If you’re wondering whether having sex while pregnant is ok or not, you aren’t alone. Many couples have different viewpoints on the subject, and while everyone should respect how they feel, we’ve put together some important information about intimacy. There are many reasons why sex during pregnancy can be more enjoyable, even if you are doing it less. To begin with, there is an increase in vaginal lubrication, and the enlargement of the genital area sometimes helps people become orgasmic for the first time, and on some occasions, even multi-orgasmic. Secondly, the lack of birth control, or the return to sex as pleasure instead of procreation is also something that relaxes the mind, making intimacy pleasurable.
Of course, there are also some reasons why people abstain from sex during this time. The main reasons are the fear of hurting the baby, nausea related to the pregnancy, fatigue, awkwardness with your body, pain, etc. While each of these reasons are completely valid, knowledge is power — talk to your partner, and also to your doctor — both of whom will be able to put you at ease and allow you to enjoy all the facets of being pregnant.
Your sexual practices during pregnancy will depend on a few factors:
- Your previous beliefs about sex
- Your partner's beliefs about sex
- The physical aspects of your pregnancy
- The emotional aspects of your pregnancy
Change is rampant during pregnancy both in your body and your beliefs. While women may feel big, ‘fat’, large, and generally uncomfortable, men usually find the pregnant body very erotic and desirable. Talk about your differences and attitudes towards your body and sexuality. Make sure to discuss the feelings that you have about sex and sexuality. These discussions can lead to a more fulfilling sex life and nip sex problems in the bud. If either of you do not feel like having sex, this can be particularly important. Explain to your partner what is going on and what they can do to help you be sexual. For example: more cuddling, relaxing baths, romantic dinners, massages, mutual masturbation, whatever you and your partner agree upon is exactly what you need.
The hormonal fluctuations of pregnancy also play a part in your reactions to making love, as do the trimesters. Many women are too fatigued and nauseous to be interested in sex during the first trimester, while the second trimester brings a new sense of delight as the abdomen grows, and again, in the third trimester the desire may wane as well.
There are certain positions that are more comfortable as you expand. These are:
This position is one of the most ideal for sex in pregnancy through all trimesters. Have your partner lie on his back while you straddle him. The position ensures that there’s no weight on your belly and you can control the level of penetration.
Lie with your partner behind, facing your back. Let him enter you from behind. You can prop your legs up with some pillows for added support as your belly grows bigger.
This position is perfect for shallow penetration and can be comfortable for you even in the later months.
Kneel and bend over on your elbows as you let your partner enter you from the rear. Place pillows under your tummy for extra support.
Both of you need to lie on your side, creating a V-shape with your bodies. Face your partner and drape both your legs over his hip. This way, he can keep his body weight off your belly.
Have your partner sit on a sturdy chair as you straddle him. Place the chair against a wall or some other furniture so you can hold or lean on for support.
When not to have sex and/or orgasms during pregnancy:
- Your practitioner has advised against it
- You have a history of premature birth or labor
- You are carrying multiples
- Placenta previa (Where part of the placenta is covering the cervix)
- You have a dilated cervix
- Your water has broken
- You suffer from pelvic pressure or lower back pain
- You are experiencing bleeding or abnormal discharge
- You or your partner has an active sexually transmitted disease
- Don't rush into anything. Having sex before you are ready (in mind or in body) can be harmful to your relationship. Ideally, six weeks post-delivery your body will be recovered enough from childbirth.
- Plan your birth control. Being stressed thinking you might have had an ‘accident’ will be counter-productive.
- Plan some alone time, even if it's just to cuddle. Having a baby may leave you feeling "touched out," but some special snuggle time with your partner can help revive that, even before sexual intercourse is allowed or wanted.
- Get to know each other – again! You're both having to adjust your life to being parents, so sharing your thoughts and feelings always helps.
- Be spontaneous. Sex at bedtime and in the bedroom might not be the ‘right’ place and time always. Get creative and try something new.
- A little extra help never hurts. Over-the-counter lubricants get rid of the worry if your body is not cooperating. However, if you think there is a problem, and it is making you concerned, talk to your practitioner.
- Quality over quantity. Do whatever works for you.
- Talk about your fears of sexual intercourse. Maybe you're worried about the repair of an episiotomy or some stitches that you had? Perhaps you're concerned about how your partner feels after watching you give birth? Get it out in the open before becoming intimate again.
- ‘No’ is a perfectly acceptable answer. If you aren’t feeling it, you aren’t feeling it. The same goes for your partner. Respect each other’s feelings.