Sex during pregnancy

Pregnancy is the time when most women experience a change in their hormonal profile to such a degree that they may have to alter a lot of their regular activities to suit their mood at that time. Sex is one of those activities which might be the most affected. Many women do not enjoy sex at all during their pregnancy while others obtain maximum pleasure.

Is it safe to have sex during pregnancy?

Sex during pregnancy is totally safe if not otherwise advised by the doctor. Most women can have sex right until the last month of their pregnancy if they do not feel uncomfortable. It is safe to have intercourse since the baby is protected by a thick mucous plug that seals the cervix and guards against infection.

Some of the medical reasons which require abstaining from sex are:
Recent vaginal bleeding
Preterm labour
Ruptured membranes (broken water bag)
Placenta praevia
Infection with STDs

Does the sexual urge diminish during pregnancy?

Sexual urge is idiosyncratic and may increase or decrease when a woman is pregnant. Most women however, feel a decreased urge to have sexual intercourse, which may be more due to the presence of other symptoms during pregnancy like nausea and abdominal heaviness than due to actual decrease in sexual desire. Increased sexual desire may be due to increased blood flow to the pelvic area during pregnancy. There are changes in the hormonal profile also which may cause an increase in libido. Some women enjoy unrestrained sex since the fear of an unwanted pregnancy is removed.

The first trimester is usually the worst time for a woman to think about sex since most women experience breast tenderness and morning sickness during the first three months. They may also be tired both physically and emotionally due to the novelty of the situation. By the second trimester the situation eases considerably and couples are more likely to resume their normal sexual relations. However, these preferences are purely individual and may vary from one couple to another.

By the third trimester, physical discomfort is usually increased to a large extent. This may prompt couples to adopt alternate sexual positions so that the discomfort is alleviated. The "woman on top" position may be more suitable and enjoyable than the conventional "man on top" one. The rear entry position may also be tried out.

Is oral sex safe?

Oral sex, especially during the later months can be a very feasible alternative to intercourse. It may satisfy both partners without any potential discomfort. However, care should be taken that the male partner does not blow air into the vagina since it may cause blockage of a blood vessel which could be potentially dangerous. Oral sex should also be avoided if either of the partners has a sexually transmitted disease.