Sexuality During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a very different process that radically affects women's life. In this process, besides physical changes, many psychological changes occur.

Sexuality and sexual life, which are of great importance in every stage of life, are often negatively affected by pregnancy. Especially in prospective mothers experiencing their first pregnancy, there may be coldness against sexuality at the stages of adaptation to this process.

Sexuality and sexual desire are actually one of the innate instincts in man. The purpose of this motivation is the will of the beings to maintain their own descendants.

With the realization of pregnancy, maternal instinct becomes a little more dominant in women. The idea that any intervention that will come from outside will harm the baby, those who experience their first pregnancy may blunt the candidate's sexual desires. However, in a normal pregnancy, sexual intercourse has no positive or negative effects.

Although the idea that early sexual intercourse among the public will cause disability or death in the baby or result in a miscarriage, this has no scientific basis.

As pregnancy progresses and the expectant mother adapts to this change in her, an increase in sexual desire may be observed, but sexual intercourse becomes technically difficult with the widening of the uterus. This situation may occasionally cause pain and pain in the expectant mother. For this reason, a decrease in sexual desire may be seen in the last stages of pregnancy.

There is no restriction in sexual life up to the last four weeks when everything goes normally. In this period, the relationship is not recommended because of the idea that substances called “prostaglandin” in male ejaculation fluid (semen) can cause uterine contractions and cause premature birth.

Again, in women with a history of recurrent miscarriage or preterm birth, the relationship may be limited in the first trimester due to the low risk of orgasm.

In cases where there is vaginal bleeding during any period of pregnancy in which she is living, the relationship is strictly prohibited in women with low or premature birth threat. This prohibition continues until it is determined that the danger has disappeared.

In the presence of a "genital infection" diagnosed in men or women, a ban should be put in place until full treatment is completed.

In the case of "placenta previa (leading the placenta)", which is included in the risky pregnancies class, it is necessary to avoid the relationship due to the risk of starting bleeding.

If the pregnant woman avoids the relationship due to psychological fears, this situation should be met with understanding and not forced. For the sake of clarity, the rest of this section has been prepared as a question and answer.

Question: Is it alright to have sex during pregnancy?

If there is no risk of preterm labor or abortion, if the placenta is in normal location, individuals do not have a genital infection carrier, normal sexual intercourse may be recommended except for the last month of pregnancy.

However, people who have abdominal and groin pain or bleeding after the relationship should avoid the relationship. If the pregnant does not know if she is at risk for sexual intercourse, she should definitely go to an obstetrician and consult.

Question: Does sexual intercourse cause miscarriage?

Many couples think that having sexual intercourse may cause miscarriage, especially in the first three months of pregnancy. However, most of the abortions that occur during this period are not related to the relationship, but are related to genetic disorders in the developing baby in the uterus.

Question: Does having orgasm cause preterm labor?

Having an orgasm can cause the uterus to contract. However, according to the vast majority of studies, whether or not sexual intercourse occurs in a normal pregnancy shows that orgasm does not cause labor or preterm labor.

If you have already given a premature (early) birth, stimulating the nipples can start your birth pain.

Does sexual intercourse harm the baby?

No way. During the intercourse, the male's penis does not physically touch the baby. Because the baby is protected quite well by the uterine muscles, amniotic fluid and sac. Also, the mucus plug (cervical mucus) at the entrance of the uterine canal prevents the passage of semen and bacteria into the uterus. However, if deep intercourse or coercion causes pain, this should be avoided.

Is there a certain period during which pregnancy is recommended to avoid sexual intercourse?

In the last weeks of pregnancy, it is recommended to avoid sexual intercourse for preventive purposes.

There is a study that states that having more than one sexual intercourse in the last month of pregnancy increases the risk of intrauterine infection. However, there are no other studies supporting this study.

Again, at any period of pregnancy;

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Amniotic water coming
  • Cervical insufficiency (Uterus canal is shorter and wider than normal)
  • Presence of preterm birth and abortion risks or those who have experienced these problems in previous pregnancies
  • If conditions such as placenta previa (the placenta clogging the cervix of the uterus) occur, the obstetrician will probably say that sexual intercourse should be avoided.

