Sunday, December 28, 2014

Should Women Have Sex During Pregnancy?

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Should Women Have Sex During Pregnancy?
Multiple Responses:
1.
Is it safe to have sex while I'm pregnant?
Most women who are having a normal pregnancy may continue to have sex right up until their water breaks or they go into labor. You won't hurt the baby by making love. The amniotic sac and the strong muscles of the uterus protect your baby, and the thick mucus plug that seals the cervix helps guard against infection.

And while orgasm may cause mild uterine contractions (as can nipple stimulation and the prostaglandins in semen), they are generally temporary and harmless.

There are some circumstances, though, in which you may need to modify your activity or abstain from sex altogether for part or all of your pregnancy. Your midwife or doctor should let you know whether you have – or develop – any complications that make sex a no-go. If you're uncertain, ask your practitioner.

Will sex feel different now that I'm pregnant?
Many women report that sex feels different during pregnancy. Some find it more pleasurable, at least at times. Others may generally find it less so, for part or all of the pregnancy. Here's what's going on.

Increased blood flow to the pelvic area can cause engorgement of the genitals. The heightened sensation that results may add to your pleasure during sex. You may have more vaginal discharge or moistness, which could also be a plus.

On the other hand, you may not like how these changes feel and may find that genital engorgement gives you an uncomfortable feeling of fullness. And, as mentioned above, you may also feel some mild abdominal cramps or contractions during or immediately after intercourse or orgasm.

Your breasts may feel tingly, tender, and unusually sensitive to touch, particularly in the first trimester. The tenderness generally subsides, but your breasts may remain more sensitive. Some women will find this heightened sensitivity to be a turn-on, while others won't (and may even prefer that their breasts not be touched at all).

Let your partner know if anything feels uncomfortable, even if it's something you're used to doing together. If you find you're feeling turned on but not enjoying intercourse, consider other erotic activities, such as mutual pleasuring, oral sex, or self-stimulation. Experiment and make adjustments as a couple to make sex relaxing and pleasurable for both of you.

Remember, too, that there's more to physical intimacy than sex. If you don't feel like having sex or your practitioner has advised you not to, you can still hug, kiss, and caress each other.

I haven't really been in the mood since I got pregnant. Is this normal?
There's a wide range of individual experiences when it comes to sexual desire during pregnancy. Some women have a heightened libido throughout pregnancy, while others find they're less interested in sex. Many women find that their sexual appetite fluctuates, perhaps depending on how they're otherwise feeling physically and emotionally.

You may feel too tired, moody, or nauseated to make love, especially in the first trimester. It's not unusual to feel overwhelmed by the physical and emotional changes you're going through. But take heart – you may find that your libido returns in the second trimester after morning sickness and fatigue have eased up.

It's also not uncommon, however, for desire to wane again in the third trimester, particularly in the last month or two. At this point, you may be too big, achy, or exhausted to make love comfortably. You may feel self-conscious about how your body has changed or preoccupied with the approach of labor and birth.

Let your partner know how you feel and reassure him that you still love him. It's crucial to keep the lines of communication open and to support each other as best you can as you go through these changes together.

Remember, too, that there's more to physical intimacy than sex. If you don't feel like having sex or your practitioner has advised you not to, you can still hug, kiss, and caress each other.

I haven't really been in the mood since I got pregnant. Is this normal?
There's a wide range of individual experiences when it comes to sexual desire during pregnancy. Some women have a heightened libido throughout pregnancy, while others find they're less interested in sex. Many women find that their sexual appetite fluctuates, perhaps depending on how they're otherwise feeling physically and emotionally.

You may feel too tired, moody, or nauseated to make love, especially in the first trimester. It's not unusual to feel overwhelmed by the physical and emotional changes you're going through. But take heart – you may find that your libido returns in the second trimester after morning sickness and fatigue have eased up.

It's also not uncommon, however, for desire to wane again in the third trimester, particularly in the last month or two. At this point, you may be too big, achy, or exhausted to make love comfortably. You may feel self-conscious about how your body has changed or preoccupied with the approach of labor and birth.

Let your partner know how you feel and reassure him that you still love him. It's crucial to keep the lines of communication open and to support each other as best you can as you go through these changes together.

