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Sex during pregnancy

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Pregnancy is a time when a woman’s body is going through many changes. These changes may affect how a woman feels sexually.

Is having sex going to hurt my baby?

No, if you are having a normal, healthy pregnancy, sex is safe during all stages of pregnancy.

I am not very interested in sex, is that normal?

Many women feel a change in their levels of sexual desire when they are pregnant. During the second trimester, many women become more interested in sex as their energy levels improve.

My partner is afraid he’ll hurt our unborn baby. Can he?

Some men are concerned that their penis might be too close to the baby’s head. There may be worries that sex could harm the baby. The baby is protected by your uterus, the amniotic sac and fluid, the mucous plug in the cervix and your pelvic bones.

Are there times I should avoid sex?

You may have to avoid or limit sexual intercourse if you have:

Talk to your health care provider.

Are there sexual activities I shouldn’t do?

You should avoid anal sex when you are pregnant. Anal intercourse increases your chances of harmful bacteria getting into your vagina and cervix.

Can having sex cause my water to break or cause me to go into labour?

No, but if you are near term, orgasms may cause mild contractions.

I feel too tired to have sex. What if my partner is not satisfied?

Some couples feel closer during pregnancy and may continue to have and enjoy sex until the baby is born. Other couples feel their relationship is strained by all the changes. Sexual relations are only one way to show love and caring. Make time for other physical touch like cuddling, holding hands, giving each other a massage or bathing together.

Should we use condoms during pregnancy?

Depending on your circumstances, to protect your unborn baby from sexually transmitted infections, you should continue to use condoms.

What other positions can I try when my belly increases in size?

During late pregnancy, a woman might find some sexual positions very uncomfortable or even impossible. Many women find sex on their sides with partner approaching from the front or behind more comfortable. Also try with the woman on the top. Be adventurous and creative – try something new.

Some final thoughts…

Make sure to talk to your partner about your feelings and desires. Open and honest communication is very important. Talk to your partner and listen to each other. Do what feels right for both of you.

For more information please contact the Sexual Health Program of the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit.

References:
Healthy Beginnings – The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canadad4th edition 2009
Middlesex-London Health Unit

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