Pregnancy is a beautiful phase that comes into your life. It brings on a rollercoaster of conflicting emotions. You may feel overjoyed because you are growing a life inside you while also feeling frustrated with the morning sickness and disappearing waistline.
The two pink lines on your pregnancy test can change your world and make you worry about a ton of things. You will be in continuous worry about your baby’s development and other health-related factors. However, another thing that will pique your interest is the question of pregnancy sex.
But as per obstetricians, it is perfectly safe to have sex while being pregnant. In fact, many people say that it is comparatively more fun. If your pregnancy is uncomplicated and healthy, then there is absolutely no reason not to enjoy pregnancy sex.
This article will detail to you all the important elements that you need to know about sex during pregnancy. It will help you fulfil your desires while also ensuring the safety of yourself and your unborn baby.
#1 Is pregnancy sex absolutely safe?
Yes. Having sex will not harm your baby because your baby is not in your vagina. The baby is cocooned in their tiny vault, which is impenetrable. The vault is within the strong uterus muscles, cushioned by amniotic fluid, and behind your cervix.
The use of sex toys and vibrators is also perfectly alright. However, you should keep everything clean and avoid having very vigorous sex. Therefore, as long as your pregnancy has no complications like placenta or preterm labour issues, your sexual activity won’t cause any discomfort to the baby.
#2 Can pregnancy sex result in miscarriages or trigger labor?
Participating in sexual activities during your pregnancy will not cause miscarriage. People who believe that have no reason to do so since sex is not a reason for miscarriages. Apart from the fear of miscarriage, another thing that keeps people away from pregnancy sex is labor.
Many people believe that having sex during late pregnancy can trigger labor. However, it is not true and has never been confirmed via scientific studies. But if you are nearing your delivery date, there are chances that having sex can result in faster delivery. However, there are cases where the theory does not apply.
Sexual activity during late pregnancy can, however, cause Braxton Hicks contractions. They are mild contractions that certain women experience when their delivery date is near or during the end months of their pregnancy. Nevertheless, these contractions are not harmful and do not induce labor, so there is nothing to worry about.
And as mentioned before, if you have a risky pregnancy, then avoiding sex is the ideal option. Your obstetrician will also say the same, and hence following that advice will benefit you.
Benefits of pregnancy sex
- Helps you to stay fit even during pregnancy since sex burns calories.
- Partners often feel neglected during pregnancy since they are unable to spend enough time together. Intercourse creates a bond between the partners, increases their intimacy, and brings them closer.
- Sex enhances IgA, an antibody that prevents cold and other infections from affecting you and your baby.
- The release of endorphins due to orgasms keeps both the baby and mother happy, which is an essential factor during pregnancy.
#3 Can you have sex without condoms during pregnancy?
It is not a necessity to use condoms during pregnancy if you are in a mutually monogamous relationship. However, if you are not, then you should definitely use condoms. If you choose to perform sexual activities with someone new, then also the use of condoms is a must.
Now, if you are performing sexual activities with your partner only, then there is nothing to worry about since the risk of STIs is comparatively lesser. But if your partner has an active sexually infected disease or is recently diagnosed with one, then you must avoid all kinds of sex, such as oral, vaginal, anal with them. This is because choosing to have sex with them will be harmful to you and your baby.
#4 Which is better- oral or anal sex?
If you have to choose between anal and oral sex, then the latter is safer during pregnancy than the initial one. Continuing oral sex during pregnancy is perfectly alright. However, there are particular factors that you should keep in mind.
Firstly, as your delivery date comes closer, your cervical mucus starts thinning. Therefore, things can become quite messy. Secondly, your partner should avoid blowing air into your vagina since it can cause air embolisms that can be life-threatening.
If you want to have anal sex, then also it is okay. It won’t cause harm to the baby but can be uncomfortable for you if you have pregnancy hemorrhoids. So, avoiding anal and vaginal sex is better to keep away from any kind of infection.
#5 Are cramps or spots after sex dangerous?
Do not freak out or start worrying if you experience cramping after sex. Having cramping for an hour or two right after sex is not something unusual. This occurs because of prostaglandins in semen and orgasms that cause orgasms. So, relax, drink some water, and put your legs up. However, if the cramps become worse, then contact your OB.
The same applies to spots. Don’t start panicking. The blood vessels on your cervix area become very fragile because of increased blood flow. Therefore, when you’re having sex, there are chances of minor bleeding if there is any rubbing around your cervix.
However, you should call your OB if you experience menstrual bleeding since it will indicate that your placenta is breaking away from your uterus. If there is any water discharge, then also you should contact your OB since it means that your water has broken or is leaking somehow. But these are very rare occasions and hence should not disrupt your sex drive.
When should you avoid sex?
There can be cases where your OB will prohibit you from taking part in any kind of sexual activity. And if your OB says that there is no sex, it means there should be absolutely no intercourse or any kind of activity that results in orgasms. Your OB will ask you to avoid sex if-
- You have had a history of preterm labor or preterm birth, or you have the risk of preterm labor in your current pregnancy. The reason behind this is that sexual activity, like an orgasm, nipple stimulation, and semen’s prostaglandins increase the chances of early labor causing preterm birth. In usual cases, the doctors insert prostaglandins into the vagina when they need to induce labor, whereas if you have sex, then the prostaglandins are put there naturally.
- You have placenta previa where your placenta covers your cervix’s opening or placenta abruption where your placenta is separated from the uterus.
- You have cervical incompetence, which means that your cervix opens prematurely, and having sex during this condition will expose your baby to bacteria and infections.
- You are pregnant with twins.
- You have unexplained vaginal bleeding or a considerable amount of blood loss.
- Your amniotic fluid is leaking, or your water has broken.
#6 Best positions to enjoy pregnancy sex
Since pregnancy is a delicate issue, the sex positions should also be comfortable and must not put pressure on your belly. The missionary position is quite comfortable. Along with that, side-by-side positions or doggie style is also very comfortable.
You get to manage the speed and depth of penetration in these positions since going too deep too fast might get uncomfortable for you. Some positions also provide support to your belly. However, if you are in your third trimester, then you should avoid the missionary position since it involves you lying on your back.
The doctors don’t want you to lie on your back since your baby’s weight will put excessive pressure on your major organs and arteries like the aorta and vena cava, resulting in decreased blood flow to the baby. Therefore, choose a sex position that is comfortable and lets you control your desires.
#7 Is it okay not to desire sex during pregnancy?
Yes, absolutely. Talk to your partner and explain to them your situation. There are other ways to get intimate so if you don’t want sex, then engage in those. Lovingly share your concerns with each other, and you will have no issues.
#8 Sex after delivery
After giving birth, every mother needs enough time to recover and properly heal. If you have a normal delivery, your OB-GYN will permit you to have sex after a six-week postpartum checkup. During this resting period, your cervix will close, the body will heal, and postpartum bleeding will stop.
If you had C-section, then that will also heal and prevent the occurrence of infection. However, the decision is completely yours to make. Other factors also affect your sex drive after pregnancy since your vagina becomes extremely dry after delivery due to reduced estrogen because of breastfeeding. If you had a rough delivery, then you will remain sore for days as well.
Some people even avoid sex because they are simply exhausted and suffer from sleeplessness because of having to look after the new member. So, there is no specific time. Just give yourself time to heal, and continue with your activities when you feel ready.