The Truth About Sex During Pregnancy
Women who are considered at low-risk for complications during pregnancy are generally given the green light for sex throughout their pregnancy. Sometimes right up until the start of labor. Whether the desire for sex is present is a whole different matter. Well-known symptoms like fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and breast soreness can easily lower any woman’s libido. The good news is that many of these symptoms diminish by the second trimester. In fact, many women experience increased desire during this middle period of pregnancy when there is increased blood flow to sexual organs. The third and last trimester offers its own set of sexual challenges. An expanding belly can make finding a comfortable position difficult and sex often takes a backseat to preparing for the baby’s arrival. Therefore, it’s perfectly normal for there to be changes in desire throughout the forty weeks of pregnancy and each woman experiences pregnancy differently. Communicating regularly and openly with your physician and significant other during your pregnancy is the key to handling the many changes you and your body will experience.
Playing It Safe
While sex is considered safe for normal or low-risk pregnancies, there are a couple of situations all pregnant women should avoid. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can be harmful to both mother and baby and can cause premature labor. Women should avoid sex or use a condom with a partner who may be infected, or whose sexual history is not known. Oral sex can also pose a danger if your partner blows air into your vagina. An air embolism or air bubble can result which can block blood vessels, and be fatal to both the mother and baby. There are certain situations when a doctor will advise against sex during pregnancy. If you have a history of preterm labor or birth, an incompetent cervix, or more than one miscarriage
, your doctor may advise against having intercourse during your pregnancy. Other situations that may develop during pregnancy and require abstinence include vaginal bleeding, an amniotic sac that breaks, or placenta previa
when the placenta covers the cervical opening. Some physicians may also recommend avoiding or limiting sex during the last weeks of pregnancy or when carrying more than one fetus. When asking your doctor if there are any restrictions on your sex life, ask for clarification on what is meant by sex—whether it’s intercourse, orgasm, or other restrictions.