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How Pregnancy Changes Your Sex Life

Katlyn Joy |28, May 2014


Sex is how we get pregnant, but once we conceive, what happens to our sexuality for those next nine months?

Is Sex During Pregnancy Safe?

Sex is typically quite safe during pregnancy, right up until the end. However, there are exceptions, of course. If you have bleeding from your vagina that is unexplained, you should abstain. Likewise if you're leaking amniotic fluid. If you have a significant risk of preterm labor or giving birth prematurely, your physician may advise you to not have sex. Also, s woman with incompetent cervix, or a cervix that open prematurely should abstain from sex. Lastly, sometimes placenta previa, if it is covering your cervix, will mean no sexual relations.

If your doctor nixes sex, get a direct and full explanation of what is off-limits. For instance, can you have any penetration vaginally? Should you avoid orgasm through any methods, including self-stimulation, or manual stimulation? Is oral sex a no-no as well? While you may not feel comfortable asking, it's nothing to be shy about.

If any couple engages in oral sex being performed on the mother, care must be taken not to force air into the vagina due to the remote chance of an air embolism occurring.

Will I Feel Like It (ever again?)

Sex among pregnant women is like anything else; it depends on the woman and the pregnancy. Some women won't much enjoy physical intimacy if they have frequent or intense bouts of morning sickness. The good news is that this usually dissipates by week 12.

It's been a common belief that sex in the final weeks of the third trimester greatly tapers off, but a study published in The Journal of Women's Health in 2008, found that 62 percent of women were sexually active in their last trimester. In fact, 40 percent reported having sex in the period two weeks to two days before delivery.

If you are not in the group still getting your groove on, it's OK. All kinds of things interfere with a woman's desire or ability to have sex during pregnancy. Besides morning sickness, some women have various other aches and pains or serious fatigue to contend with. Still, others find sex uncomfortable as their belly swells.

For other couples, the problem may not be physical but rather emotional. If they've experienced a pregnancy loss, they may be concerned about doing anything to risk the pregnancy. However, sex does not contribute to miscarriage, as the most common causes are due to chromosomal problems.

Some men struggle with the idea of harming the baby, or the baby somehow being aware of sexual activity. Both are completely off-base. Your baby is safely tucked inside the uterus, kept behind the barrier of the cervix and insulated by the amniotic fluid. Don't Worry!

An article published in May of 2011 in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, studied literature and previous studies to determine the role of sexual health in expectant couples. The conclusion of the authors was, "Despite fears and myths about sexual activity during pregnancy, maintaining a couple's sexual interactions throughout pregnancy and the postpartum period can promote sexual health and well-being and a greater depth of intimacy."

Staying Intimate with or without Sex

As researchers in the study above stated, sex is important for couples to maintain their intimacy and relationship. However, if you can't, or just don't feel like having sex, you can still keep the connection strong and the flame lit. And if you can and still want to enjoy your physical relationship, keep this tips in mind.

  1. Remember you are the foundation of your family. Keep that foundation strong by making it a priority. That means every conversation you have should not be about baby. Do the things you enjoy with each other, modified to your current situation. Send sweet texts, or naughty ones, regularly. Leave notes for your loved one. Have dates and make time together a regular event. Talk about things you look forward to, fear and are curious about
  2. Experiment with positions that accommodate both your partner and yourself. It may result in hotter times, or giggles aplenty. The important thing is the intimacy.
  3. If you can't have penetration, but orgasm is OK, find ways to accomplish that goal together.
  4. If you can't have sex or orgasm, remember your partner still can. Hint, hint.
  5. Express yourself physically even if not sexually. Hugging, kissing, gentle touches, back and foot massages are just the beginning.

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