For most women having a normal pregnancy it is safe to have sex right up until labor begins or until your water breaks. Your body does an amazing job of protecting the baby, and your partnerâ€™s penis will not cause any harm. The strong muscles of your uterus and the amniotic fluid in the placenta are a big cushion. The baby may move around, probably in response to your increased heart rate and stimulation. But just as likely he will be lulled to sleep by the rhythmic rocking of intercourse.
Sex may feel different during pregnancy. Many women claim that sex during pregnancy is fabulous. There is increased blood flow to the pelvic area, which can cause engorgement of the genitals and heightened sensations. You may also be moister, which can be beneficial to pleasure.
There may be times for the woman when she feels too tired, nauseous, or just plan unattractive. And there will be times when she feels very sexy and interested. Some men find their pregnant partner incredibly sexy, and sometimes he may be afraid of hurting the baby or mother. If necessary, have your doctor or midwife reassure him that it is safe.
Orgasm or nipple stimulation may occasionally cause mild contractions, but they are usually brief and nothing to worry about. An hour or two of mild cramping isnâ€™t unusual. Your breasts may be tender, especially during the first trimester. They often feel more sensitive to touch throughout the pregnancy.
Occasionally women may spot slightly after intercourse. The cervix is highly vascular during pregnancy, and friction may cause some women to bleed slightly. If it is slight and resolves quickly and there is no cramping it is most likely fine. Symptoms to be concerned about include strong cramping, pain or period like bleeding after sex. If you have any concerns, call your doctor or midwife. They can evaluate your situation and recommend what is needed.
As the woman becomes increasingly pregnant, you will have to experiment with different positions. Often intercourse from behind, the woman on top, or side-to-side will be more comfortable. Get creative and try some new positions. It is perfectly safe to use lubricants, dildos and vibrators. Just keep toys clean and use common sense. Generally anal sex is not a good idea during pregnancy. It might provide an opportunity for bacteria to enter the vagina and cause infection. And often women have hemorrhoids during pregnancy, which could make it uncomfortable.
Every couple will need to negotiate what their needs are at each phase of pregnancy or on any particular day. Make sure to have open and honest communication with your partner. If on a particular day you do not want intercourse, remember pleasure may be had from mutual pleasuring, oral sex or mutual masturbation. However, do not force or blow air into the vagina, as there is a potential risk of causing air to enter the blood. This is very rare, but could be life-threatening for mom or baby.
Changes in sex drive are usually mental and emotional, rather than physical. This is true for both partners. Everything is different now, and it takes some getting used to. When mutual desire fails to coincide, there are many ways to be close. You can cuddle, kiss, give a massage, share special songs, watch an inspiring movie, take a walk together, listen to each other, read a book together, or watch the sunset together. Always remember to tell your partner that you love him or her. These simple words are very powerful and reassuring.
There may be particular situations where you will need to avoid sex during all or part of your pregnancy. If there is preterm labor, bleeding, or an incompetent cervix sex may not be safe. Also if you have placenta previa, premature rupture of membranes, bleeding or a foul-smelling discharge. Your doctor or midwife will advise you if any of these problems require that you abstain for all or part of your pregnancy. Make sure to ask if this means no intercourse or no orgasms, or both.
If your partner has a sexually transmitted disease, make sure to use a barrier method to protect yourself, such as a condom. This is also important if you are not in a monogamous relationship or have sex with a new partner during pregnancy. Avoid oral sex if your partner has oral herpes.
Can sex around your due date get labor going? There are no studies that support this, but you will often hear it. As long as your water has not broken, go for it. At least youâ€™ll have some pleasure and distraction during these last impatient days. There are plenty of couples who have sex and still go past their official due date. The baby will come when ready.
The most important things are to have fun, pay attention to what your body is telling you, and be honest with your partner about your concerns.