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FAQs: Sex and Pregnancy

Is it safe to have sex when pregnant?

The answer to one of the most oft asked questions is yes, it is safe for most couples to continue having sex when pregnant, if the pregnancy is a no-risk and safe one, and the mother is healthy.

What happens during sex? 

A woman's sexual pleasure gets enhanced during pregnancy, due to the increased blood flow to her sexual organs like the uterus, clitoris and vagina. As a result, her orgasms can be far more intense. When the woman has an orgasm, her uterus contracts, and such contraction is mostly harmless and does not hurt the foetus at all. She may also develop slight cramps after sex, especially in the early stages of pregnancy and similarly, such cramping is also mostly harmless. However, if she has spotting, she should consult her gynaecologist immediately, and not resume sex till her gynaecologist gives her the green signal.

Can penetration hurt the foetus?

Rest assured, the foetus is safe in the amniotic sac, and will not be hurt from penetration. At times the woman may feel a slight discomfort during sex due to reduced vaginal lubrication. It is perfectly normal for women to experience reduced lubrication when pregnant, as hormone levels undergo a change. So if this is the case, you may try alternate means of pleasuring one another, like oral sex. You could also make use of lubricants to make sex more pleasurable and comfortable.

I am enjoying sex more during my pregnancy. Is this normal? 

While some women claim to enjoy sex less during pregnancy, a majority of women report that they enjoyed sex much more when they were pregnant. Which is normal? The answer: both. The period after the first trimester and just before the last couple of weeks of pregnancy was voted as the most enjoyable for sexual activity by most women. Many women report that they just couldn't get enough sex during this time, and that they resorted to pleasuring themselves. Masturbation is perfectly normal and harmless for the foetus.

What if I don't want to have sex when pregnant?

If you fall into the category of women who do not want to have sex during pregnancy, it is perfectly understandable. Your body is going through tremendous changes, and you may feel too tired, drained out and weary to have intercourse. Try substituting sex with alternate pleasurable activities like giving each other body massages, bathing together, and so on. 

When is it unsafe to have sex during pregnancy? 

Was your first child premature? If so, you are more at risk of having a second premature delivery, and thus you should consult your gynaecologist about whether it is safe for you to have sex when pregnant. Sex and orgasms have been known to bring about premature labour. Similarly, if you have had a previous miscarriage, or if you are a high-risk case, you should have sex only after first consulting with your gynaecologist.

Can one have too much sex? 

If you are trying to conceive and if your husband has a low sperm count, the answer is yes. You should try to have sex only every alternate day during the ovulation period. This is because men with a low sperm count need the extra day to build up their sperm count to more fertile levels. You could, however, have sex as often as you want - even 20 times a day during the non-fertile days of your cycle. Women are fertile in the days just before they have ovulated, when they start secreting a thick cervical fluid.

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