Will my partner's sex drive change?
Most partners find their pregnant lover as attractive as ever or even more so, though not all do. But there are all kinds of reasons your partner's desire may be dampened at least part of the time during your pregnancy. For example, your partner may be apprehensive about the burdens of parenthood, and that anxiety may affect sexual desire.

Probably the most common reason that men become more tentative about sex during pregnancy is a fear that intercourse could hurt the baby. If your partner needs reassurance about the safety of sex during pregnancy, bring him with you to your next prenatal appointment.

Most importantly, talk to each other about your fears and anxieties, as well as your needs and desires. Open communication can defuse a lot of tension and allow you to relax, enjoy each other, and find ways to be intimate, whether or not you're having intercourse.

Is it safe for my partner to give me oral sex?
For the most part, yes. Licking is fine, but your partner shouldn't blow into your genital area. Forcing or blowing air into the vagina could cause an air embolism (a bubble of air that gets into your blood circulation). This happens very rarely, but it could be life-threatening for you or the baby.

It's also not safe for your partner to give you oral sex during pregnancy if he has an active outbreak of oral herpes or feels one coming on. And during the third trimester, if your partner has ever had oral herpes, he should avoid giving you oral sex altogether, whether or not he has symptoms.

If you're not sure what your partner's HIV status is, use a dental dam (a sheet of latex that you place between your genitals and your partner's mouth). There's some evidence suggesting that a person may be able to transmit HIV through microabrasions or tiny cuts in his mouth.

If you have questions about other specific sexual activity, take a look at our expert answers on what's safe during pregnancy.

How can I protect myself from sexually transmitted infections during intercourse?
If you're at risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) – that is, you're not in a mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner – you should abstain from intercourse or at least use latex condoms every time you have sex. If latex isn't a good option for you, use polyurethane male or female condoms.

Which positions tend to be the most comfortable?
You may have to experiment to find the positions that are best for you. Finding a comfortable position for intercourse becomes more of a challenge as your belly grows.

For example, the missionary position (man on top) becomes increasingly difficult as your pregnancy progresses and is nearly impossible late in pregnancy. (If you do use this position after the first trimester, wedge a pillow under you so you're tilted and not flat on your back, and make sure your partner supports himself so his weight is not on your abdomen.

Some couples find pregnancy to be an opportunity to get creative and try some new positions.

Here are some suggestions:
  • Straddle your partner as he lies on his back. This way, there'll be no weight on your abdomen and you can control the depth of penetration.
  • Straddle your partner as he sits on a sturdy chair.
  • Lie side-by-side with your partner facing your back and entering from behind. (Deep thrusts can become uncomfortable as the months pass. Penetration tends to be shallower in this position.)
  • Lie on your side, tilted back somewhat with a pillow wedged under your back to support you as you face your partner. This position allows him to keep most of his weight off your belly.
  • Shift your bottom to the side or foot of the bed and lie back with your knees bent and feet perched at the edge of the mattress. (After your first trimester, wedge a pillow under one side so you're not completely flat on your back.) Your partner kneels or stands in front of you.
  • Support yourself on your knees and elbows. Your partner kneels and enters from behind you.

What kind of symptoms should prompt a call to my practitioner?
It's normal to feel some cramping during or just after intercourse or orgasm, but if it doesn't go away after a few minutes, or if you have any pain or bleeding after sex, call your caregiver.
Don't hesitate to talk to your practitioner whenever you have any questions or concerns about sex, particularly if you're unsure whether you need to abstain or have fears about the baby's safety. If you are told to stop having sex, make sure you understand whether you need to avoid penetration or orgasm or both.

Remember, too, to talk with your practitioner during one of your visits about sex after your baby is born.

2.
If you're pregnant or even planning a pregnancy, you've probably found lots of information about sex before pregnancy (that is, having sex in order to conceive) and sex after childbirth (general consensus: expect a less-active sex life when there's a newborn in the house).

But there's less talk about the topic of sex during pregnancy, perhaps because of cultural tendencies to not associate expectant mothers with sexuality. Like many parents-to-be, you may have questions about the safety of sex and what's normal for most couples.

Well, what's normal can vary widely, but you can count on the fact that there will be changes in your sex life. Open communication will be the key to a satisfying and safe sexual relationship during pregnancy.

