What you need to know about sex during pregnancy
Sex during pregnancy. In Asian societies, it is common for couples to have less sex, or even no sex during pregnancy. However, sex during pregnancy helps to maintain emotional intimacy and closeness between a couple. It helps you feel happier and more confident, as it releases endorphins that boost your mood.
Some mothers feel more attractive during pregnancy, and have an increased libido. Their partners may also enjoy their fuller, curvier figures, and want to be more intimate.
You can definitely enjoy a healthy sex life if your pregnancy is uneventful. A developing baby is protected by the amniotic fluid in the womb, so sexual activity will generally not harm the baby.
When is it safe to have sex during pregnancy?
During the first trimester, the baby is still developing, and chances of miscarriage are higher. Therefore, it is recommended to have vaginal sex only after this period.
You can still enjoy other forms of sex, such as oral sex or masturbation, if you are avoiding vaginal sex for safety reasons. Avoid having your partner blow air into you forcefully during oral sex, as an air bubble may form in a blood vessel in the vagina in rare cases.
Please avoid vaginal sex during pregnancy if you have one of these conditions:
This is when the placenta covers the entire cervix. It can cause severe bleeding during pregnancy, so manual pressure from sex may increase the risk of bleeding.
Preterm labour is when a mother has labour contractions before 37 weeks of pregnancy, which may lead to a preterm birth.
If you have an increased risk of preterm labour, your doctor will advise you to abstain from intercourse. This is because sex can lead to uterine contractions, which could result in early labour and delivery. See your doctor if sex causes persistent uterine contractions until the next day.
During pregnancy, the actual act of vaginal sex should be kept shorter. This will reduce the risk of preterm labour.
Pregnancy sex positions
When you are pregnant, you might wish to experiment with new positions as your baby belly grows.
Generally, all sex positions are safe during pregnancy. Here are some to try:
|Missionary||Lying down on your back may be enjoyable if you are tired during pregnancy, and your energy levels are lower. However, take care that your partner does not put too much pressure on your belly, which may be uncomfortable.|
|Side lying or spooning||This is the most comfortable position as your belly grows larger. You can face front-to-front, or front-to-back. This position keeps the weight off your back, and you won’t have to hold up the weight of your belly.|
|Doggy||If your partner has a mental barrier about pregnancy sex, this is a good position to try.
You can get down on all fours, and have your partner enter you from behind. Your partner can see you as he did before pregnancy, without your bump.
You can have unprotected sex if you are in a committed relationship. However, doctors advise that pregnant mums who change sexual partners should still use condoms, to avoid STDs.
Sex during pregnancy does not have to be awkward or worrying. It can be exciting, relaxing, and lead to greater intimacy with your partner.
This article has been fact checked by Dr Khoo Chong Kiat, senior consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at the CK Khoo Clinic For Women & Laparoscopy, Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital.