Sex during pregnancy: Frequently asked questions

Many couples think that having sex during pregnancy can harm their baby in the womb and lead to complications following the act. However, it is safe to have sex when pregnant, well most of the time. That being said, you still need to be cautious as your sexual life will not be the same as it was pre-pregnancy. The only instance in which one may want to abstain from sex during pregnancy is if your partner gets hit with certain complications.

Find the answers to the Frequently asked questions on sex during Pregnancy below.

1. Will penetration hurt the pregnancy?

Simply put, no.

During penetration, the uterus may move a little bit and you feel it, people have freaked out something is happening to the baby. In fact, the uterus is just more movable during pregnancy. A mobile home of sorts.

The baby is super protected and has its own filter system that’s really selective about what goes in and comes out. Unless you’ve been instructed to have pelvic rest, sex is OK.

Pelvic rest can be prescribed for issues such as an incompetent cervix or placenta previa.

However, one study found up to 80 percent of men worry about “hurting the baby.” If necessary, take your partner with you to your next OB appointment. They can hear an expert’s reassurance that their penis isn’t touching the baby.

2. Will pregnancy sex cause miscarriage?

Sex won’t cause a miscarriage. Miscarriages are often a result of a fetus not developing normally. A 2011 study also concluded sex doesn’t induce early labor in low-risk pregnancies.

In fact, sex may even help with labor. Some couples have sex up until the woman goes into labor. Unless there is a medical reason or one or both partners are uninterested, couples can do as they please.

However, if you’re having sex with new or multiple partners, wear a condom until you’re sure of their STI status. Sexually transmitted infections can result in potential pelvic inflammatory disease, which can lead to early labor, miscarriage, and other serious health complications.

3. Is bleeding after sex something I should worry about?

It’s always best to talk with one’s physician regarding any concerns. But don’t fully freak out quite yet.

Due to pregnancy changes, your cervix is sensitive and can get irritated easily, leading to bleeding. You’ll notice spotting after sex, when you wipe, and possibly the next day.

Chat with your healthcare provider for ideas on how to minimize any irritation (such as controlling depth of penetration) if you’re not enjoying the anxiety ride.

4. Is it normal for sex to hurt during pregnancy?

Sensitive breasts and nipples can be sexy. But for some, the sensitivity can make interactions painful.

Blood flow and hormones can also make the clitoris very sensitive as well. Pelvic floor issues can be a challenge.

If you’re tempted to “power through” such moments? Don’t. Sex shouldn’t feel like a marathon or endurance sport.

Sex should never hurt, and it’s best to talk openly. There are lots of ways to be intimate. Couples need to find the ones that work for them during the pregnancy.

5. Is it normal to have orgasmic dreams at night during pregnancy?

Yes. Many women have amazing “wet dreams” or sleep orgasms when pregnant.

Another bonus due to higher estrogen levels and increased blood flow. Several people report it with a bit of concern, then were delighted when told it’s normal and will most likely subside after they give birth, so enjoy it!

6. Can different positions influence the sex of my baby?

There are all sorts of common pregnancy myths about sex and gender, Fosnight says. However, she confirms there’s no science at all behind such tales, including conception position, sexual positions during pregnancy, conception date, or time.

7. Why don’t I feel sexy?

Pregnancy is such a unique experience for all women. In Western cultures, we’re often told we’ll feel one of two extremes. You’ll feel wonderful or horrible, you’re either glowing or throwing up.

With ever-shifting hormones and getting used to a new body, there are many changes that can complicate desire. Many women note a decrease in interest, comfort, and desire in the third trimester, according to several studies. And while fatigue and morning sickness may pass, some of the roadblocks may be related to your mindset.

We still have old notions that a mother is prim and proper, and associating sexuality with pregnancy is a hush-hush topic. If [your partner] doesn’t feel sexy, have [them]… look at [their] ideas about being a mother. It is possible to be a mom and remain a sexual being before, during, and after pregnancy.

Pregnancy may also be a time of psychological and sexual exploration for the pregnant person and their partner.

It’s possible you’re finding what used to turn you on doesn’t anymore. That may be just a matter of different tastes (like temporary food cravings) and experimenting to see what works.

8. Is there anything I can do to reconnect with my sexual self?

While each person, pregnancy, and trimester is different, there are a few things you could try to calm the anxieties around your changing body:

  • First, you are recommended to look at images of naked pregnant people or boudoir shoots (yes, turn off Google SafeSearch). Often when doing this exercise you will find a particular visual and say, “She looks like me! Oh, she’s beautiful.”
  • Offer yourself positive self-talk, saying statements like “I’m beautiful” or “I’m growing a human being.”
  • Notice how often you caress your belly. Due to pregnancy, you have increased nerve sensitivity along with increased blood flow. Caress your skin and enjoy the boosted sensations.
  • If your G-string no longer fits, keep looking for something that makes you feel pretty and sexy and that perhaps helps display your growing rack. There are plenty of maternity lingerie options out there.
  • Head in for a pregnancy boudoir shoot of your own. Whether you want to go lacy lingerie or pregnant pinup, there are options for every body type and trimester. And trust us, when you’re 81, you’ll think you looked AMAZING.
  • Add “Your Orgasmic Pregnancy” by Danielle Cavallucci and Yvonne Fulbright to your bookshelf. It’s a coffee-table book with photos, drawings, and positions to consider.

9. Is there anything sexual that’s unsafe?

If you’re hoping to enact out a little 50 Shades of Pregnancy, go ahead — as long as you and your partner already have experience with floggers, rope, and more, Fosnight says.

If you’re the recipient of spankings, your partner should avoid the belly and abdomen and any tie that could constrict blood flow. If you’re new to the scene, maybe wait to put on the cuffs until after pregnancy (and a full night’s sleep).

Definitely create boundaries of what touch is acceptable if you get started, too.

And while sessions of anal and riding on a Hitachi are perfectly fine, don’t allow anyone to blow air into your vagina. Although rare, air blown into the vagina may cause embolisms and even death.

10. Is no-sex a good idea during pregnancy ?

Not really! There is no reason why a couple cannot satisfy their desires. At times, due to hormonal changes, women experience a peak in their libido during the second trimester. In some cases, when a pregnancy crosses term, sex is advised to help soften the cervix as sperm has the ability to do so. Also, nipple stimulation can cause uterine contractions. Sex is considered a fun way to induce labour. However, it is advised to consult your doctor before you try this.

11. When can I start having sex after having my baby?

As one study noted, the standard recommendation is about six weeks. Women with few complications often start having sex again before that, as long as tearing or infection isn’t present.

Remember, “normal” is a relative term when it comes to sex during pregnancy. You and your partner need to discuss what feels right for both of you.

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