Is Sex During Pregnancy Safe?
Sex is considered safe during all stages of a normal pregnancy.

So what's a "normal pregnancy"? It's one that's considered low-risk for complications such as miscarriage or pre-term labor. Talk to your doctor, nurse-midwife, or other pregnancy healthcare provider if you're uncertain about whether you fall into this category.

Of course, just because sex is safe during pregnancy doesn't mean you'll necessarily want to have it! Many expectant mothers find that their desire for sex fluctuates during certain stages in the pregnancy. Also, many women find that sex becomes uncomfortable as their bodies get larger.

You and your partner should keep the lines of communication open regarding your sexual relationship. Talk about other ways to satisfy your need for intimacy, such as kissing, caressing, and holding each other. You also may need to experiment with other positions for sex to find those that are the most comfortable.

Many women find that they lose their desire and motivation for sex late in the pregnancy — not only because of their size but also because they're preoccupied with the impending delivery and the excitement of becoming a new parent.

When It's Not Safe
Two types of sexual behavior aren't safe for any pregnant woman:
  1. If you engage in oral sex, your partner should not blow air into your vagina. Blowing air can cause an air embolism (a blockage of a blood vessel by an air bubble), which can be potentially fatal for mother and child.
  2. You should not have sex with a partner whose sexual history is unknown to you or who may have a sexually transmitted disease (STD), such as herpes, genital warts, chlamydia, orHIV. If you become infected, the disease may be transmitted to your baby, with potentially dangerous consequences.
  3. Doctors sometimes also recommend avoiding anal sex during pregnancy.

If significant complications with your pregnancy are anticipated or detected by your healthcare provider, he or she may advise against sexual intercourse. Common risk factors include:
  • a history or threat of miscarriage
  • a history of pre-term labor (you've previously delivered a baby before 37 weeks) or signs indicating the risk of pre-term labor (such as premature uterine contractions)
  • unexplained vaginal bleeding, discharge, or cramping
  • leakage of amniotic fluid (the fluid that surrounds the baby)
  • placenta previa, a condition in which the placenta (the blood-rich structure that nourishes the baby) is down so low that it covers the cervix (the opening of the uterus)
  • incompetent cervix, a condition in which the cervix is weakened and dilates (opens) prematurely, raising the risk for miscarriage or premature delivery
  • multiple fetuses (twins, triplets, etc.)

Common Questions and Concerns
These are some of the most frequently asked questions about sex during pregnancy.

Can sex harm my baby?
No. Your baby is fully protected by the amniotic sac (a thin-walled bag that holds the fetus and surrounding fluid) and the strong muscles of the uterus. There's also a thick mucus plug that seals the cervix and helps guard against infection. The penis does not come into contact with the fetus during sex.
gestational week 28 illustration

Can intercourse or orgasm cause miscarriage or contractions?
In cases of normal, low-risk pregnancies, the answer is no. The contractions that you may feel during and just after orgasm are entirely different from the contractions associated with labor. However, you should check with your healthcare provider to make sure that your pregnancy falls into the low-risk category.

Some doctors also recommend that all women stop having sex during the final weeks of pregnancy, just as a safety precaution, because semen contains a chemical that may actually stimulate contractions. Check with your healthcare provider to see what he or she thinks is best.

Is it normal for my sex drive to increase or decrease during pregnancy?
Actually, both of these possibilities are normal (and so is everything in between). Many pregnant women find that symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, breast tenderness, and the increased need to urinate make sex too bothersome, especially during the first trimester. Generally, fatigue and nausea subside during the second trimester, and some women find that their desire for sex increases. Also, some women find that freedom from worries about contraception, combined with a renewed sense of closeness with their partner, makes sex more fulfilling. Desire generally subsides again during the third trimester as the uterus grows even larger and the reality of what's about to happen sets in.

Your partner's desire for sex is likely to increase or decrease as well. Some feel even closer to their pregnant partner and enjoy the changes in their bodies. Others may experience decreased desire because of anxiety about the burdens of parenthood, or because of concerns about the health of both the mother and their unborn child.

Your partner may have trouble reconciling your identity as a sexual partner with your new (and increasingly visible) identity as an expectant mother. Again, remember that communication with your partner can be a great help in dealing with these issues.

