Sex Life During Pregnancy
One of the most beautiful outcomes after the treatment of a sexual dysfunction such as vaginismus is of course the “pregnancy period”.
A pregnancy that is going to be achieved after long and arduous efforts, in your future life, would change all your priorities, attach you to life firmly and would make you forget all the hardships you had lived.
In this section, information about sexuality in pregnancy and the things you should do during this period are presented in detailed.
What is expecting you in pregnancy?
Pregnancy is a very different process that affects a woman’s life deeply. In this process many psychological and physiological changes take place.
Sexual life, which carries significance in every stage of life, most of the time, is affected negatively during pregnancy. Especially for women who are living their first pregnancies, in the stages of adapting to this process, there might be coldness for sexuality.
Sexuality and the sexual drive are actually one of the innate urges that exist in human beings since birth. The sexual drive in the living beings is their desire to continue their species.
After the realization of pregnancy, in women, the motherhood instinct becomes more dominant. In women who live their first pregnancies, the idea that any external intervention would hurt their babies might dampen their sex drives. Yet, in a pregnancy that is advancing normally, sexual intercourse has neither positive nor negative effect.
Although among common people there is this dominant thought that a sexual intercourse that takes place in the early periods might cause deformations in the baby or even kill the baby or cause miscarriages, there is no scientific base for this kind of a thought.
As the pregnancy advances and the mother adapts to this change in her, an increase in her sex drive might be seen. However, as the uterus enlarges, technically it becomes hard to have a sexual intercourse. This might cause the mother to experience pain and aches from time to time. In this regard, towards the final stages of a pregnancy, a decrease in the sex drive might once more be seen.
In a pregnancy where everything goes normal, there is no restriction in the sex life up until the last four weeks. In this period as it is believed that the matter called “prostaglandin” contained in the semen of the men starts uterus contractions and might cause premature birth, it is not advised to have sex.
Again, for women who have encountered “recurring pregnancy loses “or given premature births, due to orgasm related miscarriage risks, sexual intercourse might be restricted in the first three months.
In women who encounter vaginal bleeding in any stage of their current pregnancies, who are under the threat of miscarriage or premature birth, sexual intercourse is strictly forbidden. This prohibition continues as far as it is determined that the threat is no more valid for sure.
In the cases where “genital infections” are diagnosed in a man or a woman, until the treatments are fully executed, there should be prohibitions.
In cases risky for the pregnancy process such as “Placenta previa (grows in the lowest part of the womb)”, as it carries the risk to initiate a bleeding, a sexual intercourse should be avoided.
If the pregnant woman avoids a sexual relation because of psychological fears, this should be understood and should not be further forced.
Sexual Life during Pregnancy, Questions and Answers
Is pregnancy after vaginismus different than other pregnancies?
No. Pregnancies after vaginismus are not different than others in the way they advance. Because of this, observations of both pregnancies are the same.
However, what should not be forgotten is that the women who get pregnant after vaginismus treatments are more sensitive in their pregnancies and that they call for more care. Because of this, it is very crucial for them to choose the right gynecologist, who can understand their psychology, to observe their pregnancies.
Can there be sexual intercourse during pregnancy?
Even if you get pregnant after a vaginismus treatment, we advise you not to abstain from sexual intercourse during pregnancy. Pregnancy does not require you to impose any restrictions upon your sexual life.
However, there are certain exceptional cases in pregnancy such as, to have risks of miscarriage or premature birth, having a low settled Placenta (Placenta previa), one of the couples carrying a genital infection, then sexual intercourse might not be advised. If there are no such cases, until the last month of the pregnancy, normal sexual relation may be advised.
However, again, women, who suffer from belly and groin aches or encounter bleeding after an intercourse, should abstain from sexual intercourse. If the pregnant person does not know whether she carries any risks related to sexual intercourse, she must definitely consult a gynecologist.
Is sexual intercourse a cause for a miscarriage?
Many couples think that to have sexual intercourse in the first three months of pregnancy would cause miscarriages.
However, many of the miscarriages occurring in this period are not related to sexual intercourse, but happen as a result of genetic deformations in the baby growing the womb.
Does having an orgasm cause a premature birth?
To have an orgasm might cause the uterus to contract. However, according to most of the studies, in a normal pregnancy, whether there is sexual intercourse or not, it is not noted that orgasms stimulate premature births or cause the birth labor to start.
If you have given premature birth before, stimulation of the nipples may start birth labor.
Can sexual intercourse hurt the baby?
It absolutely cannot. During sexual intercourse, penis of the man cannot reach the baby physically, because the baby is very well protected by the uterus muscles, amnion liquid and amnion sac.
Moreover the cervical mucus plug situated at the entrance of the uterus channel prevents the semen and the bacteria to enter into the uterus. However, if deep intercourse and forcing causes pain, she must abstain.
Are there any specific periods during pregnancy when sexual intercourse should be avoided?
During the last weeks of pregnancy, as a precaution, abstaining from sexual intercourse is advised.
There is a study which indicates that having several sexual intercourses in the last month of pregnancy increases the risk of infections in the uterus.
However, there are not any other studies in support of this study.
Times to abstain from sexual intercourses during pregnancy:
- In case of vaginal bleeding regardless of the week that it occurs.
