Sex and pregnancy is often seen as a taboo subject – somewhat ironically given how pregnancy generally happens. However, there's no reason pregnancy need mean the end of your sex life. Here are some of the most common myths.
- You can't have sex during pregnancy. Unless you have any health issues to contend with, you can have sex right up until the moment that your waters break (assuming you want to). However, do check with your doctor or midwife if you've had any bleeding, or if there are any physical conditions that might make it risky, such as a weak cervix. Better to be safe than sorry.
- Having sex while pregnant can harm the baby: In a normal pregnancy, having sex will do no harm at all, even in missionary position. The mucus plug over your cervix teamed with your womb's muscles and the amniotic sac all serve to keep your baby safe. However, certain positions may feel more comfortable, and there's a chance that your racing heartbeat after orgasm might make the baby move around more than usual. If you suffer from bleeding, either of you has a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) or you have any medical cause for concern, do check with your doctor first.
- Sex during pregnancy is painful: Assuming your pregnancy is healthy, sex during pregnancy shouldn't hurt. You may experience cramps after orgasm, or find certain positions uncomfortable. However, opting for positions that allow the woman to control the depth of penetration such as woman on top can help, as can avoiding deep penetration positions such as doggie style.
- Being pregnant turns you off sex: Insecurity about your changing body, changing hormones or morning sickness (which doesn't just happen in the morning despite its name) may make you feel less inclined to have sex but that's by no means guaranteed. You could find yourself having the best sex of your life. Some women become hyper-aroused during pregnancy. Some find their body gets more sensitive, others find it becomes less sensitive and some find it changes over time. Listen to your body, don't put yourself under pressure and do what feels right. If you go off sex, you can pleasure your partner with your hands or mouth instead to help keep the intimate connection between you – and don't forget masturbation is an option for both of you too.
There's no reason pregnancy need mean the end of your sex life.