When to Call the Doctor
Call your healthcare provider if you're unsure whether sex is safe for you. Also, call if you notice any unusual symptoms after intercourse, such as pain, bleeding, or discharge, or if you experience contractions that seem to continue after sex.

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.

3.
Sex during pregnancy is the absolute last thing on some women’s minds, especially when they are dealing with nausea, vomiting, and overwhelming fatigue. Other women, however, may crave sex in pregnancy. And men, too, are split into different camps regarding sex during pregnancy. Some men may find nothing sexier than a pregnant woman, but other men may be too afraid of hurting the baby or their pregnant partner to enjoy sex.

But desire aside, is sex during pregnancy even safe?
The good news -- or bad news, depending on how you look at it -- is that “sex during pregnancy is extremely safe for most women with uncomplicated, low-risk pregnancies,” says Dayna Salasche, MD, an associate professor of obstetrics/gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and an obstetrician at Northwestern Specialists for Women, both in Chicago. “Some people feel like they enjoy sex during pregnancy more and others enjoy it less,” she tells WebMD.

Trimester by Trimester Guide to Sex During Pregnancy
During the first trimester, many women report no great desire for sex because they feel tired and nauseous, but during the second trimester, “they are feeling better, there is more lubrication, and they have engorgement in the genital area,” says Monica Foreman, MD, an obstetrician at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, N.Y. This makes sex more appealing and potentially more satisfying. What’s more, most women are still fairly comfortable during second trimester because their stomach is not overly rounded yet. This is not quite true during third trimester. As the stomach grows and fatigue returns with a vengeance, sex may seem less attractive -- not to mention physically difficult during the final weeks of pregnancy.

If the dad-to-be is nervous about having sex with his increasingly pregnant partner, “we tell them that their baby is well protected. It is an egg surrounded by a pillow and another pillow and that there is no way they will hurt the baby, and that usually makes them feel much better,” Salasche says.

Whether or not having sex close to your due date during third trimester can bring on labor is an old wives’ tale, but having an orgasm causes the release of prostaglandins, which can theoretically cause contractions.

“At 40 weeks, this can’t hurt,” Foreman says.

Sexual Positions During Pregnancy
“As she grows, the traditional man-on-top position is more uncomfortable for pregnant women,” Foreman says. Other, more comfortable sexual positions during pregnancy may include intercourse from behind or side-to-side (spooning).

And “at some point, a pregnant woman should not be flat on her back because the growing uterus can compress major blood vessels,” Salasche says. This can cause pelvic pressure and pain. This phenomenon typically occurs during the third trimester. Lying flat on her back can also cause "supine hypotensive syndrome," which results in a change in heart rate and blood pressure that can lead to dizziness and other symptoms or signs.

One sexual act to avoid during pregnancy is blowing during oral sex, Foreman adds. “If oral sex is performed on the pregnant woman while blowing air into the vagina, the woman can develop an air embolism, which can travel to the lung and have potentially fatal consequences.”

Reasons to Avoid Sex in Pregnancy
Sex during pregnancy may not be safe for women with a history of repeated miscarriages, preterm labor, bleeding, or an incompetent cervix (a condition in which the cervix effaces and dilates without contractions in the second or early third trimester, when the baby’s weight puts increasing pressure on it), she says.

That’s not all. Women with placenta previa (a condition where the placenta is covering the cervix) are at risk of hemorrhaging if they have sex during pregnancy. Women with premature rupture of membranes (PROM), which occurs when the sac containing the developing baby and the amniotic fluid bursts or develops a hole before labor, should also avoid sex during pregnancy, Salasche says.

“If there are not any contraindications, a woman can have intercourse throughout her whole pregnancy,” Foreman says.

Other red flags that sex during pregnancy may not be wise may occur after intercourse. “If you have bleeding or foul-smelling discharge after sex during pregnancy, tell your doctor right away,” she says. Discharge may be a sign of an infection that can travel upward to the uterus, and bleeding may be a sign of a problem in general.

Reasons to Avoid Sex in Pregnancy continued...
Pregnant women should also be aware that if their partner has an STD, they still need to use a barrier method of contraception, such as a condom, to protect themselves.

