Congratulations! You’re going to have a baby. While you and your partner may be feeling happy and excited about the newest member of your family, you both know this will mean many changes in your relationship as a couple.
This information helps parents-to-be understand the changes they will face as sexual partners during the pregnancy and after the baby’s birth. It also can help to begin discussions between the two of you, which are always important, but are especially so now. It is not meant to replace the information provided by your doctor.
Tiredness, nausea, and urinary frequency affect your sexual desire and activity. Few people, pregnant or not, are interested in sex when they are tired or don’t feel well. Along with physical discomfort, you also may worry that sexual intercourse can cause a miscarriage. Intercourse or other types of sexual activity will not cause a miscarriage in a normal, healthy pregnant woman. However, if you have cramps or vaginal bleeding, or have had more than one miscarriage, talk with your doctor.
If your doctor advises you not to have sexual intercourse, you may express your love and desire in other ways such as oral/genital sex and masturbation.
However, avoid forcefully blowing air into the vagina during oral sex since an air bubble
(called an air embolus) can enter the blood stream of the pregnant woman. This can be dangerous to the mother.
In rare cases, your doctor may advise against all forms of sexual activity that result in orgasm. During an orgasm, rhythmic, muscular contractions occur in the uterus. Sometimes, these contractions may have a harmful effect on your pregnancy.
While this is very common during mid-pregnancy, some expectant fathers may feel uncomfortable. As always, it is very important to discuss your feelings openly and honestly.
As your baby grows, you and your partner both may worry again that sexual activity may hurt the baby. The contractions of an orgasm might feel like labor contractions. If your baby moves around a lot, you might think he or she has been harmed in some way. Remember that your baby is well-protected high up in your pelvis and well-cushioned by the “bag of waters” (amniotic fluid) surrounding it.
Most doctors do not restrict sexual activity for the normal, healthy pregnant woman. Most permit sexual intercourse, oral/genital sex, and masturbation up to the time of delivery, or for as long as you feel well and healthy. However, if you notice any bleeding, or if the amniotic sac breaks, do not have intercourse. Call your doctor immediately.
The uterine contractions that normally occur during orgasm may last for a while and feel rather strong. Although these contractions are normal and not harmful, some women may find them uncomfortable and avoid orgasm for that reason.
Oral/genital sex and masturbation are also fine and may be especially appropriate toward the very end of pregnancy, when the baby may feel so large and low that intercourse is very uncomfortable.
While sexual activity may decrease, your need for love and understanding from each other increases. Showing your love and support are especially important during the last days of pregnancy as sexual activity declines. Remember you love each other. Remember to say so.