Sexual Intercourse in Pregnancy

Can we have sex  in pregnancy?

There are normally no restrictions on sexual activities in pregnancy.

Because of anatomical changes with your larger uterus in advanced pregnancy different sexual intercourse positions may need to be adopted.iStock_000010040208XSmall_thumb

When are there restrictions on sexual intercourse in pregnancy?

  • Threatened miscarriage – it is sensible to avoid sex for about 1 week after the bleeding ceases.
  • Bleeding in advanced pregnancy except low lying placenta (placenta prevail) – it is sensible to avoid sex for about 1 week after the bleeding ceases.
  • Low lying placenta without bleeding – sex is ok but avoid deeper penetration and notify if any bleeding
  • Low lying placenta with bleeding – sexual intercourse should be avoided. Notify me of bleeding.
  • Threatened preterm labour – sexual intercourse should be avoided
  • Rupture of membranes – sexual intercourse should be avoided.

When is sexual intercourse encouraged?

If you are at term gestation then frequent sex with deeper penetration can stimulate the onset of labour

Why don’t I feel like having sex?

  • Changes in you sex hormone levels with being pregnant can have an impact on your libido – either way. You may have a stronger or weaker libido in pregnancy.
  • Increased vaginal discharge, which is normal in pregnancy, can make you feel less sexually appealing to your husband /partner or to be worried about infection. Having a heavy discharge done not mean you have an infection. If you are worried about infection let me know. If you have shower or a good wash before sex you feel better. Douching is not a good idea in pregnancy.
  • Changes to your shape with pregnancy and especially if you have stretch marks you may not feel you are sexually appealing to your husband /partner. This is not usually the case. Often your husband / partner will find your new shape more appealing
  • Breasts are too tender. Change position for sexual intercourse to avoid pressure on your breasts or to wear a good bra can help.
  • Worried sexual penetration will hurt your baby. Relax. You baby is well cushioned inside and, as long as there are none of the contraindications above, you can safely have sex
  • Tiredness this is very common, especially if you are working or have children sex can be the last thing on your mind. Try to work in sex when you have more time, no children, and are less tired – such as on weekends.
  • Sex orgasm is too painful. This is not unusual in pregnancy. It has to do with the large size of the uterine muscle mass and pelvic blood congestion that happens in pregnancy. With arousal and climax there is even more pelvic blood congestion and smooth muscle contractions which can be very painful and limit your enjoyment. Nothing can be done though it will be worst with repeated orgasms in a session. Some women will have sex to satisfy they husband’s / partner’s need and enjoy the intimacy but will avoid orgasm happening.

My husband / partner wants more sex than me.

Sex is usually a higher biological priority for the male than female. While your husband can be very patient and understanding it is important to be sensitive to his biological needs.

Posted by Dr Gary Sykes on -

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