For example, in other risky situations where there is a high probability of preterm birth, such as twin pregnancy, it may be necessary to avoid sexual intercourse after the sixth month of pregnancy.

If the pregnant woman has a previous history of miscarriage or premature birth, sexual intercourse may not be recommended.

Question: Is it recommended to use condoms during pregnancy during sexual intercourse?

All women (polygamic women), whether pregnant or not, have sexual intercourse with new or more than one person, should use condoms to protect them from sexually transmitted diseases.

All pregnant women who have sexually transmitted diseases are open to infections that can harm the baby and have the possibility of preterm birth. Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV (AIDS) and Herpes microorganisms are infectious agents that are transmitted sexually and can be transferred to the baby by birth.

Question: How is the sexual desires of women affected by pregnancy?

Pregnancy has three different periods, the first three months, the second three months, and the last three months. As the characteristics of each period are different from each other, sexual desires and desires in these periods are also different.

In the first trimester, which is the adaptation period of pregnancy, a decrease in sexual desires may be observed in general and this may affect the sexual life of the couple. During this period, changing hormone balances, fatigue, weakness, nausea and vomiting, and the woman's feeling weak and ugly may adversely affect sexual desires.

During the second three months, a number of changes in sexual drives begin to occur. Sexual impulses can return to normal, with increased blood flow to the breasts and genitals. Even increased blood to the breasts and genitals can make the person feel ready for sexual intercourse. Therefore, even an increase in impulses may occur during the relationship.

When entering the last three months, pregnant women generally feel that their sexual desires are decreasing again. A large abdomen can make sexual intercourse physically difficult. In addition, increased fatigue, back-waist-abdominal pain, increased vaginal discharge and fungal infections, and the pain felt at the time of intercourse as a result of edema in the vagina can remove the pregnant woman from sexual intercourse again.

couples at the last trimester can try to have sex in positions where they can move comfortably without forcing each other.

Question: Which positions can be tried during sexual intercourse during pregnancy?

It may be useful to try different positions during pregnancy. For example, the way the male is on the top will both disturb the mother and disrupt the blood circulation of the child, depending on the pressure of the abdomen in a recent pregnancy.

In advanced gestational weeks, the positions where the woman is on the top or side and where the woman can direct her movements can be preferred.

Increased vagina secretion with the effect of pregnancy hormones may cause pain sensation during intercourse due to edema occurring in vagina as in the whole body.

Question: How can couples cope with all these sexual desire changes?

The pregnant woman can expect compassion from her husband without a desire for sexual intercourse. But men can also perceive this reluctance as a rejection.

The important thing is that the couples can speak openly about each other's wishes and desires. Other sex methods can also be discussed. For example, oral sex, massage, or masturbation may be attempted.

Question: Why is there not much talk about sex in pregnancy?

Scientific publications on the subject are confusing. Another reason may be that some physicians are uncomfortable talking to their patients about sexual issues. For these reasons, couples may receive the message that they should avoid sexual intercourse during pregnancy.

In fact, sexuality and sexual desire are one of the innate instincts in man. The purpose of this motive is the will of the beings to maintain their own descendants. However, this issue is unfortunately still a taboo.

Question: How long after the birth can couples have sexual intercourse?

The correct answer depends on the couple. Usually, there is no uncomfortable problem and sexual intercourse can begin 20-25 days after normal birth or cesarean if everything is working well.

However, couples experience some changes in their sexual relations after becoming parents. This is also very normal and if there are some question marks in the heads, it is best that the couple consult a physician they trust.

Op. Sibel Malkoç, MD

Gynecology and Obstetrics Specialist

Dr. Sibel Malkoç attended many domestic and international training seminars and congresses during 25 years of specialised physician service.

Pregnancy follow-up, urinary incontinence surgery and laser treatments, genital aesthetic surgery and laser applications and vaginismus treatment are of special interest.

It serves its patients especially in surgical and laser-assisted Vagina aesthetics.

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