Sex during pregnancy is good for both you and baby: It can help you sleep better, lower your blood pressure, and even make you happier! Here are some of the biggest benefits of pregnancy sex.
You and your partner might’ve had plenty of bedroom sessions while you were trying to conceive. But now that you’re pregnant, your feelings towards sex may not be quite so straightforward. Is it safe? Is it possible to do it comfortably? And above all, is it even worth it if you’re feeling tired and would rather just conk out early?
The answer to the first two is a resounding yes! (As for the third, well, that one’s still up to you.) As long as you’re feeling up for it and your doctor hasn’t told you otherwise, it’s more than okay to have sex throughout your entire pregnancy. What’s more, sex during pregnancy comes with some pretty sweet perks. Here are eight benefits of pregnancy sex that just might make your time in bed even better.
1️⃣. It’s a totally safe way to stay connected to your partner.
You might be raring to go but still have reservations that sex could somehow hurt your baby. It’s time to toss those out the window! Unless your practitioner tells you that there’s a reason to stay out of the sack, sex during pregnancy is perfectly safe.
So don’t worry — you won’t hurt the baby in any way, or increase the risk for infection (assuming your partner doesn’t have an STD). And having an orgasm doesn’t up the chances for a miscarriage or preterm labor.
2️⃣. Pregnancy sex might feel even more amazing than regular sex.
Surging hormones can send your sex drive higher than usual. (Though if you’re just not feeling it, that’s normal too.) Even better? All that extra blood flow to your vulva can heighten sensitivity, so you could experience more intense sensations and orgasms. You might even discover pleasure zones that you didn’t even know you had!
3️⃣. You’ll reap some big health benefits — and even ease some pregnancy symptoms.
Getting it on can be a workout in and of itself. In fact, sex serves up many of the same physical perks as a session in your sneakers. Even better? Many of those benefits can also provide some welcome relief from some of the discomforts you might be feeling these days. Sex during pregnancy can help you:
👍Burn some extra calories: You’ll torch around 50 calories in just half an hour. That’s not quite enough to replace your workouts, but hey, it’s better than nothing!
👍Lower your blood pressure: Having a healthy blood pressure is always a good thing. But it’s especially important when you have a baby on board, since high blood pressure is linked to the pregnancy complication preeclampsia.
👍Sleep more soundly. Basking in that post-sex glow is relaxing, so you might find yourself tossing and turning a little less afterwards. As an added bonus? All that rocking can lull your baby to sleep, which could mean fewer kicks while you’re trying to doze off.
👍Ease pain and discomfort: Orgasms signal the release of oxytocin, a feel-good hormone that can increase your tolerance for pain. Post-sex, you might not be as bothered by that achy back or crampy leg.
👍Improve your immunity. That same release of oxytocin is thought to give your immune system a boost, research suggests. That’s especially important now, since you’re more susceptible to catching bugs during pregnancy.
4️⃣ Sex during pregnancy can lift your spirits.
Being completely elated about your impending bundle probably hasn’t stopped you from sometimes feeling anxious, weepy or stressed (thanks, hormones!). Pregnancy can be an emotional roller coaster, but sex can be a great way to decompress and just be in the moment. Plus, the oxytocin surge that comes when you orgasm boosts feelings of love and happiness, making you feel even closer to your partner.
5️⃣Your baby will benefit too.
Not only will pregnancy sex not hurt your little one, but many of those perks that come your way will do good things for your baby too. For instance, burning a few extra calories can make it a bit easier for you to avoid gaining too much weight during pregnancy, and a stronger immune system can help shield her from the effects of a cold or the flu.
Same goes for the emotional benefits. More good feelings for you means that your baby is exposed to fewer stress hormones like cortisol. And that can have a positive impact on your little one’s development both before and after birth.
6️⃣It might be a chance for you and your partner to try something new.
Fact: Your growing belly might eventually make some of your favorite positions pretty uncomfortable. Not to worry, though. There are still plenty of ways to get it on that will feel good for both you and your partner. And some of them might be new to you — meaning that pregnancy sex can be a fun opportunity to experiment.
You might try pregnancy-friendly sex positions like side-lying, woman on top, and rear entry to be the most appealing. But feel free to explore with your partner to see what else works. As long as you’re comfortable, anything’s fair game. Just avoid lying on your back for too long at a time.
7️⃣ Sex may be able to help labor along when you’re ready to go.
Having an orgasm spurs your uterus to contract. Unless you’re nearing the tail-end of your pregnancy and your body is ready to begin the birthing process, these contractions aren’t strong enough to make you go into labor.
But once your baby decides that it’s just about go time, a romp in the sack may be able to help move things along (though it doesn’t always, so don’t be disappointed if nothing happens). But if you’re up for sex at the 40-week mark, there’s no reason not to go for it.
8️⃣ Having sex during pregnancy may lead to a better postpartum experience.
A strong pelvic floor can help prepare your body for both childbirth and the recovery that comes afterwards. And orgasms are a pretty fun way to help tone that area. For even more of a workout, try doing Kegels during sex. You’ll pump up those muscles even more — and possibly up the pleasure factor for both of you.
So as long as you’re feeling up for it, get busy! Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, having sex during pregnancy isn’t just completely safe, it’s good for you, your partner and even your baby. And if you have questions or concerns at any point during your pregnancy, bring them up with your health care provider to set your mind at ease.
