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Sex During Pregnancy: Your Four Biggest Questions, Answered

February 22, 2013
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2883527695_2f72b37988A lot of change can take place in a couple’s marriage during pregnancy. On top of the congratulations, the stroller-buying, and the financial planning, your sex life may be altered a bit. As your body changes and your hormones rise, you may find yourself worrying about how it will affect your romantic relationship with your partner.

Is it safe to have sex during pregnancy?

In most cases, yes. Both vaginal and oral sex are generally considered safe during pregnancy. As your baby develops, she is well-protected by your strong uterine muscles and the amniotic fluid that surrounds her. She can’t be harmed by the impact that vaginal sex has on the body. And while you do experience uterine contractions during orgasm, these contractions are entirely different from the kind that precipitate labor.

When is sex unsafe during pregnancy?

In some cases, your doctor may advise you against sex during pregnancy. If you have a history of preterm labor or birth, you may be advised to hold off during your third trimester. If you have a condition called placenta previa, in which the placenta partly or entirely covers your cervical openings, or if your cervix opens prematurely, you may be cautioned to not have intercourse. And if you have unexplained bleeding or are leaking amniotic fluid, your doctor will advise against sex.

How can I get comfortable during sex?

As your belly grows, the positions that worked for you and your partner may no longer be comfortable or enjoyable. You may need to get creative. Some couples find that lying side by side works well, and some women prefer to be on top as their bellies grow.

What if I don’t want to have sex during pregnancy?

Pregnancy hormones have different effects on different women. Some women find that they are more interested in sex during pregnancy, while others lose their interest. And some women feel uncomfortable with their new bodies, and may feel less confident during sex. If, for whatever reason, you don’t feel like having sex while pregnant, don’t despair. Long-term relationships go through different stages, romantically, and just because you feel like holding off for now, you may feel differently once your body and your hormones adjust after having had your baby. (Well, maybe not RIGHT after having a baby. Most women are given the greenlight at six weeks postpartum, but feel free to take all the time you need!)

And we know that many partners feel anxious about having sexual intercourse during pregnancy, or may wonder why you’re feeling hesitant. Communicate with your partner about the facts, and about your feelings.

 

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