Pregnancy & Sex
Sex is a topic that many pregnant women and their partners have questions about, but find it difficult to ask. We hope this information will be helpful.
SEXUAL DESIRE DURING PREGNANCY
Most couples notice some changes in their sexual feelings during pregnancy. This is not surprising given the rapid changes in the women’s body and emotions.
It is easy to think of the body changes that may cause the woman to lose interest in sex: nausea, fatigue, swelling, a large baby “in the way,” and a feeling of pressure in the vagina. It is hard to feel sexy when you are vomiting.
Some changes may make sex feel better: more vaginal wetness, the mild fullness around the vagina, and not needing to bother with birth control anymore. How the woman and her partner feel about the pregnancy, about being a parent, and making love to someone who is a parent also can increase or decrease the interest in sex.
We all need to feel loved, and sex can be an important part of that. Hurt feelings are the most common reasons for sexual problems. It is important to talk with your partner about the changes in your sex life. If you don’t want sex, ask what else you can do to make him/her feel loved and cared for (such as hugs, kisses, massages, a special meal, or just saying “I love you”). You may be surprised by the answer.
HOW DOES THE BABY FEEL ABOUT IT?
Fear of hurting the baby is a common reason that couples stop having sex during pregnancy. In a normal pregnancy, the uterus and the bag of waters very well pad the baby. The baby may become more active with sexual activity because of the movements and sounds, but she or is fine. Also: During sex, the man’s penis is not bumping or hitting the baby.
Also, having sex consistently toward the end of your pregnancy may help you go into labor on time.
WHEN IS SEX NOT SAFE?
Although most women can safely have sexual intercourse through the whole pregnancy, there are times when it is not safe:
- Premature or early labor with this pregnancy or a previous one
- Vaginal or abdominal pain
- Any bleeding from the vagina
- Broken bag of waters
- Sexually transmitted infection that has not been treated (in the women or her partner)
Your provider will discuss this with you if any of these apply to you.
SOMETHING IS COMING BETWEEN US ...
Even when the woman and the man want to have sex, it can sometimes awkward as the baby gets bigger. You have two choices:
- Find other ways to show your love and desire for each other, such as hugs, kisses, massages, genital touching, and oral sex.
- Try new positions for intercourse, such as side lying, women on top, rear entry into the vagina or spoon position, or a pillow under the women’s hips.
In a normal pregnancy, it is safe to have intercourse until the start of labor. Finally, sex is important to couples before, during, and after pregnancy. We hope this has answered some of your questions. If you would like to talk more about it, let your nurse-midwife or physician know.