28 Mar Can I have sex during Pregnancy?
When a woman becomes pregnant (especially for the very first time), it’s very common for her to face all kinds of doubts. One of the most frequently asked questions that health care professionals are asked is: ‘Can I have sex during pregnancy?’
The answer is: of course! You can have sex during pregnancy as long as it is approved by your doctor or midwife. Only in specific cases would it be discouraged to do so. But in general, not only can it be done, but it is actually beneficial! Keep reading to learn more!
Is sex safe during pregnancy?
It’s been proven that sex during pregnancy cannot harm the fetus. The cervix is lined by a thick mucous membrane (mucous plug) that protects it against any external agents, and besides, the vagina is long enough that the penis can’t actually reach it.
Sex during pregnancy may be discouraged in specific cases, such as if there are hemorrhages (especially in the first trimester), or if later down the line there may be a risk of premature delivery. However if your pregnancy is running smoothly and healthily, and the fetus presents no risks, then there are no negative drawbacks whatsoever.
In any case, during your routine pregnancy visits to the doctor, you will be informed of all the changes that your body is going through, so you can make an informed decision about what you feel is best for your health and that of the baby.
Libido during pregnancy
Different hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, play a key role during pregnancy. Occasionally, there are women who during their pregnancy have an increase in libido because the vulva is much more vascularized (increased in size), which makes it easy for them to reach orgasm.
Besides, by increasing the exudation inside the vagina, penetration can be much easier and pleasurable. However for the same reason, it could actually cause the opposite to happen: some women may experience discomfort in the skin of the vulva, an inflammation of the vestibule of the vagina or become less lubricated and therefore lose her sexual drive and find it difficult to reach orgasm.
In any case, it is important to bear in mind that sex goes beyond penetration, that is why if the woman or partner is not comfortable, or sex is discouraged during pregnancy, there are other ways to enjoy sex such as caresses, kisses or oral sex.
It really is very important to take care of each other as a couple during pregnancy. Don’t forget that the simple physical contact of a hug or a kiss can generate catecholamine in your body. This is the hormone that provokes a sensation of pleasure and well-being, which is very positive for the bond between a couple.
Sex during the last weeks of pregnancy
Men’s semen carries prostaglandins, a hormone that helps to soften the cervix. That is why during the last weeks of pregnancy, sexual practice is advised on a regular basis in order to naturally help trigger the process of labor. All these hormonal reactions are a natural reaction caused by the body and so do not cause any side effects.
Maybe you have also heard that the female orgasm can trigger uterine contractions (due to the increase in oxytocin). This is true, however, they are practically imperceptible and are not durable, so they can not trigger the birth or a miscarriage.
Sex Positions during pregnancy
During pregnancy, the body will change, as well as the agility to move around in your day to day to life and in the bedroom. There is no instruction manual for sexual positions that are better or worse during pregnancy. The woman simply adapts according to whichever trimester she is in. The important thing to do is to listen to the body and adjust the positions to what feels comfortable for you, making sure that you don’t experience any discomfort in your belly or vagina.
- In the first trimester, the woman can adopt any position since the belly is still the same until the third or fourth month of pregnancy. Any positions that were practiced pre pregnancy can still be performed. The woman is still agile and can move easily.
- In the second trimester, the belly begins to be noticeable and can sometimes be a little bothersome, so comfortable positions are advised for the woman, such as more lateral, posterior penetrations or even her on top of the man so that he can maintain control of the situation.
- In the third trimester, because the belly increases its volume, it is better to perform posterior penetrations or lateral penetration otherwise the woman might not be comfortable.
In conclusion, we can say with total ease, that we should not be afraid of sex during pregnancy, in fact it’s the complete opposite; not only is it positive for the woman but for the couple. There is no risk to the mother or to the fetus during the nine months of pregnancy. It is good to keep the body active and for the hormones to continue developing their natural functions.
Keep in mind that in the following months after childbirth due to the fatigue, hormones, breastfeeding or just pain in the vulva or vagina during the postpartum phase, sexual practice decrease in some couples.
Take advantage of this unique moment! If you are happy, you’ll transmit your joy to your baby because they notice all the changes of mood, anxiety, stress, happiness or excitement. Now you know, having sex is also taking care of yourself 🙂
Autora: Andrea Batlle
Fisioterapeuta especialista en ginecología.
Directora de AB Fisioterapia