1. Sex during pregnancy: What’s OK, what’s not
Pregnant women and their partner often have query in their mind.Is it safe to have sex during pregnancy? Will it cause a miscarriage? Will it harm my unborn baby? Are there sex positions to avoid? All these things that you should know will be discussed here.
In pregnancy due to change in hormonal levels,you may or may not experience interest in sex. So there may be times when you are no more interested in sex.
a) Is it OK to have sex during pregnancy?
Pregnancy causes change in the desire of sex due to hormonal levels.This change in desire may also be due to the enlarging abdomen of the mother.You may feel uncomfortable due to the increasing size of your abdomen.But if you are having a normal pregnancy with no complications, sex is safe in pregnancy.
The developing baby inside you is well cushioned in the amniotic fluid bag.Moreover the strong muscles of uterus as well as of abdomen also protects the baby.So penetration and intercourse will not harm the baby.As long as you have no complications like placenta previa and preterm labour, sex is safe in pregnancy.However, pregnancy can cause changes in your level of comfort and sexual desire.
b) Best positions
During the later stages of pregnancy, you should choose positions that do not put pressure on the abdomen. Choose a position in which you are comfortable. Position in which you can control the depth of penetration.If a woman lies on her back, the weight of the baby might put extra pressure on her internal organs or major arteries.So its better to avoid this position.
Comfortable positions may include the pregnant woman being on top of her partner, side-by-side ,or sitting at the edge of the bed.It all depends on you and your comfort.
c) Can sex during pregnancy cause a miscarriage?
Having sex during pregnancy not cause miscarriage. Most miscarriages occur because the fetus has some chromosomal abnormalities.But its better to avoid sex in first 3 months of pregnancy.
Also read: Bleeding in early pregnancy
d) Are condoms necessary?
Any sexually transmitted infection during pregnancy can cause serious health problems for you and your baby.So its better to use condom.This will protect you from any vaginal infection.Some believe that prostaglandins of semen may induce cervical ripening and labour contractions. So using condom will also help in this direction also.
e) Are there times when sex should be avoided?
Breast stimulation, female orgasms and prostaglandins in semen can cause uterine contractions.
If you have the following conditions ,avoid sex in pregnancy:-
- Placenta partially or completely covers your cervical opening.i.e placenta previa.This condition is diagnosed on ultrasound
- cervical incompetence- Here your length of cervix is short and you may go into premature labour pains
- any vaginal bleeding
- any leaking of amniotic fluid
- twin pregnancy
- history of premature labour in previous pregnancy
f) What if I don’t want to have sex?
Its OK and its normal too.Sex drive may decrease in pregnancy. You can try many things like kissing,cuddling,massage,etc.Do share your feelings with your partener. Both of you can have a good intimate time without any sex.
2. Sex After Pregnancy
The post partum period is the period six weeks after delivery.During this period a mother goes through a lot of physical and emotional turmoil. You may have less desire for sex during this period. This may be due to following reasons:-
- Disturbed sleep due to demands of your newborn.Your sleep cycle is disturbed.
- Episiotomy or cesarean incisions take time to heal.
- Normal bleeding that occurs after delivery may extend upto 4 weeks.
- Sore breasts or cracked nipple due to breast feeding.
- Emotional issues like anxiety especially in first mothers.Whether they will be able to take care of the baby properly. This is specifically when the baby is premature and low birth weight.
Sex after pregnancy is safe when the incisions whether normal delivery or cesarean have healed. Moreover the mouth of cervix is open after delivery and this may cause infection.This usually takes six weeks.So its better to avoid sex till six weeks of delivery.
If there are no complications in pregnancy,sex is safe in pregnancy. Sex poses no threat to mother or the baby.Position during sex should be according to your comfort .
There are some condiotions where sex should be avoided. These have been discussed above.
A woman may experience changes in her desire for sex during and after pregnancy. Talk to your partner openly regarding this.