Sex During Pregnancy: What’s Normal?
I’m sure that by now in your pregnancy, you have heard the spiel—sex during pregnancy, excluding a few circumstances, is safe. In fact, it can actually help prepare you for labor as you approach your due date, as an orgasm can lead to contractions and the prostaglandins help soften and dilate your cervix. Generally, unless you have one of the following conditions, sex during all 40 weeks of pregnancy is deemed safe:
- Unexplained vaginal bleeding
- Premature labor or a history of premature labor
- Placenta previa
- Leaking amniotic fluid
- Premature cervical dilation or an incompetent cervix
I’ve even heard of those women who have an increased sex drive during pregnancy, due to all of the raging hormones and increased blood flow, although I have yet to believe that these women actually exist, as I fall squarely into the “don’t touch me” category of sex when I’m pregnant. There’s just something about barely being able to move and feeling another human being kick me from the inside that is kind of a mood killer for me.
Catharine Johnson agrees. “The 3rd timester kills sex drive for sure,” she says. “Unless you’re trying to have the baby. We had the baby within 12 hours when we finally did it!”
On the other hand, Michelle Horton of Early Mama enjoyed sex right up until a few hours before her water broke. “It was more of an I-want-to-have-this-baby-on-time labor insurance than purely pleasure,” says Michelle. But it apparently did the trick—her water broke on her due date.
And Lee Anne Marie Bowman found due-date sex downright hilarious. “I attempted the “put you into labor” sex,” she says, “But we ended up having to stop before it was complete; we were both laughing to much to be serious!”
Tara Pringle Jefferson of The Young Mommy Life kept the sex going while she could. Nope. “I actually told my husband that we needed to get it on about a couple days before I was due because it might be a while before I [was in] the mood again!” she writes.
In an unofficial survey on my Facebook page, the majority of women who answered my questions about sex during pregnancy said that they had sex right up until their due dates.
Image via Flickr [ArkansasShutterbug]