Happy Valentine’s Day!
In honor of Valentine’s Day we will be diving into the topic of sex during pregnancy.
I’m not feeling very sexual but I know my husband is going to want to have sex. What should I do?
The most important thing about sex is communication. It sounds trite, but it’s DOCTOR advised. Why? Because there is nothing more unsexy and unsettling than feeling like you are going to be disappointed or disappoint a loved one. Maybe you are just working on keeping food down *small victories* in your first trimester; working on staying awake in your second trimester; or working on walking down the grocery aisle in your third trimester *side note: why are there not more benches in groceries stores.*
Regardless, if you aren’t *feeling it* gently let your partner know how you envision your ideal Valentine’s day to go. Maybe its making a nice meal together at home and watching a movie, or maybe it’s a fancy specialty menu at a cool new restaurant. The best defense is a strong offense, so bringing it up first is a great step to making sure you and your partner have an enjoyable time together this Feb 14!
You can broach the topic in a positive note: “I’m so excited for today, I really have been dying to _____. I want to feel close to you in ways that we haven’t in a while. Have some time just for us without having to worry about x,y,z.” Even if you do not feel like penetrative sex, there are many great ways to be intimate with one another including cuddling, sharing a warm bath, spooning, foot massages, holding hands, anal play, kissing, oral, and manual stimulation.
I want to have sex but I’m scared it will cause preterm labor or hurt the baby.
Fear not, unless your OBGYN has put you on *pelvic rest* you are golden this Valentine’s Day! In certain situations, like if you have been hospitalized for preterm contractions, have a few placental conditions, your membranes are ruptured etc, you may not be able to enjoy penetrative sex, but for everyone else, please feel free. If you aren’t sure—ASK YOUR DOCTOR. Studies show that most women have questions about sex in pregnancy and never even ask their doctor.
Many studies have shown that sexual intercourse has not been shown to lead to preterm birth or cause any harm to your baby. In fact, in some studies the opposite is shown! Lower rates of preterm labor have been seen in some women who have sex during their pregnancy! There may be some confounders in these studies (like women who may have infections or illnesses that may predispose them to preterm labor may also be abstaining from sex) but regardless its reassuring for everyone who wants to *get down*! There is even some evidence that shows that women who have had a preterm baby in the past are at no increased risk of another preterm baby by having sex during this pregnancy.
Of course, every pregnancy, especially with a complicated history, needs to be reviewed on an individual basis by a physician before a definitive recommendation can be made. At times, women in a low risk pregnancy may experience some vaginal spotting after sexual intercourse. This is often self-limited but should be evaluated by a health care provider. Female orgasm has been associated with some uterine contractions but generally if these occur, they often resolve within 15-20 minutes and are not related to true labor contractions.
I want to have sex but I can’t find a position that feels good!
As pregnancy continues finding a position to sleep that is comfortable and pleasurable is a challenge–finding one to have sex in is damn near impossible! Get a few body pillows, “husband” wrap around pillows, and get creative! Many women find a side or rear entry position more pleasurable as their pregnancy continues, and still others explore anal and oral play. It is important that you communicate with your partner. Allow the experience to bring you closer. Embrace the changes of your body and have fun tonight. You deserve it!