Sexuality and U
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Sexual Health

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Sex during Pregnancy

Both women and men have concerns about whether it is safe to continue having sex during pregnancy. For many years, it was believed that sex during early pregnancy sex could cause a miscarriage and that sex during the last couple of months could cause infection or trigger premature labour. But there is no good medical evidence to suggest that, during a normal healthy pregnancy, intercourse cannot continue until about the last month before delivery (with occasional exceptions).

You and your partner must discuss your needs, your concerns, and your desires openly and frankly. Talking to your family doctor, your obstetrician/gynecologist or midwife may help alleviate any concerns you may have.

Sex vs. Sexuality

Sex and sexuality are two different things…even if you don’t feel like having intercourse or your sexual needs decline through your pregnancy, you may find you have increased needs for other kinds of physical intimacy - cuddling, holding, or hugs. For women, a heightened sense of their bodies may make them more sexually expressive, and men generally find a pregnant body erotic and desirable.

Many couples abstain from sex during pregnancy, fearing that the very act that created the baby might now cause it harm - but don’t forget, your baby is well cushioned in a sac of amniotic fluid within the uterus, and is unlikely to be hurt by gentle lovemaking.

Sex During First 3 Months

In the first three months of pregnancy nausea or fatigue may determine how you feel about having sex. For many soon-to-be parents, anxiety over delivery or the responsibility of raising a child can also be a source of stress, and may affect your sexual desire.

How Changes to Body Affects Sex

For women, a changing body size may make certain familiar lovemaking positions uncomfortable or even impossible! This may offer both you and your partner the opportunity to be a little more creative with sex. Different positions. Mutual hand stimulation. Oral sex - but with a caution: blowing air into the vagina during pregnancy should be avoided as this may lead to complications.

Don’t Have Sex When…

Though it is rare, there are some instances when your doctor may advise against having sex during pregnancy… if, for example:

  • you have a history of premature birth or labour
  • your water has broken
  • you are bleeding
  • you have placenta previa, a condition in which part of the placenta covers the cervix
  • you or your partner has a sexually transmitted infection