“Most people think, ‘I am pregnant, I don’t need contraception,‘ but you still need a barrier method for protection against STDs,” says Manju Monga, MD, the Berel Held Professor and the division director of maternal-fetal medicine at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in Houston.

Let’s Talk About Sex During Pregnancy
“We discuss intercourse in the general prenatal discussion because a lot of women feel uncomfortable bringing into up,” Foreman says. “We tell them what is and isn’t OK.”

“I do bring up sex during pregnancy when it is contraindicated,” says Monga, who sees mainly high-risk patients. “Physicians who see low-risk pregnant patients on a day-to-day basis discuss sex at the first prenatal visit, but I tend to see women later in their pregnancy, when they develop complications.”

The bottom line when it comes to sex during pregnancy is “to have fun, listen to your body, and be open with your partner,” Salache says.

4.
Some couples find that pregnancy is a time for great sex. For others it may be a time of concern and fears. Read on to find out more about making love in pregnancy.

Can I have sex while I'm pregnant?
Absolutely! Most parents-to-be worry about this, but if you have a normal pregnancy, you can keep making love right up until your waters break.

However, if you have a history of cervical weakness, a low-lying placenta or bleeding, check with your doctor first.

In a normal pregnancy, having sex is not linked with early miscarriage and is not a cause of vaginal infections.

Try not to worry if you do get a vaginal infection. Sex won't interfere with any antibiotic treatment for the condition. In fact, it's even been linked with a decreased chance of having an early birth, despite the infection. If you do have an infection your husband should wear a condom to ensure he doesn't become infected too.

Studies have also shown that in a normal, healthy pregnancy, there's no link between having sex and premature birth.

Research has even indicated that women who have regular sex during pregnancy may be less likely to give birth prematurely. Having orgasms may also be related to a lower chance of giving birth early.

If you're feeling sexy and well enough, then it's a good thing to keep your love life going throughout pregnancy. Having satisfying sex during this time is good for your relationship, both now and after your baby has arrived.

Will sex harm my baby?
You won't hurt your baby by making love, even with your husband on top. The thick mucus plug that seals your cervix helps guard against infection. The amniotic sac and the strong muscles of your uterus (womb) also protect your baby.

If you orgasm, you may notice your baby moves around more. However, this is because of your pounding heart, not because he knows what's happening or feels discomfort.

However, your doctor may advise you not to have sex if you have experienced:

You may also be advised to avoid sex during pregnancy if your husband has genital herpes. If you catch genital herpes for the first time during pregnancy there's a small risk that it could affect your developing baby.

Will sex feel as good during pregnancy?
It depends. It's even better for some women, not as good for others.

Increased blood flow to your pelvic area during pregnancy can cause your genitals to engorge, and heighten sexual sensation. But some women report that this leaves them with an uncomfortable full feeling after intercourse ends.

Many women find that their clitoris is slightly less sensitive during pregnancy or that their orgasms are less powerful. It's also reasonably common for women to say they can't reach orgasm as easily while they're carrying a baby.

Some mums-to-be find sex painful during pregnancy. This is particularly the case when penetration is deep. However, this can be avoided by adopting sexual positions where penetration is shallow or under your control (see below).

You may experience abdominal cramps after having an orgasm, as this can set off a wave of contractions. This is particularly noticeable in the third trimester. It can be off-putting, but wait a few minutes and the tightening of your uterus will ease, just as with Braxton Hicks contractions.

During pregnancy many couples find that they feel more pleasure from foreplay, oral sex or masturbation than intercourse. So although you may change the way you make love during pregnancy, it doesn't mean you'll be less satisfied!

So if you can, try to keep some level of intimacy going throughout your pregnancy. Not only does it help to keep your relationship healthy, it also makes it more likely you won't have sexual problems after your baby is born.

I've gone off sex since I got pregnant. Is this normal?
Yes! The big changes in your body are bound to alter your sex life. Some women, finally free from worries about conception and contraception, feel sexier than ever. But others are just too tired or feel too nauseous to make love, especially in the first trimester.

The hormones that your body produces during pregnancy are thought to be one reason for loss of libido.

Your state of mind is another factor. If you feel positive about your pregnancy and the changes your body is undergoing, you're likely to feel more sexual. But if you're not particularly happy about the pregnancy or feel insecure about your growing tummy or other issues, this can have a negative effect.

