Sex and pregnancy go hand in hand during the conception phase, but you might wonder if sexual intercourse is safe once you become pregnant. The hormones of pregnancy sometimes cause changes in a women’s interest in sex. Some women experience an increased interest in sex, while others have no interest at all. An understanding of safety and differences in sex during pregnancy might put your mind at ease.
A woman with a normal pregnancy does not need to worry about avoiding sex while pregnant. Sexual intercourse is considered safe throughout the pregnancy, unless complications arise. The amniotic fluid surrounding the baby and the mucus plug blocking the cervix protect your developing baby.
In the first trimester, there isn’t as much concern about sexual positions. The second and third trimesters become more complicated because of your growing belly. A side-by-side position or the female on top accounts for the pregnant belly. This also keeps you off of your back, which can cut off the blood supply. Experiment with different positions to find one that feels comfortable to you.
Blood flow increases to the pelvic region during pregnancy, particularly during the second trimester. This increases sexual sensations and desire in some women. Others might not enjoy the change in sensation during intercourse. Pregnancy also brings changes to the breasts in many women, including tenderness, extreme sensitivity or increased size. The changes in the breasts might also affect your sexual pleasure, either in a positive or negative way. Minor cramping might also occur after sexual intercourse.
If you are not in a monogamous relationship or if your partner is at risk for sexually transmitted diseases, a condom is essential during every sexual encounter. This protects you and your baby. Oral sex is an alternative option to sexual intercourse and is also considered safe during pregnancy. Your partner should never blow into the vagina, as there is a slight chance for an air embolism that could put you and your baby at serious risk.
While sex is generally safe during pregnancy, there are some situations when you should abstain from sexual intercourse or call your physician. Situations when sex is not recommended include vaginal bleeding with an unknown cause, amniotic fluid leak, placenta previa or if you have a risk of preterm labor. Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about the safety of sex due to complications in your pregnancy. Call your doctor if you experience bleeding, pain or cramping that doesn’t go away after having sex.