If you want to get pregnant, you have sex. However, what about sex while you are pregnant? The answers are as clear as ABC. Here is what you need to know about sex during pregnancy.
Some wives want to know is sex OK during pregnancy. As long as your pregnancy is proceeding normally, you can have sex as often as you like, but most wives may not always want to. This is because at first, the hormonal fluctuations, fatigue and nausea may sap your sexual desire. During the second trimester, increased blood flow to your sexual organs and breasts may rekindle your desire for sex. However, by the third trimester, weight gain, back pain and other symptoms may again dampen your passion for sex.
Many wives, who have waited for long before getting pregnant, are always apprehensive of the unknown. They want to know if sex during pregnancy causes a miscarriage, especially in the first trimester.
Early miscarriages are usually not associated with sex, but chromosomal abnormalities or other problems in the developing baby, and not to sex. Sex during pregnancy does not harm the baby either. This is because the developing baby is protected by the amniotic fluid in the uterus, as well as the mucous plug that blocks the cervix throughout most of the pregnancy. Sexual activity will not affect your baby.
A wife once asked me: “What are the best sexual positions during pregnancy?” In reality, as long as you are comfortable, most sexual positions are OK during pregnancy. As your pregnancy progresses, you and your husband can experiment to find what works best.
Rather than lying on your back, you might want to lie next to your man sideways or position yourself on top of him or in front of him. Let your creativity take over, as long as you keep mutual pleasure and comfort in mind. I have written a book titled, Sexual Intimacy in Marriage; a few of the chapters there are dedicated to sex in pregnancy and the like; I would advise you get a copy of the book from any leading bookshop.
Another married young mother asked me recently, “What about oral sex?” Contrary to “old women fables,” oral sex is safe during pregnancy. There is a warning though: if you receive oral sex, make sure your husband does not blow air into your vagina.
Though this rarely happens, a burst of air may block a blood vessel (air embolism), which could be a life-threatening condition for you and the baby. For those who want to know my stake on anal sex, anal sex is not recommended during pregnancy or at any time among the married lovers. Anal sex does allow infection-causing bacteria to spread from the rectum to the vagina.
Are condoms necessary? asked one of my readers. Frankly, an undue exposure to sexually transmitted infections during pregnancy increases the risk of infections that can affect your pregnancy and your baby’s health. You may use a condom if your husband has a sexually transmitted infection history.
Many want to know if orgasms can trigger premature labour. Yes, sometimes orgasms can cause uterine contractions, but these contractions are different from the contractions you will feel during labour. If you have a normal pregnancy, orgasms during intercourse do not seem to increase the risk of premature labour or premature birth. Likewise, sex is not likely to trigger labour, even as your expected date of delivery or due date approaches. Sometimes sex prior to delivery hastens labour, but you still have to be moderate in all you do.
Are there times when sex should be avoided by a nursing mother who has been sexually active shortly after delivery asked this question? Although most women can safely have sex throughout pregnancy, sometimes it is best to be careful.
Sex could be avoided when you are at risk of preterm labour, or you have unexplained vaginal bleeding, or you are leaking amniotic fluid, or your cervix begins to open prematurely (cervical incompetence) and when your placenta partly or completely covers your cervical opening (placenta previa). If you fall into any of these categories, please stay off sex.
Some wives asked me, “What if I don’t want to have sex?” This is a decision you may not be able to take alone, because if you send your husband on a compulsory nine-month sabbatical ‘leave,’ he may decide to change the job and look for a better one. So, wise up and compromise where needed. Although there are more to marital relationship than sexual intercourse, if sex is difficult, unappealing or off-limits, try cuddling, kissing or massage.
After the baby is born, how soon can I have sex? Whether you give birth vaginally or by C-section, your body will need time to heal. Many gynaecologists recommend waiting four days after normal vagina delivery and four weeks before resuming intercourse if you had a C-section. This allows time for your cervix to close and any tears or a repaired episiotomy to heal.
If you are too sore or exhausted to even think about sex, you can maintain intimacy in other ways. Stay connected during the day with romantic text messages, and erotic emails. Reserve a few quiet minutes for each other before the day begins and before the day ends. When you are ready to have sex, take it tenderly and use a reliable method of contraception if you want to prevent a subsequent pregnancy.
CAFI offers practical and informational services relating to reproductive and family health matters. We spread our message via the electronic/print media and talk shows. Due to our mode of operation, CAFI has become Nigeria’s leading resource centre for information and practical tips for sexual related issues.