Let’s face it. Talking about sex comes easier to some people than others. But talking about having sex during pregnancy can make even the most confident people (and/or their partners) start looking for the nearest exit.
The truth is human beings are sexual creatures. We all have our own needs, beliefs, desires, and values. But sometimes we also need more information about certain subjects. Like pregnancy sex. There, we said it.
If you or someone close to you has been wondering whether it’s OK to be your normal sexual self when one of you is pregnant — but you weren’t sure who to ask or where to get more information — we hope you’ll find the facts and insights in this article enlightening. But first, please commit these 2 important guidelines to memory:
- Every person, partner, and pregnancy are different. What is fine sexually for some people and partners will be a no-no for others.
- Always follow your health care provider’s guidance. If you’re wondering if pregnancy sex is a safe option, ask before you act.
Insight #1: There is no normal.
Some people lose interest in sex early in their pregnancy. Others feel intensely in touch with their bodies and stay very interested in sexual activity throughout their pregnancy.
Here’s another fact: Desire can come and go at different stages of pregnancy. For example, many people lose interest in the first trimester when they’re overtired, nauseated, and their breasts are really sore. But in the second trimester, when increased blood flow throughout the body can make orgasms more intense and pleasurable, their sexual desire may rekindle.
The bottom line? When it comes to sexual desire during pregnancy, there is no “normal.” Maybe you will want to and maybe you won’t. And that’s OK. It’s also why insight #2 is so important.
Insight #2: Communication is everything.
Understanding that sexual desire during pregnancy can come, go, or go and then come back, the best way to preserve peace and harmony is for you and your partner to communicate as openly as possible. Don’t make excuses or be dishonest about how you really feel. Tell your partner what you want and what works. Or what doesn’t work, if that’s the case.
As long as you keep talking, you can navigate the pregnancy sex thing together. It may take some exploration and creativity to find positions that are comfortable and pleasurable for both of you. And at any time if something doesn’t feel right for either of you, you can stop, talk about it, try something else, or give your health care provider a call with your concerns.
Insight #3: Sex won’t harm the baby.
Medical experts agree that the most common fear is that having sex could hurt the developing baby. In fact, studies have shown that 50 to 80 percent of pregnant people worry about this. And a high number of their partners share that concern.
Here’s the good news. If you are having an otherwise normal pregnancy with no complications (such as preterm labor or placenta problems) it is extremely unlikely that sexual activity will affect your baby. If your health care provider says pregnancy sex is OK for you, here are 3 medical truths that should put your mind at ease:
- It is impossible for a penis to touch the baby. Why? Because the baby is not in your vagina. Your baby is cushioned by amniotic fluid inside the strong walls of your uterus. And your uterus sits behind your cervix, completely out of reach of even the most well-endowed penis.
- B-A-B-Y won’t know you’re having S-E-X. We’re told the only thing the baby might sense would be the presence of gentle rocking movements that would probably make them go to sleep.
- Having sex does not cause miscarriage. Most miscarriages happen because the fetus is not developing normally or there is another medical anomaly.
Insight #4: There are other ways to be intimate.
Although sex can be a ton of fun, there may be sound medical reasons not to have it during pregnancy. Or just as important, one or both partners may have honestly expressed their preference to abstain.
Remember that intimacy is much more than just sexual relations. It’s also about closeness, understanding, and nurturing your relationship. So until having sex feels right again for both of you, here are some suggestions to keep the relationship fires burning brightly:
- Touch each other more often during the day
- Give each other a slow, sensual massage
- Explore other forms of sexual stimulation
- Turn on your favorite tunes, cuddle up, and kiss
- Light a candle and take a bubble bath together
- Hold hands and be affectionate in public
- Go on movie dates or share a romantic dinner
- Surprise your partner with something they love
- Keep talking and sharing your thoughts and dreams
We hope the information and insights in this article have been helpful. With an OK from your health care provider, you and your partner should feel free to make your own informed decisions about whether pregnancy sex is right for you.