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Your Sex Life During Pregnancy

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 14 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Sex Pregnancy Sexual Acts Partner Sex

Many women have questions about having sex during pregnancy but are too embarrassed about this topic to bring it up with friends or medical professionals. Seeking to continue your sex life during pregnancy is nothing to be ashamed of! To help you learn more about this sensitive topic, we have put together some basic answers to frequently asked questions about sex and pregnancy.

Is Sex During Pregnancy Safe?

For women who experience a complication free pregnancy, having sex during this time is completely safe. Their babies are protected by the amniotic sac and uterine muscles, and the mucus plug which seals the cervix is a natural protection against infection. In fact, if there are no complications you can continue to have sex right up until your waters break. But if there are complications to a pregnancy then having sex may not be safe. Placenta previa, cervical insufficiency, dilated cervix, premature labour, vaginal bleeding or discharge, and abdominal cramping may all preclude sex during pregnancy. If you are uncertain about whether or not you can have sex during your pregnancy, just ask your doctor, nurse or midwife.

Are There Any Sexual Acts I Should Avoid During Pregnancy?

Unless you have been told otherwise you can probably continue your sex life as normal with two notable exceptions. First, if you receive oral sex from your partner ask him or her not to blow into your vagina. This could cause an air embolism which could affect either (or both) you or your baby. Also, do not have unprotected sex with a partner you are not certain is free from sexually transmitted infections. If you don't know if your partner has STIs, use a condom or abstain from sexual acts entirely. STIs can affect you and your baby, so pregnancy is not a good time to take a chance.

Can I Have Sex During Pregnancy If I Have Complications?

If you have been told that you should refrain from sex during pregnancy, don't be afraid to question this instruction. Why is it necessary? Does it include all sexual acts? Do they mean no sexual intercourse or just no orgasms? Finding out exactly what is and is not allowed can help you feel more in control of your sex life during pregnancy.

Will Pregnancy Affect My Sex Drive?

Pregnancy may affect your sex drive, either increasing it or decreasing it. Women who have pregnancies plagued by nausea, fatigue and other uncomfortable physical symptoms may well find their sex drives diminished. On the other hand, women who experience an increase in physical well-being, combined with a sense of freedom from birth control and a new intimacy with partners may find their sex drives increased. At the same time your partner's sex drive may be affected by pregnancy so be sure to communicate effectively with him or her about how you each feel.

Will Different Positions Make Sex More Comfortable During Pregnancy?

Different positions may make sex more comfortable during pregnancy, and you will likely need to experiment a bit to find out what feels best for you and your partner. Most women find that missionary position becomes uncomfortable or impossible as a pregnancy progresses, but that straddling a partner or laying on their sides allows for more comfortable intercourse. Some women may never find an position for intercourse which feels comfortable and instead may prefer oral sex or manual stimulation.

Will Sex Feel Different For Me When I'm Pregnant?

Sex may feel different for your when you are pregnant, and it may feel better than normal or much less comfortable. While pregnant both your genitals and breasts are affected, so both may become enlarged and more sensitive. For some women this leads to more pleasurable sensations during sexual acts, but others might find uncomfortable. If you are no longer enjoying a sexual activity, experiment with your partner to find new ways to enjoy your time together.

How Long Can I Continue to Have Sex During A Pregnancy

If you experience a pregnancy that is complication-free and your medical professionals have not advised against it, you can continue to have sex right up until your waters break. In fact, many people swear by having sex or orgasms as a means of bringing about labour!

Sex during pregnancy can be an embarrassing topic to talk about, but there is nothing shameful about finding out how to protect yourself, your baby and your relationship during this time. For more information about your sex life during pregnancy talk to your GP, midwife or contact a branch of the National Childbirth Trust.

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