For a majority of women, sex right up until their due date is perfectly safe; though it may become uncomfortable as the months pass. In some high-risk cases, sex during pregnancy can be risky. Despite all the myths, no link has been established between preterm labor and sex.
During the first trimester, many women feel tired and nauseous so they have no great desire for sex. But during the second trimester, they feel better and are fairly comfortable. During the third trimester, as the stomach grows and fatigue returns, sex may seem less attractive. Not to mention that it can be physically difficult during the final weeks of pregnancy.
There are, however, some circumstances where it is important to be careful about having sex. The doctor may say that it is best not to have sex:
- If there is any bleeding or spotting in early pregnancy, the doctor may advise not to have sex until the 14th
- If the placenta is low-lying.
- If the pregnant mother has had heavy bleeding
- If she has/had a vaginal infection
Lying flat on the back especially during the third trimester can lead to dizziness. The growing uterus can compress major blood vessels. This may cause pelvic pressure and pain.
Sex during pregnancy may not be safe for women with a history of repeated miscarriages or preterm labor. If the sac containing the amniotic fluid bursts or develops a hole before labor, the doctor may advise the couple to abstain from sex during pregnancy. If there is bleeding or foul-smelling discharge after sex during pregnancy it may be a sign of an infection. This infection can travel to the uterus and bleeding may be a sign of a problem in general.
As long as the pregnancy has progressed normally, the mother-to-be should still be able to have sex in her last trimester, provided that she is not carrying multiples.
If the couple cannot have sex, they can always explore other ways of expressing their love. Like cuddling, kissing, massaging and sharing their feelings.
Having an orgasm during pregnancy can bring on mild contractions. However, these contractions are not so powerful to start labour if the body is not ready.
A doctor may advise the couple not to have sex if:
- There is a sign of premature labour.
- Unexplained vaginal bleeding or abnormal discharge.
- Ruptured membrane.
- An outbreak of genital herpes in either the mother-to-be or her partner.
- Other sexually transmitted infections.
The couple should not be shy to discuss anything about sex with the doctor. If they have been advised not to have sex, both the partners should understand whether the doctor is talking specifically about intercourse, or about putting anything in the vagina that may bring about orgasm.
Men need very little stimulation. Women, on the other hand, need to relax, be able to concentrate on what’s going on and slowly get aroused. That means to make love when the woman is not currently “in the mood” is not lying or being dishonest.
So when the male partner pursues and tries to arouse her, the female partner may take time to respond. Understanding each other’s mood and respecting the partner’s decision to say “no” is very important.