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.
Is It Okay to Have Sex Throughout Pregnancy?
As long as you have a safe pregnancy, there’s no reason not to have sex during pregnancy. It may not be a long affair anymore, but many couples say that the intimacy helps them feel closer. Many women also say that sex during pregnancy also makes them feel better about their changing body.
If you’re in the third trimester, sex during pregnancy may bring on some Braxton Hicks contractions, however these are normal. Sex after 37 weeks is also safe as long as your water hasn’t broken and you haven’t lost your mucus plug. Once these two things happen, your risk of infection is elevated.
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.