15 Reasons Why Women Use Abstinence During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is an exciting time for a woman, but her body can react in many different ways. Sometimes she is glowing and radiant and full of energy throughout, whereas other times she feels tired and blotchy and nauseous if she is plagued by morning sickness for an extended period of time.

Then there are the women who have a few months in one camp, and then a few months in another. Pregnancy is as diverse as the women themselves who become expecting. After all, women are unique individuals whose bodies react very differently to many things.

Still, we all know at the end of the nine months the most beautiful gift in the world arrives, our picture perfect child and motherhood, one of the greatest journeys we will ever embark upon.

As women’s bodies physically react in different ways to the wonders of conception, so do they emotionally react quite differently from one another. Some are able to exercise vigorously, while others choose a more moderate approach or cannot move around too much.

Some women also are able to continue the same type of sexual relations they had with their partners prior to conception, but many do not. Why is this? There are many different reasons women have for choosing abstinence. Some are physically related, others emotionally related.

Many times for medical and safety reasons, a woman has to make change to her lifestyle in order to keep herself and her future baby safe. Here are 15 reasons why women choose abstinence during pregnancy:

Continue scrolling to keep reading

Click the button below to start this article in quick view

Start Now

15 Doctors’ Orders To Abstain

There is nothing scarier than hearing a pregnancy could be in danger due to something out of a woman’s control, like a physical issue such as placenta previa, unexplained vaginal bleeding, or discharge that could cause preterm labor. What can a woman do?

This is where it is mandatory to listen to her health care practitioner’s orders, and abstain from any activity which could put stress and strain on the body, even something as pleasurable as intercourse. Obviously, due to the regions affected, this could put woman and baby in danger. In this case, abstinence is not only understandable, but mandatory for everyone’s safety.

In most cases, women have to pretty much be on bed rest too, and stay off their feet for the majority of the time. This way there is less stress on the growing fetus and on the woman’s system as well. Most women are understandably worried, but with time adjust, knowing they are doing the best thing for theirs and their future baby’s health.

14 She's Not Comfortable With Physical And Hormonal Changes

Most women will experience some changes in their body after they become pregnant. Others will only notice a few, and then their body will quickly adjust. However, the vast majority of women will have pretty significant hormonal and physical changes that affect how they move, eat, sleep etc.

We know that many women experience at least to some degree various degrees of nausea with or without vomiting and aversions to certain foods, smells, and even light. Hormonal changes will cause some women to become more emotional with crying or sadness, while at other times will contribute to them feeling more tired.

It’s understandable as they are carrying another life inside of them which is hard work. Between the woman’s body adjusting to all these different things, it’s no wonder many women don’t have much inclination or energy for intercourse and prefer abstinence.

The mere thought of expending more energy in a body that feels and acts differently than pre-pregnancy, can make many women leery about this otherwise pleasurable activity.

13 Feeling Too Maternal For Intimacy

Another reason a woman may choose abstinence during pregnancy, is that she is viewing herself and her body in a new way. She is no longer just an intelligent and physically attractive woman to her partner, family, and friends, but also a home for her growing baby.

That is pretty much what the womb does for the developing fetus over nine months, so some women may have trouble seeing themselves in a sexual or a physically desirable light to their partners. They are focusing on maternal thoughts of protecting the fetus and future baby, and don’t want to think about anything else that could distract or potentially harm that.

They may also not be interested as their thoughts are focused more inward now than outward for obvious reasons. Baby is on the inside growing, and the woman is so excited to be a part of every step in baby’s growth along the way.

12 Worried About Miscarriage

Even if a woman does not have any medical risk factors that doctors are concerned about, she may have seen friends who had seemingly healthy pregnancies experience health issues, after having engaged in intercourse with their partners.

Of course, the problems may have arisen anyway whether or not they were intimate, but she would want to ere more on the cautious side and not take any chances of any problems developing in her pregnancy with hers and her baby’s health. There are things that sometimes do go wrong in pregnancy, that it can be frightening not to try to micromanage all areas where one has control.

