Congratulations! The next several months will be a time of growth (literally and figuratively), wonder and change.
Speaking of which… you’re probably already wondering about lifestyle changes. And that’s likely to include thinking about your sex life.
Sex during pregnancy is sex and it will strengthen the bond between you as a couple. Some women seem to want to have more sex during the first and second trimesters-although not usually the third (We hear you, the third trimester is difficult!)
We also know that as first-time mums and dads you might have a lot of questions. Is sex safe during pregnancy? Will the penis harm the baby? Can the baby feel sex? Is it okay to have an orgasm during pregnancy?
Hopefully we can clear some of those questions and concerns with our quick-fire FAQs to sex during pregnancy.
Can you still have sex during pregnancy?
Of course! Sex is safe during pregnancy. Unless your midwife has told you otherwise. Most women can carry on bonking until their water breaks or they go into labour!
How different is sex during pregnancy?
As your body changes, sex will be different. During pregnancy, your blood volume increases by about 40%. That not only swells your breast, but it also heightens sensitivity throughout all your erogenous zones. And that can mean more intense, even multiple, orgasms.
You’ll find your sex drive changes through your pregnancy – potentially disappearing in your first trimester when you’re tired and nauseate; getting livelier in your second trimester when high levels of hormones can send your libido through the stratosphere; then tapering off as your due date approaches and you feel achy, unwielding, and maybe even nervous about impending parenthood.
Will it hurt the baby?
This is undoubtedly the biggest wet blanket – the fear of hurting the baby. Research shows that somewhere between 50 and 80% of women worry about it. Dads do too. Let’s make this clear – sex doesn’t hurt the baby. The amniotic sac and muscles of the uterus and the mucus plug that seals the cervix protects against infection.
Don’t worry – the penis doesn’t go beyond the vagina so it won’t reach the baby. The baby is in the womb, up through the cervix. There’s no chance of it harming the baby.
Can sex during pregnancy cause a miscarriage?
Another massive fear is that sex will cause miscarriage. Sex doesn’t cause miscarriage. Even if your partner is well endowed, his penis will never reach the baby because the baby isn’t in the vagina. The baby is cocooned away in its own little impenetrable vault, within the strong walls of the uterus, behind the cervix and well cushioned by amniotic fluid.
I’ve had a low sex drive – is this normal?
There’s lots of individual experiences when it comes to sexual desire during pregnancy. Some women have heightened libido throughout pregnancy, others are less interested in sex. Both are normal. Your body is going through a lot of changes, both physically and hormonal changes. These play havoc with your libido.
The first couple of months of pregnancy can be very difficult for some women as it leads to tiredness, nausea, and irritability. In the second trimester, the libido returns as these symptoms decrease!
Communication is key. Communicate with your partner, reassure him that you’re still in love – you’ll find your partner will be understanding, you’re embarking on a wonderful journey together. Try to enjoy it!
What about my partners sex drive?
Since your partner might become anxious and doesn’t want to hurt you or the baby, pregnancy often makes him uncomfortable with intercourse. He will find you more attractive as you get curvier day by day.
The best thing to do here, is attend pre-natal appointments together, so he can be reassured by a professional.
Again – communicate. Talk freely with your partner and tell him your feelings. There are other ways to enjoy each other if you’re both not ready for sex.
Is oral sex safe?
Yes. Oral sex is safe. Again, due to those hormone changes, it’s normal for you to have a change in smell or taste down there during pregnancy. There’s elevated PH levels in your vagina – this can result in bouts of thrush, bacterial vaginosis and a change in your discharge (we’re sorry, that isn’t the perfect dirty talk you’ve been looking for!)
Chat to your midwife if you’ve got any of those problems.
You could use some flavoured lubricant to make the experience more pleasurable.
Can sex trigger labour?
There is no harm in giving it a go. There is no proof that it works! Semen contains a chemical called prostaglandins – which can induce labour, and orgasms are a good way to increase activity down below. But there’s no guarantee. (But you’ll have fun trying to induce labour!)
Are sex toys safe?
The short answer? Yes, of course! Rarely is anything sex-related off limits during pregnancy! Even rough intercourse while your pregnant is OK as long as you’re smart and safe about it.
But sex toys definitely get a green light since, for most of the part, they’re just synthetic versions of the real thing. Some couples find that they enjoy sex toys even more than before, the increased blood flood to genitals, along with hormonal changes, can make orgasms with a sex toy more intense.
If you’re worried about penetration, that’s understandable, but your sex toys aren’t going to be a problem. It’s fine avoid deep penetration with a sex toy but your placenta, cervix and baby are well protected. Your partner thrusting inside you is safe – then so is your sex toy!
A vibrator may be your toy of choice – that’s totally safe too! Using a vibrator on your clitoris? Absolutely safe.
It is important to consider a few things. While the act of using the toy is safe on your body and baby, there are some precautions you can take to keep yourself even safer!
1. Clean your toys
We mean thoroughly. Clean it before and after you use it, just to keep any bacteria from entering your vagina and causing an infection. Clean with warm, soapy water, rinse and dry them careful and then store them in a clean place. You can use our toy cleaner to make this even easier!
2. Don’t switch from vaginal to anal
If you use a toy for anal stimulation or penetration – then this is strictly an anal only toy! No matter how well you clean your sex toy – that bacteria can still be there and potentially cause an infection.
3. Treat it like regular pregnancy sex
The same rules on sex while pregnant apply to using sex toys while pregnant. If you’re bleeding, your cervix is probably just a little irritated and nothing to worry about unless it’s accompanied with cramps or gets heavier. It’s totally safe to orgasm while using sex toys, and any position is fair game, as long as you’re comfortable. Always check with your midwife or health professional if you’re unsure.
Do vibrations hurt the baby?
No! The baby is protected by the amniotic fluid. The baby has no idea what’s going on and definitely won’t remember any of it!
What sex positions are best?
It’s a lot of fun trying different positions whilst pregnant to see which are best and most comfortable. The trick is finding positions that work well round your growing belly, and don’t put pressure on your back and abdomen.
The truth is – everyone is different. Pregnancy is a personal journey. You and your partner should work together to find sexual positions and levels of intimacy that you’re both happy with.
Always remember: When pregnant, you should do everything in moderation, including sex and sex toy use. Just about anything that feels good for you is safe for the baby, as long as your midwife has given you the go ahead. Don’t worry that the baby is “watching” – while your baby might enjoy uterine contractions during orgasm, he or she can’t see what you’re doing and definitely won’t remember it.
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical professional, the health-related information, is for informational purposes only and should not be considered to be a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Always seek the direct advice of your own midwife in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.