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THE LOWDOWN ON “PREGNANCY SEX”

 

I’ve heard it all when it comes to pregnancy sex.  “Please tell him it won’t hurt the baby.”  “I can’t stand sex during pregnancy…it is so uncomfortable.”  And my all-time favorite: “Pregnancy sex is the Best. Sex. Ever. (*insert “mic drop” here LOL).”

Now, let’s be honest, your body goes through major changes when you are pregnant.  You might have to get innovative, and it might involve some trial and error, but for those of you who are not yet “inserting a mic drop,” let’s explore this oh-so-important topic.  

I.  COMMON QUESTIONS:

Is it safe to have sex while pregnant?  Sex during a healthy pregnancy is 100% OK; it will not cause early labor or a miscarriage.  However, there are reasons some patients shouldn’t have sex while pregnant.  For example: your placenta is overlying the cervix, you have vaginal bleeding, you have a current pelvic infection, etc.  Therefore, you should ALWAYS ask your doctor if it is safe for you to have sex.

Can sex hurt the baby?  Your baby is safe.  The amniotic sac and the strong muscles of the uterus protect the baby from harm.  Also, the thick mucus plug that seals the cervix helps guard against infection.  No matter how well-endowed your partner is or what type of sexual gymnastics you are capable of, your partner’s penis will not reach the baby.  Just make sure you don’t contract a sexually transmitted infection (also known as a sexually transmitted disease) because that can cause problems with your pregnancy. We will talk about those problems in a future blog post.

Is oral sex OK?  While oral sex is fine, make sure your partner doesn’t blow air into your vagina. In very rare cases, a burst of air can block a blood vessel (air embolism), and that could be a life-threatening condition for you and the baby.

Is anal sex OK?  Anal sex is safe.  However:

a.   If you are constipated or have hemorrhoids, you might want to hold off.  Anal sex can aggravate the hemorrhoids or make them bleed.  

b.  Always practice proper hygiene.  Anal sex that is followed by vaginal sex can allow infection-causing bacteria to spread from the rectum to the vagina.  Therefore, do not allow your partner to insert his penis into your vagina right after it’s been in your anus.  Instead, he should first wash up with soap and water.  If you are using condoms, he should always use a new condom for vaginal sex. The same can be said for oral sex.  Remember that proper hygiene when switching between anal, vaginal and oral sex is always essential, whether pregnant or not.

c.  Remember: sexually transmitted infections are more easily transmitted through anal sex than vaginal intercourse.

Do some pregnant women REALLY enjoy sex?  Absolutely!  In fact, some women even experience their first orgasms during pregnancy.  Why?  In addition to hormonal changes, there is increased blood flow to the sex organs, and the nerve endings are more sensitive.

II.  DOCTOR’S SUGGESTIONS:

  • Be creative and keep mutual pleasure and comfort in mind.
  • Get a pregnancy pillow and get comfortable.
  • Sex during the first trimester: anything goes.
  • Sex during the second trimester: enjoy face-to-face positions because they’ll become more difficult as your belly grows.
  • Sex during the third trimester: spooning, rear-entry, woman on top, and other positions that don’t put pressure on your belly are your best bets.
  • Especially at about 20 weeks, you should start to avoid positions that have you lying on your back, as the uterus can put pressure on your aorta, cutting off blood flow to the baby. Or, wedge a pillow under your left hip to relieve the pressure.
  • Sex toys are OK to use, just make sure they’re clean before introducing them to your vagina.
  • Running out of ideas?  Google is your friend.  There are tons of websites with very “graphic” suggestions.

III.   STILL NOT INTERESTED?

For those of you who are saying, “Yeah, yeah, yeah… I hear you, but I still don’t want to have sex,”   that’s OK.  There’s more to a relationship than intercourse.  Since there is a human being growing inside of you, your partner should cut you some slack.  Looking for valid “reasons”?  No problem.  Early in the pregnancy, you can tell your partner that hormonal fluctuations, fatigue, nausea and breast tenderness have decreased your sexual desire.  Later in the pregnancy, weight gain, back pain, and heat exhaustion can  dampen your enthusiasm for sex.  Also, even if you are super excited about the pregnancy, thinking about the life-changing impact the new addition will bring can be emotionally draining, and that can affect your sex drive. You’ll just have to find other ways to keep the spark alive… #DrNita

 

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