Also, psychological worry can also play with a woman’s desire levels along with all the other things going through her mind. Abstinence seems to be the best thing in some cases. It saves her sanity and her partner’s in many cases and that is just as important for a healthy pregnancy.

11 Worried That Baby Is Listening

This is kind of a funny one, and though most women know consciously is a little silly to worry about this, many can’t help worrying that maybe in some way baby is listening if a woman is being intimate with her partner.

After all, many women have talked to their babies in utero, played music on headphones to help developing brains and to help baby relax, and have communicated to baby in utero by singing and talking. It wouldn’t be such a far stretch that baby may be listening to them during intimate time with a partner.

On a subconscious level then, this becomes something a future Mom may worry about, thus hampering her ability to enjoy a little bit of couple down time. As with most other decisions she will be making, it is important for her to remember that she must do what is right for herself and her baby. She is already thinking for two even before the big day arrives.

10 He's Afraid To Hurt Her During Intercourse

Another reason for abstinence is the partner’s reluctance to hurt her during foreplay or when being intimate. Again, as long as a woman’s medical practitioner has given her the green light to not abstain, she and her partner can enjoy intimacy pretty much as they did prior to pregnancy, however the emotional component is strong here on both sides.

One partner’s discomfort and worry can throw the whole equation off. It then becomes a stressful situation for both of them. In this case, as when the pregnant woman is nervous, both parties have to be on the same page and communicate their feelings to one another.

There are many ways to be intimate that doesn’t necessary involve sexual contact, such as hugging, holding hands, and cuddling with one another, or other forms of sexual contact. If both people are comfortable being affectionate in other ways, that could work just as well and be a stress-free solution for everyone.

9 Incompetent Cervix Or Cervical Insufficiency

An incompetent cervix once again is a good reason for abstinence, and a woman would have been advised by her doctor or midwife to abstain almost immediately. What this means is that the cervix, a tight tube at the end of the uterus, will start to dilate too soon. This could cause a woman to deliver prematurely.

Obviously she will be monitored very closely from the beginning of her pregnancy if it is determined that this issue is present. There will usually be some symptoms that could indicate to health care practitioners that a woman has this risk.

She would have premenstrual cramping, backache, and suspicious vaginal discharge that is clear and changes color, and/or discharge that increases in volume or becomes wetter. She would also be experiencing spotting. This is not the case in most women, and abstinence is not usually necessary.

However, if a woman sees these symptoms, she should immediately tell her healthcare professional if it has not already been seen.

8 Exhaustion

Many women are very tired from the real energy and work it takes to house and grow another little person. It’s not to say that every woman is exhausted in pregnancy, but a vast majority of women experience exhaustion and don’t have the same desire in being intimate with their partners.

For many women, working full-time is a reality, and adding on to that the responsibilities of taking care of the home (and sometimes other family members), means that in the evening when it is time to go to bed that is all they want to do and that is just fine. Some will experience nausea and indigestion as well, which does nothing to make one feel amorous.

It really depends then on the woman herself, and her body when it comes to energy and desires at this stage. As for with all other decisions she will be making, a woman needs to see what will help her feel at her best whenever possible.

7 Abdominal Cramping

Again, some abdominal cramping (as long as it is light and infrequent), is normal. If a woman starts to experience more intense cramping followed by bleeding or spotting, dizziness, nausea, chills, faintness, fever, she should consult her medical practitioner immediately and go to emergency.

This would be a good reason to abstain, as it could indicate other issues that the medical staff would attend to. It is important that she have herself checked out for anything potentially serious and not feel bad about going into the hospital.

The abdominal cramping could simply be that she needs to rest, or it may signal the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy, where an egg implants outside the uterus. This is very dangerous for woman and fetus and needs to be attended to immediately. It could also indicate a potential miscarriage or preterm labor.

These all are good reasons to speak to one’s doctor and abstain from any regular sexual activity for the time being.

6 Back Pain

For some women, joint pains are a huge problem at many points during pregnancy, particularly in the later stages as her frame grows with baby. Back pain however, is something that is there in most women right from the beginning. As the woman’s body begins to change with baby developing and getting bigger, more pressure will be put on her back and lower body limbs.

