Thinking of sex during pregnancy? Follow these do’s and don’ts

Published on: 25 March 2022, 22:57 pm IST

Most women steer clear of sex during pregnancy, but the good news is you can do it, keeping in mind certain tips.

sex during pregnancy
Is sex during pregnancy safe? Come find out! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Pregnancy brings with it a lot of physiological changes to a woman’s life. As pregnancy disrupts the body’s normal hormone levels, a woman’s sexual desires, responses, and types of sexual practices are also affected. Women’s sexual interests and desires are found to decline throughout their pregnancy, and it may be due to the fear of harming the foetus or fetal demise. Most women and their partner can have many unanswered questions about sex during pregnancy.

They wonder if it’s safe to have sex during pregnancy or if it will harm the unborn baby. They may want to know what to avoid during pregnancy, but due to the lack of data and resources for women, they often find themselves hesitating to approach sexual health during pregnancy. Becoming more aware of the do’s and don’ts of pregnancy and sexual health will help women approach sexual health in pregnancy with more realistic expectations.

do’s and don’ts of sex during pregnancy
You need to take extra care for having sex your pregnancy! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Why do pregnant women experience a decline in sexual desire?

Each and every woman’s experience during pregnancy is different. While some feel no sexual desire as they feel self-conscious, others may feel more aroused and connected to their sexuality when they’re pregnant. It is entirely normal for a decline in sexual desire as your body changes. Some common reasons women may have a low sex drive in the first trimester are that they may experience nausea, fatigue, and breast tenderness.

As the uncomfortable symptoms decrease and the increased blood flow in your body enhances your orgasm, there is an increased libido and less physical discomfort in pregnant women in the second trimester. In the third trimester of pregnancy, there is a prominent decrease in the sex drive of women.

Do’s of sex during pregnancy

Sex is completely natural and normal if you’re having a pregnancy with no complications. Contrary to popular belief, sexual intercourse will not harm the foetus as the penis does not go beyond the vagina. The baby is protected by the abdomen, uterus’ muscular walls, and the amniotic sac’s fluid. So, having sex and orgasms will not put you at risk of going into labour early or causing a miscarriage. Therefore, it is safe to practice sex during pregnancy unless your doctor advises you to avoid it.

While having sex during pregnancy, it is crucial to communicate with your partner and express what works openly. Talking about intimacy will help both partners discuss their comforts and draw necessary boundaries. Also, do not forget to u

do’s and don’ts of sex during pregnancy
Although it is safe, consult your doctor before having sex during pregnancy. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

It is also possible that your partner’s desire for sex can fluctuate during your pregnancy. They may feel more connected with you. Or there is also the possibility they may be feeling anxious about the prospect of parenthood and become disconnected. That is why communication is crucial to deal with these issues

Dont’s of sex during pregnancy

There are certain situations where your doctor will advice you against sex during pregnancy. These include:

1. History of past miscarriages

While it is safe for most people to have sex during pregnancy, people advised not to have sex include those who have had a history of past miscarriages.

Also, read: Sex during pregnancy: 4 things every expecting mother must remember by heart

2. Increased risk of pre-term labour

Women who are at risk for preterm labour must not indulge in sex, since they have had contractions before 37 weeks of pregnancy or experienced vaginal bleeding, discharge, or cramping without a known cause.

3. If your placenta is too low in the uterus

In that case, sex may increase the risk of bleeding.

4. Issues with the cervix

Any problems with your cervix will also put you at higher risk of going into early labour or having a miscarriage.

It is recommended to consult with your doctor about whether it’s safe to have sex during pregnancy. Do not waste any time and immediately call your doctor if you face unusual symptoms such as pain, bleeding, contractions, fluid, or discharge.

Dr Madhushree Vijayakumar Dr Madhushree Vijayakumar

Dr. Madhushree Vijayakumar is a consultant obstetrician & gynaecologist at Motherhood Hospital, Bangalore.

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