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Sex during pregnancy : Everything you need to know

Sex is a natural, normal part of pregnancy — if you’re having a normal pregnancy. Penetration and intercourse’s movement won’t harm the baby, who is protected by your abdomen and the uterus’ muscular walls. Your baby is also cushioned by the amniotic sac’s fluid.

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The contractions of orgasm aren’t the same as labor contractions. Still, as a general safety precaution, some doctors advise avoiding sex in the final weeks of pregnancy, believing that hormones in semen called prostaglandins can stimulate contractions. One exception may be for women who are overdue and want to induce labor. Some doctors believe that prostaglandins in semen actually induce labor in a full-term or past-due pregnancy, since the gel used to “ripen” the cervix and induce labor also contains prostaglandins. But other doctors believe this semen/labor connection is only theoretical and that having sex doesn’t trigger labor.

Indeed some women find sex more pleasurable during pregnancy. The reasons: increased blood flow to the genitals can make the clitoris super-sensitive, and greater vaginal lubrication can make sex more enjoyable for obvious reasons. The breasts also tend to be more sensitive during pregnancy. Add to that the increased sex drive during pregnancy, and you have a heady mix.

What you should know about having sex during pregnancy

If you do decide to have sex during pregnancy, then there are a few things you must keep in mind.

Safe sex is even more important during pregnancy because if you contract any sexually transmitted disease (STD), it can lead to serious complications. So, use a condom and maintain sexual hygiene.

Sex with your partner on top, while you lie on your back, might be more uncomfortable during pregnancy, so make sure you experiment with positions and find the one that you’re most comfortable with.

Lying on your side while facing towards or away from your partner is a more comfortable sex position during pregnancy.

Oral sex is safe during pregnancy, but if you do engage in it, make sure that your partner does not blow into your vagina. This can cause an air embolism – a blockage of a blood vessel due to an air bubble. An embolism can be potentially fatal for you and your baby.

If you are having sex with someone whose sexual history you’re unsure/unaware of, make it a point to use protection. While this should be a general rule of thumb, it’s even more important when you’re pregnant because it can expose both you and your baby to STDs like herpes, chlamydia, genital warts and HIV infection.

When should I avoid sex during pregnancy?

While having sex during pregnancy is generally safe, there are a few conditions which will require more care and your doctor might suggest that you avoid sex if you are diagnosed with them. Here are a few instances when having sex will not be safe during pregnancy:

If you have unexplained vaginal bleeding, the situation can get worse due to sex.

In case you are leaking amniotic fluid, your baby is not safe, and neither is having sex.

If you have a weak cervix, your pelvic floor may not be able to support both the baby and sex. It’s best to consult your doctor in this case for procedures that can strengthen the cervix so that you can carry your baby to term safely.

If you have placenta previa (the placenta covers the cervical opening) or are at risk of placental abruption, then sex is off the table.

If you have had a prior miscarriage or preterm labour, then your doctor may ask you to avoid sex during pregnancy.

If you are carrying multiple foetuses (twins, triplets or more), then having sex during pregnancy can lead to complications.


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