This could definitively put a damper on any kind of sexual desire she may have or want to indulge in. The best remedies for back pain, other than trying to stay off her feet, would be short breaks sitting in comfortable chairs, wearing shoes that support the foot and body well, and light and gentle prenatal yoga and exercise.

She should check with her medical practitioner regarding any kind of exercise regime she starts on to make sure it is the right one for her and baby.

5 She's Carrying Multiples

In this case with multiple fetus and future babies in development, a woman would need to be very careful not to overdo anything or over exert herself. With a multiple pregnancy, in most cases there is always an earlier delivery, so the doctor will be constantly watching and monitoring if the babies are developing well in utero, and getting the nourishment they need.

They will also be monitoring the woman to make sure she is getting rest, nourishment and that she is healthy. A lot of women will experience pretty much double the exhaustion, nausea and a lot of typical pregnancy effects to a greater degree.

Abstaining from any kind of physical activity would be a good temporary measure to ensure the woman and fetuses are thriving, and that when the babies are born they are in the best possible health. It’s important that a woman always takes care of her body with rest, fluids, and good nutrition, and staying as calm as she can.

4 Another Baby Or Toddler To Care For

For some women, this is not their first pregnancy, and though that comes with less stress and worrying about the outcome, there would be the stress of caring for another child or children. This, whether she is working outside the home or not, would put a lot of pressure on her, and pretty much tire most women out even if she had housework and childcare help.

She would probably barely have the time to eat, dress, and get herself and her child where they needed to go, and then would return in the evening exhausted, and having to take care of household duties and other childcare duties. It would be very understandable if she was too tired to think of intimacy, other than wanting to be intimately asleep when her head hit the pillow at night.

This is a huge factor in a woman choosing abstinence at any time in her pregnancy.

3 Worried About Catching An Infection

There are many risks of catching infections at any time, but most women are particularly sensitive and worried about something happening when they are pregnant for obvious reasons. The risk of any genital infections particularly genital herpes, can pose major risks for Mom and future baby.

Of course, as long as precautions are taken before and during pregnancy, as well as having regular blood tests and being monitored by a medical practitioner and self-monitoring, it would be less likely she could catch anything.

There are also things like flus and other viruses that could easily be transmitted from one person to another, so avoiding too much contact will give her peace of mind in this way that no one will get sick and have any risks posed. In most cases, women are fine throughout pregnancy, but like with other things, she needs to feel secure and calm so needs to look at the whole picture before making a decision.

2 Physical Discomfort In The Last Few Months

A woman in the last few months of pregnancy, no matter how well it has gone, is usually pretty tired and feeling big and sore and just wanting baby to come out. It’s not that shocking then when many women actually choose abstinence once again. They are barely able to move around the room.

Though they have adjusted to this new center of gravity, it is far from easy to go somewhere and not feel tired. As mentioned previously, their legs and back are carrying the baby with them everywhere, so getting intimate is not as much fun as before they were pregnant.

There are some women that are able to get around this, but many are too tired to engage in any romantic intimacy at this point in their pregnancies. The best thing their partner and those around them can do is to respect their decision.

1 Worries About Bringing On Early Labor

This is actually not as common an occurrence as women think in a lot of cases near the end of a pregnancy, though of course, there are exceptions. Usually a woman’s doctor will have already advised her about her risks in this area if they saw that there were any. In many cases, sex is just as great during pregnancy as before.

The only thing women do have to watch out for is if after sex they experience vaginal bleeding, cramping, or discharge or any kind. Then it is important that they call their midlife or doctor immediately. Otherwise, there is no risk associated with late pregnancy intercourse.

As a matter of fact, research shows that many who had orgasms late in pregnancy decrease their chance of preterm delivery. Many women have found that not abstaining, but simply altering the way they do things, would make it more comfortable for them in their new body.

So, there some common reasons why many women choose abstinence during pregnancy. Like with many other aspects of impending motherhood, it is truly the woman’s choice. She needs to do what feels comfortable for her and future baby, so that everyone is healthy and happy in the end.

Sources: Healthy Women.org, Babycenter.com

More in Incredible