The Benefits of Sex During Pregnancy
One of the big questions that women ask in their pregnancy consultations is whether they can continue to have sex with their partners during the nine months of pregnancy. So, is it possible? And, if so, what are the benefits of sex during pregnancy?
These questions and fears aren’t exclusive to women, as their partners are also often afraid of making love to their pregnant partner. The most common fears are:
- Can the baby be hurt?
- What if the amniotic sac breaks?
- Can the birth be triggered ahead of time?
- Can we transmit an infection to the growing baby?
However, in general, sex during pregnancy is perfectly safe and, in fact, many people report great benefits in continuing sexual relations during gestation.
Of course, it’s not always necessary to have actual sexual intercourse; we can also use caresses, masturbation, oral sex, etc.
The benefits of sex during pregnancy
Some of the benefits are:
- Sex during pregnancy increases the blood supply to the mother’s pelvis, which ensures a correct supply of food and oxygenation to the placenta. This directly affects the well-being of the baby.
- Releases endorphins and oxytocin, which make us feel better. This can naturally reduce some of the typical discomforts during pregnancy.
- Reaching orgasm reinforces the musculature of the pelvic floor.
- Can help to eliminate tensions.
- Strengthens the bond with our partner.
Next, let’s look at the characteristics of sexuality, trimester by trimester.
In the first three months, the couple’s sex life usually decreases in terms of frequency and desire. This is especially the case in women if they have the typical discomfort of the first trimester: nausea and vomiting.
In addition, women are often very tired due to hormonal changes and can fall asleep at the drop of a hat. This can cause problems in maintaining sexual relations for the first few weeks.
The second trimester is often the one with the most sexual activity. Sexual desire returns, and often increases, and the woman has more energy as well.
This is because the woman’s tummy still isn’t too big, and so it won’t limit movements during sex. The nausea and vomiting have also disappeared. This is when the woman is more receptive to having sex.
In addition, the woman’s genitals are more vascularized (full of blood) and there is more lubrication. This can greatly improve desire and sexual relations.
This is when a couple may be more fearful about having sex, as the baby is fully formed and much larger. Couples may fear that during deep penetration the baby may be injured or that it may induce labor.
Women are feeling much more uncomfortable due to the size of their abdomen, and many experience back pain. Also, if the baby is already in place, they may have pelvic cramps or pain or feel discomfort in the deepest part of the vagina.
Sometimes we just don’t feel attractive when we look so big
That’s why sexuality can be affected during the final months, and a couple will have sex less frequently.
However, in this trimester there are still great benefits in maintaining sexual relations:
- During orgasm we release endorphins and oxytocin. This is a hormone that also aids childbirth by producing contractions. (But don’t worry, we can’t induce childbirth before the baby is ready to be born!)
- If the man ejaculates inside the woman, the semen helps the maturation of the cervix due to the prostaglandins it contains. This helps to induce labor when the time is right.
So, if your gynecologist doesn’t advise you otherwise, feel free to listen to your body and to continue to have an active and enjoyable sex life during pregnancy.