If you're into sex but you're not so sure you're down with sex while pregnant, you're in good company. According to our expert, many women have many worries when it comes to being intimate when you're growing a baby. Luckily, she's here to answer all your pregnancy questions — and hopefully put your mind at ease. Here's what to know about getting busy with a baby bump.
You won't actually hurt the baby when you get it on.
Says Madeleine Castellanos, M.D, sex therapist and author of Wanting to Want: What Kills Your Sex Life and How to Keep It Alive, "Women's first concern is always whether they will hurt the baby with sexual intercourse." But luckily, our bodies have been built for such bedroom activities — even while pregnant. "The uterus is designed to handle the growing baby safely even during sexual activity," Castellanos explains. "In fact, unless women have problems with high blood pressure or preeclampsia, they can even exercise pretty vigorously for the majority of their pregnancy."
You can enjoy yourself just as much as your partner.
Not only can you get it on in any which way you please, says Castellanos, but you can go all the way too. "Women might also be concerned about reaching orgasm because many women think that they could miscarry or deliver early," she explains. "Orgasm, however, will not threaten the pregnancy in any way." And while this holds true across almost all cases, Castellanos warns there is one notable exception. "If a woman has severe placenta previa, orgasm could cause separation of the placenta and dangerous bleeding," she says. "Your obstetrician can tell you if there are any restrictions in to your sex life."
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__You should be comfortable — and that could mean changing things up. __
Sex while pregnant shouldn't be painful. "The most important thing during sex is that a woman be comfortable so that she can get aroused," says Castellanos. So while you may have a favorite sexual position, when you're pregnant you may want to shift things around. "For many women, this means being on their side," Castellanos says. "But many women enjoy being on all fours with their belly supported by pillows."
You could be more susceptible to infection.
The icky truth to sex while pregnant is that "women may be more susceptible to vaginal infections because the pH changes," says Castellanos. But this shouldn't deter you from getting down. Instead, says Castellanos, there are certain precautions you should take. "It's best to avoid any lubricants that have glycerin, which is a sugar that yeast can feed on; and also propylene glycol and acetate, which can irritate the vaginal mucosa, making it easier for infections to take hold."
Any bleeding is a bad sign.
Spotting during sex isn't something you should brush off. "If there is any spotting or bleeding during or after intercourse, a woman should stop immediately and see her obstetrician," advises Castellanos. "Bleeding during or after intercourse could be an indication of placenta previa, which is when the placenta is implanted down low close to or over the opening of the uterus. This is something that her obstetrician can check with an ultrasound." Once you meet with your doctor, he or she will advise you if you need to avoid sex, toys, or reaching orgasm. "Your obstetrician may also decide to limit the amount of vaginal exams she has during the pregnancy," Castellanos adds.