Intimacy During Pregnancy

Is intimacy possible during pregnancy?

A woman’s physical and emotional comfort with her pregnancy determine her sexual attitudes and enjoyment at this time. Her feelings are often influenced by her partner’s attitude to her appearance. This issue is complex and it is therefore vital that women and men discuss their feelings, fears, and beliefs about the changes that are shaping their lives and consequently affecting their intimacy relationship and lovemaking.

During pregnancy, a woman’s libido can oscillate from high to low. She may become anorgasmic for a period or the symptoms of pregnancy may dampen her sexual drive. During the latter months, the awkwardness of her shape may inhibit her from lovemaking. Some couples are concerned that intercourse may harm the fetus and it is reassuring for them to learn that the penis rarely touches the cervix. The vagina lengthens during sexual excitement and the mucous plug covering the cervical opening to the uterus also provides protection. Semen is rich in prostaglandins, natural bodily chemicals that can help ripen and soften the cervix, and intercourse may initiate uterine contractions. However, these actions will not induce labor unless a woman is nearing the end of her pregnancy.

Experts feel that sexual activity should depend on how the woman feels. There are many things in terms of alternatives to actual intercourse itself, if that is a problem. The only time that you should restrict sex is if she’s having signs and symptoms of preterm labor. Other exceptions to sex or orgasm during pregnancy would be cases in which vaginal bleeding occurs, if the woman experiences continuing or painful cramps after intercourse, or if the woman has a new sexual partner with a sexually transmitted disease or AIDS. If there is a history of preterm labor, in those cases it is advised to use condoms for sexual intercourse.

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The good news? Morning sickness usually ends by weeks 12 to 14. So if you’re feeling more tired than turned on, hang in there and try to be patient with yourself and look forward to the intimacy you share with your partner. You will feel more like yourself again soon — in the bedroom and out.

No matter what trimester you’re in, rest assured that sex is a healthy — and happy! — part of pregnancy. As long as your doctor gives the all-clear, you’re free to do what feels good, whether that’s a romp or a cuddle. Who needs Bermuda when you can have a babymoon right in your own bedroom?

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