There are many urban legends about sex during pregnancy, but gynaecologists are unanimous, everything is on an individual basis. For some women they can continue to have normal and pleasurable intimacy with their spouse. Other women are not so lucky, and due to medical reasons they are cautioned against participating in any types of activities.
Importantly, pregnancy is not a reason to abandon an intimate relationship altogether. This is a time when couples should be encouraged to increase the amount of time they spend together preparing for the baby's arrival, but also to connect on a meaningful level that will sustain them throughout their parenthood.
When pregnant, a woman's body significantly rebuilds itself preparing to create and support a life within. Hormonal changes can affect the libido, so sex during pregnancy might feel like a necessity sometimes.
If in the first trimester, the level of desire in the expectant mother may be somewhat weaker compared to normal, in the later months desire usually increases seriously. Often men find their spouse attractive. A positive and vivid experience (such as an orgasm) in a familiar position never hurt anyone.
There are some situations when pregnant women should abstain from intimate acts. These are times when doctors will strongly recommend abstaining for the next 9 months.
15 Prolapse of the Uterus
With a small degree of prolapse, sex is possible if a woman does not feel pain. This is usually possible at the initial stage of the disease. Sex is banned, and the woman has no desire to commit a sexual act, as soon as there is pain. Painful intercourse is usually the only symptom of uterine prolapse.
In that case, if a woman is diagnosed with uterine prolapse, the subsequent rapid growth of the fetus can affect her condition. This pathological process causes a lot of unpleasant consequences and complications, therefore, before the onset of pregnancy are advised to undergo rigorous training.
14 Infection Risk
During sexual intercourse there is a risk of infection of the future mother with various sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, hepatitis b and hepatitis C. These infections can have a serious impact on pregnancy and the health of the unborn baby. That is why doctors forbid sexual activity, if the partner of the pregnant woman has revealed any sexually transmitted disease.
In case the doctors detect a sexually transmitted disease in a pregnant women, she immediately becomes at risk for increased risk of miscarriage, premature detachment of the placenta. Newborns from infected mothers can get infections of the eye and pneumonia, STIs can sometimes even be fatal for them.
13 Diseases of the Cervix
There is a belief that sex during pregnancy can introduce bacteria from the genital tract in the pregnant uterus. Of course, this is highly unlikely. The fetus in the womb is protected from contact with various microorganisms because of the mucus plug which acts as a thick barrier protecting the uterus and fetus from anything form the vagina and birth canal.
Cervical disease can be detected at any stage of pregnancy, but most often they are identified in the first trimester (before 12 weeks). In most cases, sex does not increase the degree of threat to the pregnancy and unborn child, but in some situations may require a more careful supervision of the attending physician.
12 Infectious Diseases of the Mother
If the pregnant woman is infected by any bacteria or virus (such as HIV) from sexual contact it's best for the baby to avoid further sexual contact, as this can interfere with a full combat infection and facilitate the penetration of the pathogen into the uterus.
Some diseases, sexually transmitted diseases, can be treated during pregnancy with antibiotics with minimal effect on the fetus because the risk of complications from these infections exceeds the risk of a negative impact from antibiotics.
Infections caused by viruses - genital herpes, hepatitis b, hepatitis C or HIV cannot be cured. The purpose of tonic and antiviral therapy will reduce symptoms and decrease the risk of transmission of pathology to the child. A sex ban will be put in place for the duration of treatment and for some time after it, until the expectant woman has had control tests confirming full recovery.
11 Placenta Previa
This obstetric pathology is often complicated by threatened abortion, intrauterine hypoxia and growth retardation. In addition, it often happens that placenta previa is accompanied by an increment. In the third stage of labor and the early postpartum period of high bleeding risk.
Unfortunately, sex while having placenta previa is contraindicated because of the friction and movement of the penis may cause bleeding and placental abruption. However, if placenta previa is contraindicated not only will vaginal sex be off limits, but oral and anal, and even masturbation as well.
Expectant parents will refrain from sex when there is the threat of termination of the pregnancy, irrespective of the period of waiting for a baby. Of course, it is very important to recognize an unsafe condition.
Although there is no evidence that sexual activity can cause miscarriage, couples still need to observe some rules of caution (especially after the 4th month) and they should avoid positions in which sexual activity may cause elevated strain on the abdomen. It's best to avoid too intensive sex with deep penetration.
9 Increased Tone of the Uterus
During all pregnancies, the nervous system connected to the genitals are in a state of increased excitability. Even small physical effects on the uterus, abdomen or lower back of pregnant women can lead to the development of uterine contractions.