- When the amnion water comes off.
- Cervical insufficiency (The case when the uterus channel is shorter and wider than normal).
- In the risks of premature birth and miscarriages or for the women who have experienced these in their previous pregnancies.
- In cases such as Placenta previa, (occlusion of the entrance of the uterus channel by the placenta) sexual intercourse must definitely be abstained from.
On the other hand, in other risky situations where premature birth risk is high such as the case in multiple pregnancies, after the sixth month of the pregnancy, sexual intercourse should be abstained from.
If there is a history of a miscarriage or premature birth in the pregnant person, sexual intercourse may not be advised.
Is usage of condoms advised in sexual intercourse during pregnancy?
Whether pregnant or not, all women, who enter into sexual relations with a new person or more than one person (polygamous women) in order to protect themselves from sexually submitted diseases, should use condoms.
All pregnant women, who are inflicted by sexually transmitted diseases, are vulnerable to infections that may hurt the baby and are prone to premature births. Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV (AIDS) and Herpes microorganisms are infectious agents that are transmitted by sexual intercourse and can be passed on to the baby during birth.
How is woman’s sex drive affected by pregnancy?
Pregnancy has three different periods categorized as the first three months, second three months and the third three months. As each period has its own different characteristic, in these periods sexual drives and desires are also different.
In the first three months of pregnancy which is the adaptation period, there may be a decrease in the sex drives and this may affect the sexual life of the couple. In this period, with the changing hormone balances, nausea, fatigue, weariness and vomiting, the woman feels herself weak and ugly thus the sex drive may be affected negatively.
In the second three months, certain changes in the sexual urges start to occur. Together with the increase of the blood flow to the breasts and genital organs, sexual urges may turn to normal. The increase of the blood flow to the breasts and genital organs may even cause the person to feel constantly ready for sexual relations. As a result, a person’s desires during the relation may even increase.
Entering into the last three months, usually the pregnant women feel that their sex drives start to deteriorate again. A large belly makes sexual intercourse physically difficult. Together with this, as a result of increasing fatigue, back-waist-belly aches, increasing vaginal flow and fungal infections, edema in the vagina, the pains felt during sexual intercourse may cause the pregnant woman to recede from sexual intercourse again.
A couple, who are in the last period, may attempt to have sex at a position they feel comfortable without forcing each other where they can move with ease.
Which positions may be attempted for sexual intercourse during pregnancy?
It might help you to try new positions throughout pregnancy. For example in the very much used missionary position, where the man is on top, during a pregnancy at its last period, because of the pressure it exerts on the belly both the mother gets uncomfortable and the child’s blood circulation would be hindered.
In the late months of pregnancy, positions, where mostly the woman is on top or at side, where she would be able to direct her movements, should be preferred.
Because of the effects of the pregnancy hormones as the vagina secretion increases, and the edema formed in the vagina and the whole body, during sexual intercourse, sensation of pain can be experienced.
How can couples cope with such desire alterations?
The pregnant woman may expect compassion from her spouse without the sexual relation. However, the man may perceive this reluctance as a form of rejection.
The most of important thing is that the couples are able to openly speak out each other’s wishes and desires. Other sex types can be discussed. For example oral sex, massage or masturbation can be tried.
Why isn’t there much talk about sexuality during pregnancy?
Scientific publications about pregnancy and sexual life are confusing. On the other hand, it may be that certain doctors are uncomfortable talking about sex with their patients. Because of these, couples may deduce the message that they should refrain from sexual intercourse during pregnancy.
Actually, sexuality and the sex drive are innate urges in human beings which are existent in them since their birth. The aim of this urge is the wish of the beings to continue their own species. Despite this, unfortunately the topic is still considered a taboo.
When can couples enter into a sexual relation after birth?
The correct answer depends on the couple. Usually, if there are not any troubling problems or everything is going fine, after a normal birth or cesarean section, in 20-25 days time, sexual relations can be resumed. However, after the couples become father and mother, they experience certain changes in their sexual relations. This is very normal, and if they have questions in their minds, best thing to do is to decide about sex after being examined by a gynecologist.
If a person suffering from vaginismus gets pregnant, can she be treated during pregnancy?
A virgin woman can get pregnant as a result of rubbing during a sexual relation. This is case is valid for vaginismus patients as well. We do not advise people who get pregnant in this way any treatment during pregnancy. The reason for this is that certain psychological concerns, which the pregnancy causes, may increase and there may be possible problems that can be caused in pregnancy by the behavioral therapy approaches.
As the Hera Clinic, we advise these patients to complete their pregnancies, even finish their breast feeding period and start their treatments, arranging a time when they are suitable in terms of both time and psychology.
How should women who had vaginismus treatments give birth?
With women who had vaginismus treatment or who become pregnant accidently before receiving a treatment, a cesarean section is advised as the birth method.
The reason for advising these women cesarean sections is to prevent the risk of the person’s fears to increase once more and the vaginismus problem to recur after the possibility of an arduous birth.
However, if the woman believes in herself and thinks that she may give normal birth and if there is not a problem about her pregnancy, then there is nothing unfavorable for normal birth. To our patients who are in this situation, we, as the Hera Clinic, frequently advise them to try normal birth with the method of “epidural anesthesia” (anesthesia from the waist).