To have or not to have sex during pregnancy is a question that rattles many couples, for fear of miscarriage or other physical complications. Pregnancy, however, doesn’t put an end to your sex life. You can have consensual sex during the period, while keeping certain precautions in mind.
Express Parenting got in touch with Dr Mira Raisinghaney, senior consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, SL Raheja Hospital, to answer your questions about having sex during pregnancy.
Can you have sex during pregnancy?
“Pregnancy is a normal physiological process. So, we generally don’t contraindicate sex during pregnancy, as long as there have been no complications with pregnancy in the past or present. Only sometimes, we say, jerks should be avoided,” said Dr Raisinghaney.
As far as safe sex positions are concerned, as long as it is comfortable for the partner and there is no direct pressure on the baby, one can choose any position.
Sex during the first trimester
In the first trimester, if the woman has had spontaneous abortions in the past or she has a history of premature labour or any form of bleeding, then she should not have sex till at least three months of pregnancy are complete. The semen has a property called prostaglandin (group of physiologically active lipid compounds) that can stimulate labour pain, leading to an abortion or premature delivery.
Sex during the second trimester
If a woman has had any premature deliveries in the second trimester in the past, that is, if she has gone into labour by 18-20 weeks, then doctors advise against having sex.
Sex during the third trimester
In the third trimester, if there is any history of premature labour (before 37 weeks), then couples are asked to avoid sex during the third trimester because of chances of infection, labour and the physical disadvantage posed by a larger tummy in the latter part of the pregnancy. These, however, are not hard and fast rules.
Sex during high-risk pregnancy
If the placenta is lower in the uterus, then sex should be avoided during pregnancy as it can stimulate bleeding.
Again, if the blood pressure of the pregnant woman is very high, or she’s undergoing a special or high-risk pregnancy, for instance, after previous pregnancy losses, pregnancy through IVF (in vitro fertilisation), conception after years of fertility issues, or pregnancy with pain, then psychological issues come at play, which usually keep patients a little weary about having sex during the period.
Can sex induce labour?
Yes, sex can induce labour, as explained earlier, but it also depends on the condition of the cervix, which has to be right and ready to go into labour. If the cervix is tight then no matter how much sex you have, it’s not going to lead to labour.