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Ask Ate Anna by Roselle PaulsenSex while pregnant?

by Roselle Paulsen

Dear Ate Anna,

My husband and I have a question, but are too embarrassed to ask my doctor. I am four months pregnant with my first baby. Is it safe to have sex during pregnancy?

I’m Worried!

Dear Worried,

Please do not be embarrassed. Many people have the same question as you, and it is important to talk about.

In most cases it is safe to have sex during your pregnancy, and it will not harm you or the baby. Unless your doctor or other health care practitioner has advised against it in your specific case, there is no reason to worry. I know it may feel embarrassing, but if you feel you are able, Ate Anna encourages you to ask your doctor if you have any concerns about your pregnancy.

Many women find that their interest in sex changes during the different stages of their pregnancy. Some may feel too tired or nauseous to be interested in sex. Others may find their desire for sex to increase while they are pregnant. Every person is different, and even every day can be different in regards to how you feel and how much you want sex while you are pregnant.

You may find that changing hormones as well as a changing body may make sex feel uncomfortable in a number of different ways. This is normal and it is helpful not to push yourself to do anything you are not comfortable with.

If you do feel that you and your husband want to have sex, you may need to try new positions to allow for the changes you are experiencing in your body. Feel free to try many different ways and find what works for you!

The only position the pregnant person should avoid is lying flat on your back after the fourth month, or any time if feels uncomfortable. If you are in this position during sex you may find yourself feeling light headed or nauseous, as you might compress some major blood vessels. Also, air should not be blown into a vagina during sex. Other positions and activities should not be a problem, but you can both go slowly to make sure everything is feeling OK. Be ready to make changes when you feel uncomfortable.

Sometimes we may worry about “hurting” the baby during sex. Do not worry! The baby is protected by the amniotic fluid in your uterus. There is also a mucous plug that blocks the cervix during most of the pregnancy. The only thing that you should watch for at all times is if your water breaks (the amniotic sac) – then you should call your doctor right away.

People also may worry about sex causing the baby to birth early. Do not worry about this either. Medical research shows that in an ordinary pregnancy, orgasms and sexual pleasure do not cause premature labour or premature birth.

Some other things to watch out for: if any unexplained bleeding starts from the vagina, you should call your doctor right away, and avoid sex until the doctor says it is OK to do so.

There may be a time during your pregnancy when you or your husband don’t want to have sex. That’s OK, and this is a good time to express your care for each other in different ways such as cuddling or massage. This is also a good time to think ahead and talk about the changes that will be happening in your sexual relationship once you become parents.

Ate Anna sends good wishes to you and your husband as you await your first child.

Take care,
Ate Anna

Ate Anna welcomes your questions and comments. Please write to: Ate Anna, Suite 200- 226 Osborne St. N., Winnipeg, MB R3C 1V4 or e-mail: info@serc.mb.ca. Please visit us at www.serc.mb.ca. You will find reliable information and links for many resources on the subject of sexuality.

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