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Is sexual intercourse during pregnancy safe, or can it induce a miscarriage? This is one of the questions that bothers many couples who are expecting their first child. Read on to find the answer to that and many other questions.

Is sex during pregnancy OK?

Many couples who are pregnant for the first time have concerns about the safety of sex. Men, in particular, often worry whether intercourse can harm the baby. Most couples don't need to be afraid of being intimate at all. The baby is safely tucked away inside the uterus, and protected by the amniotic fluid as well. In normal and healthy pregnancies, sex is absolutely OK.

Women who have been diagnosed with pregnancy complications like placenta previa or unexplained uterine bleeding should refrain from sex, and will be informed about this by their doctor. Any pregnant mom who is placed on bed rest, and whose physical activity is limited by her medical team, should obviously also steer clear of sex. During the third trimester, and perhaps even during the second trimester, you may find that man-on-top intercourse becomes uncomfortable.

Medical experts warn pregnant women not to spend to long lying on their back, because this can restrict the blood flow that reaches the placenta, as well. Pregnancy is therefore an ideal time to get creative and experiment with different sexual positions. There is something you want to watch out for, and that is having air blown into your vagina during cunnilingus. This can cause an air embolism, which is rare but potentially deadly. One more interesting thing you may come across female orgasms are known to trigger Braxton Hicks contractions. These contractions tend to stop when you stand up and walk around for a while, and are nothing to be concerned about.

Libido during pregnancy

There are women whose libido goes into overdrive during pregnancy, those who don't feel like having sex at all, and then there are expectant mothers who don't notice any changes in their sex drive. Whichever of these applies to you, you are totally normal. Things can get a little tricky if pregnancy means your partner and you are no longer on the same sexual wavelength.

If you and your partner do encounter some problems because of differences in libido, make sure you discuss these challenges openly and see how you can solve the issue. It's fairly common for men to be upset that their pregnant partner doesn't want to be intimate with him he may feel rejected as well as sexually not satisfied.

On the other hand, the opposite also often happens that pregnancy hormones trigger a mom-to-be to have a high libido, but that her partner is afraid of hurting the baby, or just "weirded out" by the thought of making love to his partner. What can you do if your libido differs from your partner's? First of all, remember that pregnancy only lasts nine months. This will pass, in other words! See a therapist if you have to, but be open and honest with your partner and see how you can resolve your issues first.

Men and sex during pregnancy

Are you going to be a mom soon, and have noticed some odd things about your husband's behavior in the bedroom? Some dads-to-be are honestly worried that having sexual intercourse can induce a miscarriage or hurt the baby in some other way. If you search for "I don't feel attracted to my pregnant wife" online, you will unfortunately also make the very unscientific, but still undeniable conclusion that many male partners simply don't feel like having sex with their pregnant wives. Plenty of people will point out that love and a close bond should overcome such a hurdle, but some men simply can't seem to do that.

Does intercourse induce labor?

Are you really close to your due date, or perhaps already a little beyond it? You may be looking around for natural labor induction methods. Of course, sex find itself on the list of things that could get labor going, along with castor oil and going for a brisk walk. There is no scientific evidence that sex does induce labor, but it is possible that having intercourse can trigger contractions. Semen contains a chemical called prostaglandin, which stimulates the cervix and may just induce labor. If it doesn't work, it can't do any harm. Unless your waters have already broken, in which case sex is definitely off the cards if you weren't planning on earning yourself a dangerous infection.

  • Photo courtesy of 123rf (stock photos)
  • Photo courtesy of 123rf (stock photos)