Sex and Pregnancy

Pregnancy can be a challenging and confusing experience. Another question that might add to the confusion is if it is safe to have sex during pregnancy? Whether it can harm the child? Can it lead to a miscarriage or preterm labour? Answering the first question first, it is absolutely safe to have sex during pregnancy, as long as your doctor has not advised against it. Now coming to the second question. No, having sex won’t harm your baby. This is because the penis, or a sex toy, cannot penetrate beyond your vagina, which is way far from your baby. Inside your womb, the baby is protected by multiple layers of protection. Firstly, the baby lies in the amniotic sac inside the uterus. Secondly, the uterus muscles themselves protect the child. Hence, there is no need to worry if your baby can be harmed in any way while having sex.

Now coming to the third question. Again, no, having sex during pregnancy won’t lead to preterm labour or a miscarriage. You can have sex as long as your doctor advises against it. Although there is no harm in having sex, your sex drive might be affected during pregnancy. There are a lot of hormonal changes, then there is fatigue and morning sickness. There is so much going on. Your sex drive, or libido, not be the same as it was pre-pregnancy.

Sex Drive During Pregnancy

As every woman’s pregnancy is different, the same goes for how she feels about and during sex. Some women feel a dip in their overall sex drive, while others get more assertive about their sexuality, and enjoy sex more. As major hormonal changes occur during pregnancy, so do changes in the sex drive. Some women might feel self-conscious due to their growing belly, others might feel sexier given their fuller breasts. Not having to worry about birth control might be another reason for some women to enjoy sex more. Overall, just like pregnancy in general, the desire for sex is also different for women. However, experts have figured out a common pattern regarding sex drive during the three trimesters:

First Trimester: This is the time when major hormonal changes occur. More than half of the pregnant women experience morning sickness. They also feel more tired than usual. These factors might kill your sex drive during the first three months of your pregnancy.

Second Trimester: The ‘golden period of pregnancy’, the second trimester is when the morning sickness fades away and you get your energy back. Some women experience increased sex drive during this trimester.

Third Trimester: Since you are heavily pregnant during this time, you feel more discomfort. Since your due date is approaching, you might not have that much of a desire to have sex. 

When To Avoid Having Sex

Although it is absolutely safe to have sex during pregnancy, there are certain cases in which your doctor might advise you against it:

  • Doctors often advise against having sex if the woman had heavy bleeding during pregnancy. This is because having sex can increase the risk of more bleeding. This is specifically the case if the placenta, which provides the baby with nutrition and oxygen, is low, or if there is a collection of blood, known as a haematoma.
  • You should avoid sex if your water has broken. This is because it can increase the risk of getting an infection. If you are not sure whether your water has broken, you must consult the doctor immediately.
  • Doctors advise against having sex during pregnancy if there is an issue with your cervix. This is because in such a case, there is a higher risk of having a miscarriage or going into preterm labour. 
  • You should also avoid sex if the placenta is party or fully covering your cervix. 
  • If you are having twins.
  • The couple should avoid having sex if the woman had preterm labour(s) previously.
  • Sex should be generally avoided if you are in the later stages of your pregnancy. 
  • Also, if your partner has other sexual partners, it is extremely important to protect yourself and your child from getting sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Contraceptions that form a barrier, such as condoms, are a good option. 

If your doctor has advised you against having sex, it is better to talk to him/her about the reason behind it. This will not just make you well-informed about the sexual aspect, but also about your underlying health issue. This will also encourage you to take care of yourself better.


What Are Some Good And Bad Sex Positions?

Now that you already know that having sex while being pregnant is completely fine as long as your doctor doesn’t recommend against it, the next question might be about good and bad sex positions. Early on in your pregnancy, even before your baby bump has grown, it might be a challenge to have sex. This is because your breasts get tender during the first trimester. As your size grows, there can be other added challenges. Although every position is fine, as long as it doesn’t press too hard against your stomach, you and your partner will have to experiment with what works for you. Again, if your partner has multiple sexual partners, it is better to use a condom. This will protect both you and your baby from any sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Other Things That Should Be Kept In Mind

Till now, you already know that it is safe to have sex during pregnancy. It will not harm your baby in any way, and will not lead to preterm labour or a miscarriage. Here are some other things that you should keep in mind:

  • Not wanting to have sex is perfectly fine during pregnancy. During this time, a lot goes on, and you must communicate your feelings to your partner. Also, there are other ways to show love, such as cuddling, kissing, or massaging.
  • You might experience vaginal dryness during pregnancy. Using a lubricant might help.
  • Again, if you know your partner has multiple sexual partners, always use a contraceptive, which provides a barrier. This way, you will be able to protect yourself and your child from STIs such as HIV, genital warts, herpes, etc. 

What About Having Sex After Giving Birth?

The postpartum period spans from when you give birth to the next six weeks. You might not feel like having sex during this period because of one of the following reasons:

  • One of the reasons might be that given the added responsibility of your newborn, there must be so much going on that having sex might not be the thing that comes to your mind.
  • The whole birthing process is extremely tiring, which might drain you out.
  • Your hormone levels change after giving birth. This might kill your sex drive, just like it happened during the initial stage of pregnancy.
  • Postpartum bleeding happens for four to six weeks after giving birth. 
  • The breastfeeding process leaves your breasts sore. This might be another reason for you not wanting to have sex after childbirth.
  • The period after childbirth can be emotionally challenging. Many women experience postpartum depression. They might also be anxious about raising the child. This is another reason for it.
  • If you had a cesarean delivery, it will take time for you to heal. Hence, having sex might not be the thing you would think about.
  • The same goes for if you had an episiotomy, which is an incision during normal delivery, in which you give birth through your vagina without any medical intervention.

To sum it all up, it is completely alright to have sex during pregnancy. Your baby will not be impacted in any way and there is no risk of going into preterm labour or having a miscarriage. Also sex during pregnancy, just like pregnancy itself, differs from woman to woman. Some might experience a dip in their sex drive, others might like it more. And also, although you cannot get any more pregnant, there are some precautions you must take for having safe sex.