Women who have relationship problems or are experiencing depression are more likely to report that their sex life has deteriorated since becoming pregnant.

Most studies show that the second trimester is the time when women feel the most sexual desire.

Sex drive often wanes in the third trimester as birth, labour and your belly loom large. Many mums-to-be simply feel unattractive or worried about whether their spouse is satisfied sexually.

At any stage of pregnancy, though, there are wide variations in how women feel and how sexually active couples are. What's normal for one person won't necessarily be the same for you.

Will my husband's sex drive change now that I'm pregnant?
It might. It's not uncommon for men to feel as attracted as usual to their spouse in the first two trimesters, but then to feel less interested in sex in the third trimester. This doesn't necessarily mean that your husband doesn't find you attractive any more.

Common reasons for lack of desire in dads-to-be include:
  • fears that sex can hurt the baby
  • worries about you and your unborn baby's health
  • feelings of apprehension about the burdens of parenthood
  • self-consciousness about making love in the presence of your unborn child.

Talking to your husband about his fears and worries can be helpful.

Is oral sex safe during pregnancy?
Yes, normal oral sex won't harm you or your baby. In fact, it can be a good solution if intercourse is deemed too risky.

The only thing you must avoid is having your husband blow air into your vagina. Blowing air can cause a blockage of a blood vessel by an air bubble (known as an air embolism). An embolism can be potentially fatal for you and your baby.

Which sexual positions are the most comfortable during pregnancy?
As your pregnancy progresses, you may find that the man on top (missionary position) isn't comfortable any more. Try the following instead:
  • Lie sideways. This allows your husband to keep most of his weight off your uterus.
  • Use the bed as a prop. Lie on your back at the edge of the bed with your knees bent, and your bottom and feet perched at the edge of the mattress. Your husband can either kneel or stand in front of you.
  • Lie side-by-side in the spoons position. This allows for only shallow penetration. Deep thrusts can become uncomfortable as the months pass.
  • Get on top! This position has been shown to be associated with higher levels of sexual satisfaction in pregnant women. It puts no weight on your abdomen and allows you to control the depth of penetration.
  • Make love sitting down. This is another position that puts no weight on your uterus. Try sitting on your husband's lap as he sits on a (sturdy) chair. You can control the rate and depth of penetration by standing up more or by squatting down.

Lubricating creams or gels may irritate your skin and cause allergic reactions. It's therefore best to avoid using them during pregnancy unless advised otherwise by your doctor. It's a good idea to clean your pelvic area thoroughly after you make love. Wipe dry with a clean towel or tissue paper.

You can have a satisfying love life when pregnant, and where there's a will, there's a way! With a little experimenting, you and your husband are sure to find techniques that work for you. And keep talking! Communication and openness are the keys to maintaining or improving sexual satisfaction during your pregnancy and beyond.

5.
Having sex during pregnancy and beyond is one of those things that is trickier to prepare for. Let’s face it, things change. Body parts go wonky; emotions go haywire — and that’s all before sleep deprivation kicks in. Here are some facts you should know about having sex during this tricky period called pregnancy. And yes, also immediately after!

Abstinence is advised during the first trimester
It is advised that a couple abstains from sex during the first trimester. This is because during the first trimester, the placenta implants and all foetal organs are developed. Too much jerking can pose a risk to the pregnancy, and even lead to miscarriage.

A woman’s sex drive surges during the second trimester
During the second trimester, many women experience a surge of hormones (including testosterone), which can significantly boost their sex drive.

At the same time, it’s not uncommon for a woman’s partner to report being particularly turned on by her body — namely, her growing breasts. Here is your ultimate sex guide for the first, second and third trimester.

Women’s breasts might leak during sex
It typically begins in the second trimester. It can be difficult for a woman’s partner to adjust to the idea that her breasts are not simply there for sexual pleasure. Here are six changes that happen to your breasts during pregnancy.

All sex positions are not comfortable
As pregnancy progresses and women’s bodies change, many once beloved sexual positions are no longer comfortable or even feasible. Make sure too weight is not exerted on the abdomen.
Sex doesn’t cause harm to the baby
The baby is protected inside the mother. It remains in the amniotic fluid covered by membranes, protecting it from damage during sex. However, uncomfortable sex positions and too much weight on the abdomen can make things painful for the mother. Here are top six sex myths during pregnancy busted.

