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Sex During Pregnancy

Sex during pregnancy Perhaps one of the most wondered, but often unasked questions on women's (and their partners) minds when they are pregnant is about sex. Wondering if sex and orgasm will hurt the baby, if it will cause labor, miscarriage or pain are all common concerns for parents. Some men, for example are terrified of intimacy once their partner becomes pregnant and will refuse for the entire pregnancy - others, love the look of a pregnant woman and find it to be a major turn-on. Everyone is different and you will find that you are as well, but the truth is, sex is safe for most women, right up to delivery - well, with a few modifications if needed.

During your first trimester, sex will probably be the last thing on your mind. Crippled by nausea, fatigue and the most soreness you have ever had in your breasts, the last thing you can think about is letting someone touch them. That's incredibly normal, and even though your partner may be pouting, try to make the best of the situation.

If you are one of the few women who feel great, then by all means, you may continue to have sex and orgasms without fear. Sex will not cause miscarriages, nor will you injure your baby in any way. Thanks to Mother Nature, your baby is well protected by your cervix - which has closed and thickened as a defense against germs, bacteria and other foreign invaders. This prevents any sperm or possibility of infection for the baby who is tucked away in its happy home - the uterus, which has also thickened and filled with blood to supply baby with needed nutrients.

If you have had a rough first trimester, take courage - the second one will bring relief. Thanks to surging maternal hormones, and the reduction in nausea, breast tenderness, and fatigue, you are feeling pretty good - and so is your sex drive. Many women report a dramatic surge in their sex drive during this point in their pregnancy and it usually lasts several months or weeks. This is a normal occurrence, so take this opportunity to do what feels good. As your belly grows, orgasms may cause some contractions - if they are frequent, painful or last more than an hour you may want to avoid that component. These contractions are not usually enough to start labor, but just use caution if you notice them. Later in your second trimester, you may also see some spotting or bleeding after sex. This is usually due to the increased blood flow and sensitivity of the cervix which will shed some blood when it's touched or bumped. If your bleeding saturates more than a pad per hour, is bright red or has clots, or you are leaking clear or green fluid (aside from semen), call your doctor or labor and delivery unit and ask about an evaluation. Remember to mention that you had sex.

Your third trimester can be a bit trickier for intimacy. First, your growing belly makes it more difficult to use positions that you may have been used to before. For this reason, you may have to experiment. Some women prefer a side-lying position, or being on top. This also helps the woman control the comfort level and depth of penetration as baby's head moves lower into the pelvis and causes pressure (and sometimes pain) with sex. You should also avoid lying on your back during your last trimester, as this can decrease blood flow to your baby by putting pressure on their major vessels in the abdomen. Sex during these final weeks may also be more likely to trigger labor. All the same rules apply as during your second trimester - so remember to follow those guidelines and contact your doctor as needed.

For some women, sex may be restricted. If you are at risk for pre-term labor, have an incompetent cervix, a low lying placenta, bleeding issues, or other structural problems, ask your doctor before engaging in any sexual activities. Make sure to ask about oral sex as well, because orgasms could cause complications for your specific case.

Community Comments (1)

Comment from gaelharp38 » Posted Sep. 18, 2013 3:19pm
Sex CAN bring on labor if you are near your due date and your body is ready. I had my first child a week early--despite being told most first time moms go late--and my labor started after sex. We didn't even have our bag packed yet! Good thing it was a loooooong labor and I had time to get things together...

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