KEY POINTS YOU NEED TO KNOW 🤰
👍If your pregnancy is healthy, you can have sex. You and your partner can use positions that are safe and comfortable throughout pregnancy.
👍Sex doesn’t hurt your baby. The amniotic fluid in your uterus helps protect your baby when you’re having sex.
👍If you have pregnancy complications now or if you’ve had them in the past, having sex during pregnancy may not be safe.
👍If after having sex you have heavy bleeding, painful cramps or leaking amniotic fluid, call your provider or go to the emergency room.
IS SEX SAFE DURING PREGNANCY?🤰
Sex is a healthy part of a loving relationship with your partner. For most women, sex is safe during pregnancy. If you have questions about having sex during pregnancy, talk to your health care provider.
WHEN SEX IS NOT SAFE DURING PREGNANCY🤰
Sex may not be safe during pregnancy if you have certain pregnancy complications now or if you’ve had them in the past. If you have any of these complications, talk to your provider to see if it’s OK for you to have sex:
👍You’re pregnant with multiples (twins, triplets or more)
You had a miscarriage in the past or you’re at risk of having a miscarriage in this pregnancy. Miscarriage is when a baby dies in the womb before 20 weeks of pregnancy.
👍You had a premature baby in the past or you have signs of preterm labor in this pregnancy. A premature baby is a baby born too early, before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Preterm labor is when your labor starts early, before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy.
You have an incompetent cervix. This is when the cervix opens too early during pregnancy. The cervix is the opening to the uterus (womb) that sits at the top of the vagina. An incompetent cervix can cause you to have preterm labor.
👍You have placenta previa. This is when the placenta lies very low in the uterus and covers all or part of the cervix. Placenta previa can cause serious bleeding and other complications later in pregnancy.
HOW TO MAKE SEX SAFE DURING PREGNANCY🤰
Sex doesn’t hurt your baby during pregnancy. The muscles of the uterus and the amniotic fluid that surrounds your baby in the uterus help protect your baby. The mucous plug help keeps your baby safe from infection. The mucous plug is a mass of mucous that blocks the opening of the cervix. If your partner is male, his penis doesn’t make contact with your baby during sex.
Even though sex is safe for most women during pregnancy and doesn’t hurt your baby, you do want to protect your baby from certain infections you can get during sex. Here’s what you can do to help keep you and your baby safe:
Protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections (also called STIs, sexually transmitted diseases or STDs). An STI is an infection you can get from having unprotected sex or intimate physical contact with someone who is infected. STIs can cause problems for your baby during pregnancy and birth. You can get an STI from vaginal, anal or oral sex. If you have sex during pregnancy, have sex with only one person who doesn’t have other sex partners. Don’t have sex with a partner who may have an STI.
If you have oral sex, be sure your partner does NOT blow air into your vagina. Oral sex is sex that involves the mouth and genitals (sex organs, like the penis and vagina). Blowing air into the vagina can cause an air embolism (an air bubble that blocks a blood vessel). This can cause serious problems for you and your baby.
Ask your provider if it’s OK to have anal sex. Anal sex is sex that involves the penis and the anus. Anal sex may be unsafe during pregnancy because the anus is full of bacteria. If you have vaginal sex after anal sex, you may be more likely to get an infection with bacteria in your vagina. Bacteria are tiny organisms that live in and around your body. Some bacteria are good for your body. But others can make you sick.
SIGNS OF PROBLEMS DURING OR AFTER SEX🤰
If you have pain during sex, tell your provider. If you have heavy bleeding, leaking of amniotic fluid or painful cramps that don’t go away after sex, call your provider or go to the emergency room.
It’s normal to have some cramps or spotting after sex when you’re pregnant. Having an orgasm can cause cramps. Spotting is light bleeding. When it happens you have a few drops of blood on your underwear. Spotting is so light that the blood doesn’t cover a panty liner.
HOW PREGNANCY CAN AFFECT YOUR SEX LIFE 🤰
Your interest in sex and desire for sex (also called your sex drive) can change throughout pregnancy. Rising and falling hormone levels and other changes in your body may affect your sex drive. Here are some common sex drive changes you may feel during pregnancy:
First trimester. Changing hormone levels early in pregnancy and changes in your body’s shape may make you feel sexy. But these changes also may lead to pregnancy discomforts that make you less interested in sex, like feeling tired or sick to your stomach (also called nausea), having sore breasts and needing to go to the bathroom often.
Second trimester. You may feel better during the second trimester. Discomforts you may have had in the first trimester may have gone away or you may be able to manage them better in the second trimester. Your belly is growing but it’s still small enough to have sex comfortably. In fact, you may want to have sex more often than you did in the past!
Women gain about 3 pounds of blood during pregnancy, and most of that blood flows below your waist. You may find that extra blood flow helps you have an orgasm ¬more easily, maybe even more than once. An orgasm is when you feel intense pleasure from sex. When you orgasm, you may feel contractions in and around the vagina.
Third trimester. Toward the end of pregnancy, you may feel less interested in having sex. As your belly gets bigger, you may find some sex positions to be uncomfortable. You may be less interested in sex because you’re more focused giving birth and having a new baby. It’s OK to have these feelings! You and your partner can still be loving and close even if you don’t want to have sex.
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