Abstinence is advised during the last four weeks
Like first trimester, sex should be avoided in the last four weeks of pregnancy too. This is because there is a risk of infection with unprotected sex. Additionally, it could also lead to premature labour.

It’s important to stay emotionally connected
Even when you cannot have sex, indulging in foreplay and kissing will ensure that you stay emotionally connected. This is important to welcome the newborn in your family. Here are seven reasons why having sex during pregnancy is good for you.

After pregnancy, women may not enjoy sexual intercourse straightaway
A 2012 study that looked at mothers’ desire postpartum found that women tended to perform oral sex on their partners or masturbate before they were ready to have intercourse or receive oral sex themselves.

Indeed, roughly 40 percent of women reported they masturbated within the first few weeks of having a baby.

By the end of the first three months, 85 percent said they’d started having intercourse again, but many women don’t totally enjoy it right away.
Women may experience vaginal dryness after delivery due to lack of estrogen
The number one thing women don’t expect is vaginal dryness, which may cause pain during sexual activity. The dryness results from a lack of estrogen, particularly among women who breastfeed.
A good lubricant can help, but if the dryness persists, talk to your doctor. (Read: Sex during pregnancy: Should we, shouldn’t we?)

Women may suffer from urinary incontinence after childbirth
Another change for which women are woefully unprepared is the incontinence that can occur after childbirth. For many women, urine leakage (during sex or otherwise) does indeed go away on its own, usually within a matter of weeks or months. For others, pelvic floor physical therapy
may be necessary or they might benefit from using an at-home kegel exerciser device.

6.
Dear Alice,
Me and my girl are having a baby. My girl is in her first month. Can we have sex and will it hurt our chances of having the baby?

Dear Reader,
Go right ahead! Unless there are complications with the pregnancy, it's safe to have sex because the fetus is protected by a cushioning sac of amniotic fluid. Think of an egg from the store: your baby is like the yellow yolk part in the middle of all that egg white — insulated from bumps, or humps, as the case may be.

Now, pregnancy can affect sex in other ways. For example, hormonal changes that accompany pregnancy often influence a woman's moods, which could alter her desire to have sex. For some couples, nausea, physical discomfort, weight gain, and changes in energy levels may present challenges to sex and the enjoyment of it.

As a result, an expectant couple may want to discuss experimenting with many different sexual positions, as well as try other ways to have pleasure in case one of the partners does not want to have intercourse. Changing positions is important because some women may experience sex differently while they're pregnant; what they found pleasurable before conception may no longer be the case. That's why it can help for the woman to listen to her body and act appropriately. This is particularly true if a woman has any pain or uterine bleeding, or if her "water is broken," in which case she'll need to avoid sexual intercourse or penetration altogether and see a healthcare provider right away.

It's also essential to consider and respect emotional and psychological boundaries to sex during pregnancy in order for both partners to feel safe and comfortable with their decision. Talk openly with one another throughout the pregnancy (as well as at other times, too). What do each of you want emotionally? Some men may continue to feel uneasy or fearful of hurting the fetus during sex even if they know it's not possible. What about physically? With normal weight gain from pregnancy, some women may develop insecurities about their bodies and feel less desirable to their partner. How about sexually? One partner may want to have sex more often than the other, who may feel pressured or "obligated" to maintain a sex routine that predates the pregnancy. Discussing these issues, while respecting each other's concerns, could help bring about some sort of resolution.

It almost goes without saying that your midwife or obstetrician should be able to advise you on many of these matters.

Best wishes on your soon-to-be new arrival,
Alice


7.
Sex during pregnancy: What's OK, what's not
Has pregnancy spiked your interest in sex? Or is sex the last thing on your mind? Either way, here's what you need to know about sex during pregnancy.By Mayo Clinic Staff
If you want to get pregnant, you have sex. No surprises there. But what about sex while you're pregnant? The answers aren't always as obvious.

Here's what you need to know about sex during pregnancy.

Is it OK to have sex during pregnancy?
As long as your pregnancy is proceeding normally, you can have sex as often as you like — but you might not always want to.

