Sex during pregnancy
- Can I have sex during pregnancy?
· Yes. It is generally safe if you have a normal, low-risk pregnancy
· Studies have concluded that there are no links to an increased risk of preterm labour or premature birth from having sex during pregnancy
· It is recommended to wear condoms to avoid any sexually transmitted disease, which can affect your baby
· Orgasm or sexual penetrations may induce Braxton-Hicks contractions (painless, irregular contractions)
i. However, this is not similar to labour contractions and you should not be concerned
· It is acceptable to not have the desire to have sex as many pregnant mothers have different feelings towards sex during pregnancy
2. When NOT to have sex during pregnancy
· You are at risk for miscarriage or preterm labour
· You are pregnant with twins
· You have placenta previa (placenta near or covers the cervix)
· You have cervical incompetence – cervix opens prematurely
· You have a history of premature labour
· You have unexplained vaginal bleeding
· You started to leak amniotic fluid
Sex after delivery- Getting physical
Why I don’t have the desire to have sex after giving birth?
It’s normal to not feel like having sex in the first few weeks or months after delivering a baby. Nearly 9 out of 10 mothers feel like so three months after having a baby. One of the reasons being that you’re probably too worn out due to the lack of sleep from taking care of the new baby. Besides, hormonal changes while you’re breastfeeding can reduce your desire to have sex too.
§ Soreness from tear, episiotomy or stitches. Even if you didn’t have an episiotomy or a tear, your vaginal area will feel sensitive and bruised for a period of time
§ Caesarean section is considered major surgery and if you’ve had it, it will take a while until you feel like having sex again. Your scar should heal by the time your stitches come off.
§ Feeling pain while having sex (known as dyspareunia) and having a tight or dry vagina is the most common issues amongst new mothers. The issues will tend to get better in time for the majority of the women. Lubricants can be helpful when it comes to vaginal dryness to enhance the experience.
Don’t be shy to seek help if these sexual issues are making you unhappy. You can always approach your midwife or your attending doctor and they may be able to help you.
§ Having postnatal blues/depression can make you feel less about having sex as well. If you’re feeling low, it’s important that you speak to your doctor about it so that he/she can refer you to a specialist for help.
Other symptoms to look out for include – severe mood swings, loss of appetite, fatigability (constantly feeling tired) and lack of joy in life.
§ You may have a different perception of your own body after giving birth. This would require time for you to feel comfortable in your own skin again. You can either feel proud of the bodily changes the pregnancy has caused you, or find it hard to deal with these alterations. All these feelings are valid. You should always talk about your feelings to your partner and not keep it all to yourself as you might just be surprised to hear what they’ve got to say!
Remember to always be open to your partner about all that you’re feeling. This is because your partner might feel rejected whenever he wants sex and you don’t – but you shouldn’t feel pressured before you are ready. Sex is supposed to be pleasurable on both ends, and not an obligation! There are many other ways to stay intimate with each other such as kissing and cuddling without full penetration. There’s also another end whereby your partner may feel unsure about sex after witnessing the birth. He may worry that he may hurt you, or be uncertain about his own feelings about the birth canal altogether. Thus, it’s important to communicate each other’s concerns to work through them together.