Sex During Pregnancy: The Facts
Here's what I know about you: you're pregnant and you've had sex before. Since you're reading this article, you're probably curious about how to mix the two. Sex leads to pregnancy, but does pregnancy lead to sex? A lot of myths are circulated about this topic and you may have valid questions. Is pregnant sex safe sex? Can the baby feel see what's happening? Will the baby get hurt? Am I still sexy to the one I love? Will I really morph into an insatiable sex addict?
Let's demystify these myths one at a time.
Is pregnant sex safe sex?
Yes. The risk of getting pregnant is at 0%, making it the safest sex ever in that regard. A lot of couples enjoy the freedom of having sex during pregnancy because, whether or not the pregnancy was intentional, there is no longer a need for family planning. You still want to adhere to the same stringent rules when it comes to sexually transmitted diseases. If your partner has a disease, like Herpes, always use a condom and avoid oral sex.
In most cases, sex does not disrupt your pregnancy. If you have a history of miscarriages, experience unexplained bleeding during your pregnancy, or have been placed on bed or pelvic rest, you should avoid sex. Other reasons to avoid sex is if you have placenta previa, or your water has broken. You can continue to have sex late into your pregnancy (if you are so inclined), but sex is sometimes linked to pre-term labor. There is a special chemical in semen called prostaglandins which ripens the cervix. A lot of people have sex as another way to induce labor, but it doesn't seem to work when you want it to, only when you don't want it to.
When it comes to oral sex, your partner must take care to not blow or force air up your vagina. This action could cause an air embolism, which is a potentially fatal condition for you and the baby.
Overall, sex is an extremely natural activity, and one that you shouldn't deny yourself or your partner during the 9 months of pregnancy.
Can the baby feel what's happening?
Yes and no. The baby is enclosed in a bubble of amniotic fluid. This fluid cushions every movement that you make. If you were to trip or make another jerky movement, the baby doesn't feel its severity, because the fluid works as a buffer.
However, if you achieve orgasm through sex, the baby will most likely feel a squeeze. When you have an orgasm, your uterus contracts, and because the baby is inside of your uterus, he or she will feel it. Will your baby know what's happening? No, not at all. A lot of couples are weirded out by a marked increase or decrease in movement immediately following sex. Your baby will either move more, because he is excited by all the bumping and, ahem, noises, or your baby will move less, because he was rocked to sleep by the "motion of the ocean".
You must approach sex during pregnancy with a lot of humor because, like it or not, there's always a third person in your bedroom, and never in a sexy way.
Will the baby get hurt?
No. The baby will feel the light contractions, but it doesn't appear to cause them any discomfort.
Am I still sexy to the one I love?
A big issue for all pregnant women is feeling attractive, and sexy. It's weird to think of yourself as being sexy while carrying a little baby. You have a lot of hormones going through you, especially estrogen and testosterone. Your maternal mode will fight with your impulse to have sex. Take into consideration that the same thing is happening with your guy. On one side, he's thinking about the baby and impending fatherhood, and on the other, he's moved by a need to have sex.
Most men find the pregnant body desirable-- the Rubenesque figure with full breasts and soft curves. Some men are not exactly turned on by the a big, round belly, but very few men are repulsed by it. It's a good idea to talk with your partner about his concerns on and expectations of your appearance. You can't change the inevitable pregnant belly but you can know, once and for all, if your guy is still turned on by you.
Will I really morph into an insatiable sex addict?
There are two type of pregnant women: insatiable sex kitten, or asexual moo cow. Unfortunately for me, I fell into the latter, and whenever I did have sex, especially in the third trimester, I felt like a cow getting tipped over. Sex during pregnancy can be awkward. Oftentimes, your body wants to have sex and your mind doesn't. The further along in pregnancy you are, the more crowded your mind with thoughts about labor and nursery decor. Trying to negotiate your thoughts, growing belly, sore breasts, and less-than-timid hormones can be very difficult. If you're able to succeed, you may be rewarded with the best orgasm of your life. The extra blood flow engorges your vagina, and creates extra tightness in that area. Your partner may love it, but you may not. A percentage of women find themselves over-stimulated, and feel uncomfortable and virginal, if you know what I mean.
Many women experience vaginal dryness during pregnancy. Invest in a water-based lubricant. It will help with the dryness and tightness.
Comfortable positions to try are woman-on-top, and man-from-behind. These positions are especially useful during the latter end of your 2nd and throughout your 3rd trimesters. Be careful, though, to coordinate, because you don't want to be tipped over.
Jacqueline Thomas is a writer and stay at home mum who enjoys watching Star Trek and staying in the moment.