At first, hormonal fluctuations, fatigue and nausea might sap your sexual desire. As your pregnancy progresses, weight gain, back pain and other symptoms might further dampen your enthusiasm for sex.

Your emotions might take a toll on your sex drive, too.

Concerns about how pregnancy or the baby will change your relationship with your partner might weigh heavily on your mind — even while you're eagerly anticipating the addition to your family. Fears about sexual activity harming the baby or anxiety about childbirth might team up to sap your sex drive. Changes in your self-image might play a role as well, especially as your pregnancy progresses.

Can sex during pregnancy cause a miscarriage?
Although many couples worry that sex during pregnancy will cause a miscarriage, sex isn't generally a concern. Early miscarriages are usually related to chromosomal abnormalities or other problems in the developing baby — not to anything you do or don't do.

Does sex during pregnancy harm the baby?
Your developing baby is protected by the amniotic fluid in your uterus, as well as the strong muscles of the uterus itself. Sexual activity won't affect your baby.

What are the best sexual positions during pregnancy?
As long as you're comfortable, most sexual positions are OK during pregnancy.
As your pregnancy progresses, experiment to find what works best. Rather than lying on your back, for example, you might want to lie next to your partner sideways or position yourself on top of your partner or in front of your partner.

Let your creativity take over, as long as you keep mutual pleasure and comfort in mind.

What about oral and anal sex?
Oral sex is safe during pregnancy. If you receive oral sex, though, make sure your partner doesn't blow air into your vagina. Rarely, a burst of air might block a blood vessel (air embolism) — which could be a life-threatening condition for you and the baby.

Generally, anal sex isn't recommended during pregnancy. Anal sex might be uncomfortable if you have pregnancy-related hemorrhoids. More concerning, anal sex might allow infection-causing bacteria to spread from the rectum to the vagina.

Are condoms necessary?
Exposure to sexually transmitted infections during pregnancy increases the risk of infections that can affect your pregnancy and your baby's health.
Use a condom if:
  • Your partner has a sexually transmitted infection
  • You're not in a mutually monogamous relationship
  • You choose to have sex with a new partner during pregnancy

Can orgasms trigger premature labor?
Orgasms can cause uterine contractions, but these contractions are different from the contractions you'll feel during labor. Orgasms — with or without intercourse — aren't likely to increase the risk of premature labor or premature birth.

Similarly, sex isn't likely to trigger labor even as your due date approaches.

Are there times when sex should be avoided?
Although most women can safely have sex throughout pregnancy, sometimes it's best to be cautious.

Your healthcare provider might recommend avoiding sex if:
  • You have a history of preterm labor or premature birth
  • You have unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • You're leaking amniotic fluid
  • Your cervix begins to open prematurely (cervical incompetence)
  • Your placenta partly or completely covers your cervical opening (placenta previa)

What if I don't want to have sex?
That's OK. There's more to a sexual relationship than intercourse.

Share your needs and concerns with your partner in an open and loving way. If sex is difficult, unappealing or off-limits, try another type of contact — such as cuddling, kissing or massage.

After the baby is born, how soon can I have sex?
Whether you give birth vaginally or by C-section, your body will need time to heal. Many healthcare providers recommend waiting four to six weeks before resuming intercourse. This allows time for your cervix to close and any tears or a repaired episiotomy to heal.

If you're too sore or exhausted to even think about sex, maintain intimacy in other ways. Stay connected during the day with short phone calls, email messages or text messages. Reserve a few quiet minutes for each other before the day begins or while you're winding down before bed.
When you're ready to have sex, take it slow — and use a reliable method of contraception if you want to prevent a subsequent pregnancy.

8.
“It will be fine. Your baby is safe inside the womb.”

“Completely safe to have sex and him ejaculate inside of you while pregnant. I had the same question of my wifes ob/gyn doctor when we were going to the pre-natal care appts.”

9.
“yes it is ok if for you husbund to ejaculate inside you when having sex. Be sure you are both std free and your pregnancy has no health issues”

“yes it is ok...in fact, towards the end of your pregnancy it is good for your husband to ejaculate inside you because the seamen softens the cervix and makes it dialate easier durring labor...and it sometimes will bring on labor when you are ready…”

“Yes, It is ok for your partner to ejaculate inside you. He can do that up until brith, as long as their are no complications with your pregnancy.”

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