the baby is well protected by the amniotic sac and the uterus muscles. If you’re wondering whether any pathogen will go into the cervix and expose the baby to an infection, don’t worry as there is a thick mucus plug that seals the cervix. The penis does not go beyond the vagina into the cervix.

Myth #2 There is no sex drive during pregnancy

The desire to have sex during pregnancy varies for couples, for men and women and also at different stages of pregnancy. Some women may experience discomfort from the strain on the back and the body, leading to a drop in their desire for sex. Fatigue, nausea, breast tenderness and weight gain may also reduce your enthusiasm for sex. Others may find that the increased blood flow to the pelvic area and breasts during pregnancy heighten the sensations and increase pleasure. For some men, when they are assured that sex does not hurt the baby, they may enjoy sex more.

Myth #3 Orgasm triggers labour

Orgasm, nipple stimulation and the prostaglandins in semen may cause uterine contractions but these contractions are temporary and will not trigger labour or cause miscarriage in a normal pregnancy.

Myth #4 Movements during sex cause distress to the fetus

The baby will not be hurt physically or emotionally by your love-making; in fact the endorphins released in the body after sex helps to uplift the mood of the baby too.

Although it’s safe to have sex during pregnancy, there are some precautions you need to take note as well, as certain conditions will affect the safety of sex during pregnancy.

Caution #1 Oral sex

Oral simulation is safe but blowing air into the vagina can cause an air embolism that can be life threatening for the baby and mother. Oral sex also isn’t safe if there is oral herpes or the risk of it. Micro-abrasions may also allow for transmission of HIV.

Caution #2 Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)

If you are unsure of your partner’s health in relation to STDs, it is best to avoid sex or use a condom during sex.

Caution #3 Health conditions not suitable for sex

For those with a high risk pregnancy, history of miscarriages, bleeding, foul-smelling discharge (infection risk), preterm labour or an incompetent cervix (where the cervix efface and dilate without contractions), it is best to consult the doctor on whether it is safe to have sex during pregnancy. Moreover, women with placenta prevue are at risk of hemorrhaging, and women with premature rupture of membranes should avoid sex during pregnancy.

Caution #4 Anal sex

Anal sex is a potential source of infection especially if you have vagina penetration after it. Moreover, pregnant women are at higher risk of hemorrhoids.

risk of having sex during pregnancy

After knowing it’s safe to have sex and the precautions to take, the issue now is how to have sex so that it will be comfortable and enjoyable for you and your spouse. These positions will make sex more comfortable for you and your bulging tummy.

Missionary position with the man on top may get difficult as the baby grows. Lying on the back can also cause “supine hypotensive syndrome” which is the change in heart rate and blood pressure that lead to dizziness. Here are a few positions to maximize comfort for the pregnant mom!

Side-lying – Lying on your sides (either front to front or front to back) are comfortable during pregnancy as they keep the pressure off your back.

At the edge of the bed – You can lie down with some pillows or folded blankets to support your lower back and have your bottom at the edge of the bed. That way there is less need for the man to support himself above you, especially when your belly is getting bigger.

Woman on top – You can choose the woman on top position if your belly size allows for it. This position does not put pressure on your back and allows you more control to find a comfortable and satisfying position.

Rear entry – Some couples find rear entry more comfortable, for instance kneeling over a bed, sitting on your partner’s lap (facing away from him) or standing up (resting your hands on a wall or the back of sofa).

It is safe to have sex in a normal pregnancy and it is important to communicate with your spouse if either of you have reservations or fears about sex. Sometimes bringing the spouse to your doctor appointment helps too if he can hear from the doctor on the safety of sex. If you encounter any bleeding or irregular discharge, or discomfort during sex, consult your doctor immediately.

Written by Mei

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