Sex during pregnancy
Getting a woman pregnant is quite easy, all you need to do is to have unprotected sex for few days at around 14th day of her menstrual cycle (during ovulation). Right? Not for every couple! Many couples find it hard to get their female partner pregnant and out of them some discover that either one or both are suffering from infertility issues. Once you confirm that you are (or your female partner is) pregnant, the next question that comes to your mind is “Can we have sex when she is pregnant”? Dr. Deepa Ganesh, one of the Chennai’s most experienced gynecologist says, “Sure, as long as she doesn’t find any complication with pregnancy, she advises her patients to enjoy happily in the sheets”. Men are also happy to hear the advice because now they don’t have to worry about pregnancy and can enjoy unprotected sex with their female partners.
How does sex during pregnancy feel?
When the foetus inside the mother is growing, there is increased blood supply to many parts of the woman’s body including breasts. This makes their body parts more sensitive and as a result makes sex even more intense and pleasurable than before.
During the first trimester of pregnancy, some women may be reluctant to have sex because of ‘Morning Sickness’ (also called Hyperemesis Gravidarum). The feeling of nausea and vomits make them tired and stay away from thinking about having fun. Despite the name ‘Morning Sickness’, vomit can occur at any time during the day or night. Once these symptoms subside, the changes in hormones work on the libido of the female. This gets them thinking more about having sex. But some women don’t feel good to have sex during pregnancy as they really don’t enjoy it. In such cases, they totally abstain from having any kind of physical intimacy with their partners. Some men may want to have sex with their partner, may be due to the long gaps and some men may be more worried about the baby and stay away from getting intimate with their pregnant partner even when she is willing. “Couple should be able to understand each other during this time and act accordingly without denting their relationship”, adds Dr. Deepa Ganesh.
How about oral sex with your pregnant partner?
Due to the change in hormones and thinning of cervical mucus, woman’s vagina may turn out to be different, if that is ok with your male partner, you can let him go down on you. Blowing into the vagina can result in air embolism and must be avoided.
When not to have oral sex or sex during pregnancy?
- If your doctor has advised you to have “pelvic rest”, you must avoid all sorts of sexual activities. When your gynecologist says ‘No’, you must take it as a ‘NO’ with no exceptions.
- If your partner has oral herpes or sores near his mouth and especially when there is any puss kind of thing due to burst of any sore, strictly avoid oral sex.
- If you had preterm labour (preemie) previously or if you doctor thinks that you may have a premature baby this time, he/she may ask you to avoid sex.
- Your gynecologist will tell you not to have sex when the placenta covers the opening of your cervix. This condition is called ‘Placenta Previa’ or placenta abruption, where the placenta separates from the uterus.
- If your cervix is dilated, it can allow infections to pass on from the man to the baby. You should not have sex if this happens in your case.
- You should avoid sex when you think your water may break at any time (during the last month or weeks of pregnancy). Most likely your body will signal you to refrain from any such activity but you should also be more conscious during this time.
Cramping and spotting after sex
‘Prostaglandins’ are constituents of semen. They tend to cause cramping of uterus in women after unprotected sex. It is normal to have uterus cramps after having sex whether you are pregnant or not but women tend to notice cramps more during pregnancy than at normal times. (They become more conscious about the baby and pelvic region). If you have cramps after sex, don’t get scared. Just drink few glasses of water, keep your legs on a higher surface, say on a couple of pillows. This should get you back to normal in a couple of hours. If the cramps don’t subside even after a couple of hours, call your gynecologist.
Spotting can also be seen in some women after having sex. This typically happens when the man’s penis rubs against the woman’s cervix. Due to higher blood flow to the cervix in pregnant woman, this can result in spotting and it is absolutely normal. However, you should not see an outflow like that happens during menstruation. Should you see such bleeding, rush to your gynecologist immediately.
Having sex during pregnancy can cause labour?
This is not entirely true, except that you need to avoid sex when it is time for your water to break. There are cases where women who had sex during pregnancy, delivered even later than the given due date. Just play it in safe and comfortable sex positions so that you don’t hurt the baby and you should be all good.
When can a couple have sex after delivery?
Typical time is 6 weeks after delivery. It again depends on the readiness of your female partner’s body and mind. Men must understand that women go through a hell lot of pain and muscle, tissue tear during delivery and you must give their bodies enough time and care to heal and get back to normal.
Also, the estrogen levels in their bodies drop during breastfeeding. This results in a dry vagina and lower libido. Sex will be the last thing to run on their mind at this time. In some cases, women might want to abstain from sex for even six months after delivery. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to talk to your gynecologist.