Intimacy is important during pregnancy, as sex can provide mental and physical benefits such as reduced stress and improved emotional connection with your partner.
Of course, intimacy does not always mean sex. It can include other activities such as cuddling, kissing, massage, oral sex, or mutual masturbation. During pregnancy, it is important to communicate your needs with your partner and address your concerns.
Is sex safe during pregnancy?
Sex is generally safe during pregnancy, although you should consult with your doctor to make sure you are taking proper precautions. Your doctor may ask you to avoid sex during the first few months of pregnancy if you have a history of miscarriage or a risk factor that makes you more likely to have one.
Unprotected sex may can put your baby at risk for sexually transmitted infections if you or your partner are having sex with multiple partners or either of you chooses to have sex with a new partner during pregnancy.
You should also avoid any sexual acts that involve blowing air into your vagina. This practice can lead to an amniotic fluid embolism, which is a serious condition.
When should you avoid sex during pregnancy?
You may need to avoid sex during pregnancy if you suffer the following conditions:
- History of preterm labor (contractions before 37 weeks of pregnancy)
- History of premature birth (childbirth that takes place before 37 weeks of pregnancy)
- Vaginal bleeding, discharge, or cramping with no known cause
- Amniotic fluid leaking or ruptured amniotic sac
- Cervical incompetence (opening of cervix too early in pregnancy)
- Placenta previa (placenta that is unusually low in the uterus, touching or covering the cervical opening)
What are the safest sex positions during pregnancy?
Most conventional sex positions are safe during pregnancy. You and your partner can try different positions to find ones that are comfortable for you. Sex positions where you are on top of your partner will give you more control over the angle and speed of penetration.
Avoid sex positions that involve lying on your back. Positions that involve lying on your side are safer during the last months of pregnancy.
If sex is uncomfortable for you during pregnancy, you and your partner can get creative and experiment with other activities that can strengthen your intimacy with each other.
How to keep intimacy alive during pregnancy
Pregnancy can be exhausting and stressful. Here are a few tips to make sure you don’t lose the spark in your relationship:
- Communicate openly: Open communication is key to maintaining emotional intimacy. Talk to your partner honestly and freely about your feelings, fears, dreams, etc., and encourage them to do the same. This can help you clear up misunderstandings and prevent awkwardness from seeping into your relationship.
- Don’t take each other for granted: Even if you’re tired and distracted, avoid taking your partner for granted. Think back to when you were dating, when you could hardly keep your hands off each other. Plan a date night and make each other feel special.
- Revive the art of flirting: You may have more responsibilities now than when you were dating, but you can still keep the romance alive and fresh. Make time to focus on your partner, compliment them, and make them feel important.
- Add some mystery: Relationships can turn monotonous over time. Surprise each other every now and again—whether it’s with a candlelit dinner or bubble bath—to add some spice to your love life.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Bouchez C. Pregnant Passions: Keep Intimacy Alive. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/baby/features/pregnant-passions-keep-intimacy-alive
Mayo Clinic. Sex during pregnancy: What's OK, what's not. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/sex-during-pregnancy/art-20045318#
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