Sex During Pregnancy: Is It Possible?by Allison Hutton
A pregnant woman's sex drive can change as often as her moods. Through the different stages of pregnancy, different questions and concerns arise as to the safety of having sex while pregnant. Before I address some of the more common questions, I will state that the consensus among most physicians is that sex is absolutely safe at all stages of pregnancy, provided the pregnancy is not high-risk, intercourse is not painful, and both partners are willing.
During the first trimester, your sex life can remain as active as it has always been. However, morning sickness and fatigue can put a damper on anyone's libido. Despite popular belief, there is no increased risk of miscarriage due to intercourse. If you have a history of miscarriage however, your physician may ask that you abstain from sex until the pregnancy is deemed healthy, and your physician gives the okay.
For most women, the second trimester is the most pleasant one. The morning sickness usually subsides, and fatigue gives way to energy spurts. Most women feel comfortable, and rather willing, to resume sexual relations during the second trimester. During this time, you are not yet overly bulky, and your pregnant body may be very attractive to your partner. Unless you hear otherwise from your doctor, sex during this time is absolutely safe.
The third trimester can bring a whole new set of issues to your situation. If you have never yet been to this arena, you will find that the ability to be spontaneous, creative, and outright mobile can be at best, difficult. Often times, it is not the pregnant woman concerned with sex at this point, but rather their partner. I can remember my husband being so sure that sex during the third trimester would either harm our unborn daughter, or scar her for life. I, on the other hand, had a third trimester sex drive that would rival the libido of an eighteen-year-old boy. Looking back, I am not sure if it was the sex I was interested in, or rather the prospect of bringing on labor through intercourse. In either case, I was huge, clumsy, awkward, and I was unstoppable!
Here are some of the most common questions regarding sex during pregnancy, many of which I asked my own doctor. Do not be ashamed to discuss intercourse during pregnancy with your doctor or midwife; most likely they will have all of the answers you will need!
Is it safe to have sex during pregnancy?
Most doctors will give you a resounding "yes!" Unless, of course, you have a history of premature labor, bleeding, uterine infections, or other conditions which could spark the onset of problems.
Will sex feel as good when I am pregnant?
Surprisingly, sex may actually feel better during pregnancy. While pregnant, the increased blood flow to the pelvic area can heighten the sensation during sex. However, there are women who feel some discomfort for the same reason. If you have any discomfort during sex, be sure to discuss this with your doctor or midwife.
I have no sex drive since I've become pregnant, and my partner is frustrated. Is this my fault?
Of course your feelings regarding sex will change. Your body is being flooded with hormones. You may be growing at an alarming rate. Many women feel unattractive, especially later in pregnancy. But know this; many men find the body of a pregnant woman to be sensual, attractive and amazing. Discuss your feelings with your partner. And remember that you can be intimate without making love.
I just can't get comfortable during sex. What other positions could make sex less awkward?
If the missionary position has become more like climbing Everest, you may need to re-think exactly how you are going about things. Perhaps you may want to reverse the roles, with your partner on the bottom, instead of you. Another option, that also takes the pressure off of your belly, is the "spoon" position. Each of you lay on your side, with your partner behind you. Additionally, you could lay at the end of the bed, with your partner kneeling or standing on the floor at the foot of the bed. Try different things, and you will come across something that works for both of you.
Will sex bring on labor?
The answer to this depends on whom you talk to. Many doctors and midwives will tell you that there is no way to bring on labor (for the full-term pregnancy), like a daily dose of love. Studies show that there is a chemical in semen, which will soften the cervix, and aid in the onset of labor. However, if your water has broke, you should definitely abstain from sexual intercourse. Once your water breaks, you are at an increased risk for infection. Otherwise, it can't hurt to try!
There are as many questions as there are pregnant women. If you have any concerns, discuss them with your doctor. But remember that love is what brought you to this place in your lives. Making love, intimacy and romance should not stop, simply because you are pregnant. They may need "revamped" a bit, but they need not stop. Discuss all of your feelings and concerns with your partner, and remember that where there's a will, there's a way!
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