Everything you need to know about sex during pregnancy

A couple of decades ago, the question of whether it is possible to continue having sex during pregnancy was not even raised, since it was firmly believed that it was dangerous and could harm the child. Recently, this taboo has been lifted, but not completely. There are still many questions and doubts around this topic, and in order to dispel them and finally dot the i, we decided to find out that on this occasion the verb is the mirror of modern medicine. And at the same time, find out how and why views on “pregnant” sex have changed over the past decades, whether there is any benefit in it and what are the main risks.

Is sex good or bad during pregnancy?

Despite the fact that current medicine has somewhat changed its attitude towards the possibility of intimacy while carrying a child, many practicing obstetricians-gynecologists, wanting to play it safe, still recommend that their “wards” refrain from such pleasure. Indeed, in some cases this is an absolute necessity in order to avoid bad consequences, which will be discussed in more detail a little later.

Doctors of the Moscow medical center “Art-Med”, first of all, insist that the question of the possibility of sexual intercourse during this period should be decided on an individual basis, with the obligatory consultation with their attending physician. And his verdict, of course, will depend on the characteristics of the course of pregnancy. They also say that in the absence of any pathologies and threats, sex is quite safe, although they note that, in general, sexual arousal and especially orgasm are not particularly desirable, since contraction of the uterus during the peak of pleasure can provoke spontaneous abortion or, in other words, miscarriage.

Nevertheless, numerous medical studies have led doctors to believe that “pregnant” sex can even be beneficial, both psychologically and physiologically. 

Sex during pregnancy and psychology

It’s no secret that, alas, not all spouses are faithful to their pregnant wives, many of whom, fearing harm to the baby or for some other reason, refuse them intimacy right up to the very birth. The question of fidelity is, of course, more psychological and philosophical than medical, and whole treatises can be written on this topic. However, I would still like to make a small remark on this matter, so that future fathers would treat this painful issue with greater understanding and responsibility. The fact is that not only the feeling of fear for the child is the main reason for a woman’s refusal to fulfill her marital duties during pregnancy. In the female body during the period of bearing a child, a number of hormonal changes occur, which in some cases can affect a decrease in libido (and in some, and vice versa). In addition, do not forget about such an unpleasant phenomenon, especially at the initial stage, as toxicosis. Oddly enough, nausea in a pregnant woman can appear not only in the form of a reaction to food, but also to smells, and even just to any objects and phenomena. And, given that the sense of smell during this period in women is especially exacerbated, it is elementary, even a slight smell of sweat emanating from her lover, can cause nausea and even vomiting in the expectant mother. It’s nothing personal, men, it’s all nature. The psychological factor also plays an important role in this case. During pregnancy, the body of a woman, whatever one may say, undergoes obvious modifications, which cannot particularly please those who are accustomed to contemplating their slender and fit figure in the mirror. Like it or not, the waist and hips (at best) will still suffer, but you must admit that the expected miracle, which is to blame for everything, is undoubtedly worth it. Nevertheless, it is precisely in connection with such bodily changes that women may develop previously unknown complexes, because of which she begins to feel ashamed of her own husband, and, accordingly, will begin to avoid intimacy with him. Much depends on the behavior of a man, his sensitivity, understanding and care. If a woman feels desired and loved, then this problem will very soon disappear by itself. And there are situations, and vice versa, when a man himself is afraid to harm the child and voluntarily sacrifices his pleasure. In this situation, again, everything should be decided individually, without neglecting or hesitating to consult with your doctor. If he confirms that there are no contraindications, then there is no need to make such sacrifices. In general, throughout pregnancy, women are characterized by fluctuations in sexual desire. The second trimester is considered the period of highest activity and the most favorable for intimacy. During this period, a woman is able to experience the most vivid sensations and even multi-orgasms . During this period, it is more important than ever to talk to each other. A woman should not whine and complain about how difficult it is for her now, but try to explain what exactly is happening in her body, and how this affects her behavior, because a man, unless he is a doctor, often has a very superficial idea of ​​all these nuances.  



What do the doctor’s say

Petros Yeroyan , obstetrician-gynecologist at the Perinatal Medical Center in Moscow, notes two main reasons why “pregnant” sex can be useful. But, only in the case of a successful pregnancy and the absence of any contraindications.

The first is that this process trains the muscles of the cervix, thus preparing them for the most important process – childbirth. In addition, sperm is able to soften the cervix, which makes it open better during childbirth.

The second reason is already a psychological aspect. On the one hand, it is important for a woman to feel still desired and loved, but for a man, as you know, long abstinence is not beneficial, making him irritable. Therefore, although sex is not the basis of married life, it has a beneficial effect on the atmosphere and harmony in the family.
Another, albeit not so significant, benefit of sex during pregnancy is that during this process, the woman’s body produces hormones of happiness – endorphins, and, as you know, the emotions that the mother experiences are transmitted to the child.

Doctors of the Moscow medical diagnostic center “Logon” say that sex accelerates the process of removing harmful substances from the woman’s body, including fetal waste products, which, in turn, prevents the development of toxicosis and gestosis (late toxicosis, manifested in high blood pressure, edema and even convulsions). In addition, during sex, a large number of calories are burned, thereby reducing the risk of gaining excess weight. Another interesting fact: according to experts, there are a number of cases when “pregnant” sex is not just acceptable, but even necessary. For example, in the case of prolonged fetal life , when there is a need for natural stimulation of labor. This is explained by the fact that the substances in the semen, called prostaglandins, are able to accelerate the process of labor. However, even in the most favorable scenario, it is worth exercising great care and vigilance. A woman should be sensitive to her feelings during and after intercourse, since some pain or discharge, and even more so, blood, can signal a threat. Special attention and urgent measures are needed in case of persistent cramping pains, as this is one of the first symptoms of a spontaneous abortion. Despite the fact that the fetus is reliably protected from various mechanical influences by the muscles of the uterus, amniotic fluid and mucous plug, nevertheless, positions should be chosen such as to avoid pressure on the abdomen, and also to avoid too deep penetration. 


When and to whom sex is contraindicated

Sex during pregnancy is strictly contraindicated in such cases:

– with the threat of spontaneous abortion (miscarriage);
– with multiple pregnancies (when twins or more are expected), in which the risk of premature birth increases;
– with polyhydramnios;
– with increased tone of the uterus;
– if there is a scar on the uterus or uterine fibroids;
– with bleeding and other uncharacteristic discharge;
– with a low location or presentation of the placenta;
– in the presence of genital infections and any sexually transmitted diseases;
– in case of rupture of the amniotic fluid or leakage of amniotic fluid;
– if there was a miscarriage or premature birth during a previous pregnancy.

Regarding the issue of protection during “pregnant” sex, then the opinions of doctors are somewhat different. Some, again being on the safe side, believe that it is better to use a condom. Others, however, argue that if both partners are healthy, they do not have any infections, and the woman does not have an allergy to her husband’s sperm, then you can do without it.
Well, doctors recommend stopping having sex from the 36th obstetric week (the period is calculated from the first day of the last menstruation), which is 8 months, since this is already the starting point from which the body begins to prepare for childbirth. From this period , the first training contractions may appear, the uterus, the channel of which opens, actively tones, and, therefore, sex during this period can provoke premature birth.

Based on all that has been said, the conclusion is obvious: sex during pregnancy is allowed, and in some cases it is recommended, BUT only when there are not the slightest contraindications and risks. Well, and each couple, based on their individual situation, already decides for itself how, when and whether it is necessary at all.

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