As a young woman, you spend so much time worrying about accidentally getting pregnant before you are ready to be a mom. The older you get, your worries shift toward the possibility that you may not even be able to get pregnant when you want to. The years of taking hormonal birth control and the age of your eggs is suddenly forefront in your mind. When you do finally have a little bun in the oven, it opens up a whole new world of stresses and concerns, not the least of which is the question: should you have pregnancy sex?
For many women, it may sound silly to question whether having sex while you are pregnant is a good idea. Why wouldn't it be? You don't have to think about birth control — that ship has sailed — and it's no longer the kind of stressful, scheduled, and routine sex that revolves around calendars, message boards, ovulation sticks, and basal thermometers. You are free to have a regular old roll in the hay. What could be better? Yet, not everyone is ready to get their freak on right after they see that little plus sign, especially if they have been trying to get pregnant for awhile.
A woman who is experiencing morning sickness or has severe exhaustion early in her pregnancy is probably not going to be in the mood. There are also men who are reluctant to have intercourse with their pregnant partners because they don't want to hurt the baby. If your partner is one of these guys, you can ease his mind. “Sex during pregnancy is extremely safe for most women with uncomplicated, low-risk pregnancies,” Dayna Salasche, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Feinberg School of Medicine, told WebMd. "Your baby can't see you. He doesn't know what you are doing, and he is well protected inside the womb."
By the time the second trimester rolls around, moms-to-be get a surge estrogen and progesterone, which, according to The Bump, helps boost your desire for sex. Some partners are completely turned on by the body changes brought on during pregnancy, especially your second trimester curves and increase in breast size. WebMD points out that the additional lubrication and engorgement in a mom-to-be's genital area can make sex more satisfying.
Of course, there are occasions when having pregnancy sex is not a good idea. The Mayo Clinic warns that if you’re at risk of preterm labor, your doctor will likely recommend that you avoid intercourse because the prostaglandins in semen can cause uterine contractions. Some doctors may ban all sexual contact, as orgasm while pregnant and nipple stimulation may also cause uterine contractions.
Other reasons your doctor may want you to keep from having sex are: unexplained vaginal bleeding, leaking amniotic fluid, cervical incompetence (your cervix is opening prematurely), placenta previa (your placenta partly or completely covers your cervical opening), having had preterm labor or premature birth in a prior pregnancy, or if you are carrying multiples.
Because a pregnant woman's libido can change from one day to the next, you should listen to your body and follow its cues. Not in the mood? Don't have sex. Really want to and the doctor says it's OK? Go for it! Pregnancy is a temporary situation and you have to do what's best for you and your baby-to-be.