This problem may arise, for example, after the deep ruptures of the cervix in a previous birth. In all these situations, sexual intercourse can cause increased tone of the uterus and cause bleeding or spontaneous abortion.
8 Previous Miscarriages
If a woman has previously had a miscarriage or premature birth, the doctor also recommends a couple limit their intimate contact. Nerve wracking are the days of expected menstruation (that time of the month when the woman before conception would get her monthly period) and the dates of previous miscarriages. Most often if these women are having sex, it can increase the risk of miscarriage.
If the reason that caused the miscarriage or premature birth, is preserved during the pregnancy, prohibition of her sex life will be categorical. In other cases, when the pregnancy is developing well and without any complications, doctors have restricted intimate relations in the first trimester and during other critical times (days anticipated monthly and/or date of past miscarriages).
7 Isthmic-Cervical Insufficiency
A threat of miscarriage may develop if the cervix is "weak" and cannot adequately perform its function as obturator, holding the growing fetus inside the uterus. This condition causes the expectant mother to develop isthmic-cervical insufficiency. It is known that the vagina is inhabited by lots of bacteria, this number of bacteria is significantly increased with inflammation if the woman is experiencing this complication.
When the cervix shortens and opens, the lower pole of the ovum becomes infected, the membranes lose their strength. In such cases, sexual intercourse may trigger the onset of labor. Therefore, this condition is an absolute cause for couples to abstain from intercourse until the baby has been safely delivered.
6 Twin Pregnancy
A multiple pregnancy is always stressful for the mother, not to mention a difficult pregnancy and the birth itself. Pregnancy with twins is medically referred to as high-risk, and how the pregnancy fares is due to the development of the two embryos. Of course, the expectation of having twins is always double the happiness for the parents, but the expectant mother is not always feeling this "double happiness" over the next nine months.
This is already a serious burden on a woman's body, and sex can be dangerous during a multiple pregnancy. And even if the pregnancy is proceeding normally, in multiple pregnancies it's recommended to refrain from intimacy.
5 Previous Premature Birth
Premature birth occurs in a small percentage of all cases — the vast majority of women give birth on time. However, for the pregnant woman and her unborn baby she often worries if she will fall into this category or not. Often premature birth can be avoided if the any medical condition is taken seriously and the woman follows her doctor's medical advice.
If a woman has previously had a preterm labor, the doctor also recommends a couple to limit intimate contact. The days surrounding the expectant woman's menstruation are dangerous. Most often these women have an increased risk of miscarriage when they're having sex. If the cause of premature birth is to be avoided in the course of the pregnancy, prohibition of sexual activity will be categorical.
4 Spasms in the Abdomen
The onset of pain is different for different women and is a natural phenomenon. As the uterus begins to stretch to accommodate the baby, cramps in early pregnancy will soon pass by themselves. However, the most intense cramping should be immediately reported to the obstetrician.
A pregnant woman may become disturbed by the nagging pains in the abdomen, in character resembling pain during menstruation. Often these symptoms are provoked by exercise, which sex qualifies as exercise, and can develop into a spontaneous abortion.
3 Rupture of Membranes, Leakage of Amniotic Fluid
Should a pregnant woman find the amniotic fluid is slightly leaking - a few drops, this is extremely problematic. A woman should be alarmed to find any watery discharge coming from the genital tract, especially when changing body position. Serious leakage can reduce the size of the abdomen and heights of the uterus from standing at the bottom.
Amniotic leakage can cause cracks in the fetal membranes, enough to allow numerous bacteria from the vagina and cervix to arrive inside the womb. The child in this case is defenceless, it begins with an infection of the fetus and the uterine cavity that leads to tragic consequences, the death of the baby from a intrauterine infection, and severe septic complications in the mother.
2 Unexpected Vaginal Bleeding
Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy is a disturbing symptom. And yet, bleeding in the first 12 weeks is quite common, which can be a problem. Vaginal bleeding occurs in approximately 30% of all pregnancies, but the sight of blood during pregnancy is enough to cause a pregnant woman to worry about her unborn baby.
Some bleeding during pregnancy can threaten the lives of mother and child. Sex during a high risk pregnancy will trigger increased bleeding, which is a reason to call the ambulance. Regular spotting will stop by itself, but don't forget to visit the gynecologist to find out what the cause of the bleeding is.
This disease is characterized by painful sores on the genitals, which heal over time, but periodically reappear. Outbreaks are often associated with stress. The first appearance of herpes is usually the most painful, and occurs about a week after contact with an infected person.
If your partner is a carrier of the genital herpes virus and you are not, you should refrain from intercourse and any genital contact until the end of the third trimester, even in the absence of ulcers and other symptoms. This also applies to oral sex, if your partner gets cold sores on the lips.