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Maintaining a Vibrant and Healthy Sex Life Throughout Pregnancy: Doctor’s Advice

Dr TC Tan | Published on September 22, 2023

Physical intimacy is a very important part of any marriage but many couples worry if it’s safe to have sex when pregnant. Common worries include if it will cause a miscarriage or harm the baby in any way.

OBGYN Dr Tan Thiam Chye shares on how to navigate this journey while keeping your sexual relationship strong and satisfying. Here are some valuable tips and considerations.

Is it Safe?
Dr Tan Thiam Chye’s advice will be to try to avoid sex within the first trimester as a safety precaution because pregnancy is still at the early stages. This will help reduce, for example, the risk of bleeding which may sometimes result in miscarriage.

In addition, because many women tend to feel uncomfortable or unwell in their first trimester due to hormonal fluctuations, nausea and fatigue, their sexual desire may be lower than normal.  If you are uncertain about whether it’s safe for a mum-to-be to have sex, whatever your stage of pregnancy, it is best that you check with your doctor/gynaecologist.

Address Common Concerns
During pregnancy, some common concerns may arise. For example, many women worry about harming the baby during sex. Rest assured, the baby is well protected by the amniotic sac and the cervix. Another concern is premature labor, but unless you have specific medical conditions or your healthcare provider advises against it, sexual activity is typically safe.

Which Sexual Positions Are Suitable?
Just as every woman is different (your friend may not enjoy having sex while pregnant but you may be feeling particularly amorous), every pregnancy is different.

Dr Tan says that it’s important to experiment to see which position works best, and keep in mind that this may change as the pregnancy moves along.
For example, the missionary position (when the woman lies on her back) may be comfortable in the second trimester but may become awkward in advanced stages of pregnancy.

In the Mood or Not?
Sometimes, your sexual libido fluctuates or decreases during pregnancy due to pregnancy hormones and fatigue. It’s okay to not feel in the mood for sex, as physical intimacy is not only about sexual intercourse.

“Very often, it’s the physical intimacy that keeps the relationship going rather than the sex itself,” says Dr Tan.

Enjoy the Connection

Fulfilling and healthy sex life during pregnancyRemember that sex is not just about the physical act but also about connecting with your partner. Enjoy the moments of closeness and intimacy, even if they don’t always lead to intercourse. Massages, cuddling, and other forms of physical affection can be just as fulfilling.

Communicate with your partner and share your feelings, concerns and needs with him in an open and loving way. Try another type of contact such as massage, cuddling or kissing.

Be Mindful of Discomfort
As your pregnancy progresses, you may experience discomfort or sensitivity in certain areas. If you’re experiencing pain, bleeding, or any unusual symptoms during or after sex, contact your healthcare provider immediately. These could be signs of a more serious issue that needs attention.

Sex After Pregnancy
Once you have delivered your baby, most doctors recommend waiting 6 to 8 weeks before engaging in sexual intercourse. This is to ensure that any incisions (such as an episiotomy) as well as the delicate tissue of the vagina have healed. It may take you some time to go back to your pre-baby sexual libido due to the stress of having a new baby, sleepless nights and adapting to having a baby in the house. It’s important to continue to keep the channels of communication open with your partner and for both of you to be patient.

Maintaining a vibrant and healthy sex life during pregnancy is not only possible but also important for nurturing your emotional connection with your partner. By communicating openly, understanding your body, and being mindful of each other’s needs, you can enjoy a fulfilling sexual relationship throughout this beautiful journey of pregnancy.

You might also be interested in this article: Resuming Sex Life after Childbirth

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