So you're pregnant and feeling sexy, and maybe even wondering how to have sex during pregnancy. Because, let's be honest, that new belly of yours and your womb inhabitant seem to be in the way. Our Bodies, Ourselves noted that increased blood flow may make sex more enjoyable, and that women may experience multiple orgasms during pregnancy due to heightened sensations and raging hormones. Some pregnant women may even experience orgasm for the first time. Basically, you want in on this action.
So if you and your partner are feeling down, it's time to give pregnancy sex a whirl — as long as your doctor gives you the all clear. Sex during pregnancy just might be a (very) pleasant surprise.
It's not always easy to make sex happen when you're pregnant, however. In the first trimester, you're tired (no, really), possibly sick, definitely hormonal, and maybe even a little nervous about hurting the baby. Don't assume you're the only one that's worried, either. Your partner might have their own fears concerning sex at this time.
But are there any reasons to avoid sex when a baby's on board?
Romper spoke with Dr. Diana Chavkin, a specialist in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the New Hope Fertility Center. She writes in an email that, as far as sex is concerned, "the only real contraindication is placenta previa," a condition in which the placenta lies low in the uterus. Further, she notes that women with large ovarian cysts should avoid extremely vigorous sex, because strenuous activity may increase the risk of ovarian torsion (when the ovary twists around itself, causing abdominal pain).
Many women and their partners worry about the safety of sex during pregnancy, but according to Mayo Clinic, the baby is protected by layers of uterine muscle, amniotic fluid, and a mucus plug. Truly, your baby lives in biological fortress millions of years in the making. As long as your pregnancy is progressing normally, a little romance won't cause any harm.
According to Parents, the second trimester is the time to practice sex positions that work around your expanding belly. Physically, you've got a lot to work around, so experiment, and have a sense of humor about it all. Though oral sex in pregnancy is generally safe, your partner should refrain from blowing into your vagina, which could cause a potentially fatal air embolism.
Though the internet is chalk full of sex positions to try during pregnancy, sex isn't just physical — it's psychological too. How you make it work will ultimately be between you and your partner. As your pregnancy progresses, keep in mind that your feelings about sex may change, just as your body does.
If you feel too emotional to have sex during pregnancy, that's OK. If your back hurts too darn much, that's OK, too. Plus, according to Mayo Clinic, pregnancy increases breast tenderness, so communication with your partner about your desires is a must.
Chavkin notes that women who have struggled with infertility in the past tend to have more anxiety about sex, but having sex shouldn't impact a normal pregnancy in any way, no matter how long it took to conceive. Nor, she writes, are pregnancies achieved through in vitro fertilization (IVF) any more vulnerable.
If you're pregnant and concerned about the safety of continuing to have sex, don't hesitate to ask your doctor (trust me, they get this question all the time, and there's no need to feel embarrassed: they're totally hip to how you got pregnant in the first place). People are sexual beings, and that's not any less true just because you're pregnant.
Personally, I suggest taking advantage of the days before your baby is born to bond with your partner as much as you can — if you're feeling up to it, of course. Figuring out how to have sex when you're heavily pregnant is one thing. Once you've got a newborn sapping your life force? Trust me, new and unexpected challenges await.