Here are the most questions asked by couples who are pregnant.
1. First and foremost, is sex for pregnant women safe?
In general, it is quite safe to have sex during normal or low risk pregnancy. For those women who are at a risk of preterm labor or face complications like placenta previa during their pregnancy, sex should be avoided. You should consult with your gynecologist when in doubt.
2. What is the safe period for sex for pregnant women?
It is safe to have sex till the last trimester as long as your pregnancy has been normal. Don’t have sex if your water breaks or if you are carrying multiples.
3. What precautions should be taken by pregnant women and their partners while indulging in sexual activities during pregnancy?
• Try avoiding sex in the first trimester if the pregnant woman suffers from fatigue, nausea or vomiting. The second trimester is the best time to have sex during pregnancy as the woman has more than likely overcome the trials and tribulations of the first trimester and will enjoy sex.
• Avoid orogenital sex during pregnancy.
• Avoid using lubricating creams and gels as they may irritate the skin and cause allergic reactions.
• Try different sexual positions to make sex as comfortable as possible for the pregnant woman. This is especially important in the latter part of the pregnancy because the woman may feel physically cumbersome and uncomfortable during this time.
4. Is there a change in libido for women after pregnancy?
A woman’s body goes through a lot of changes during and after pregnancy and this along with other things like post partum depression, issues with her body image may cause her to have loss of sexual desire (Libido).
Loss of sleep, fatigue and breast-feeding the baby can also cause a dip in the libido.
5. Are there any exercises or diet changes that can be made to increase libido after pregnancy?
Start exercising the moment you feel ready. Exercising regularly after childbirth will make you feel energized, help you deal with stress and generally improve your mood and all these things will also help you regain your libido.
Improving your diet of course will help you quick start the process.
Doing exercises to strengthen your pelvic and abdominal muscles will go a long way to increase your libido and help you enjoy sex more.
You can try doing the following exercises:
• Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent. Flatten your back against the floor by tightening your abdominal muscles and bending your pelvis up slightly. Hold for up to 10 seconds. Repeat five times and work up to 10 to 20 repetitions.
• Do Kegel exercises, which are quite simple to do; it involves contracting and relaxing muscles of the pelvic floor. (You can try simulating the act of holding back your urine during midstream).
As far as dieting is concerned, you need a nutritious intake for yourself and your baby (when breast feeding). Try to eat whole grains, fruits and veggies (raw or steamed) and high protein foods such as lean meats, eggs or soy products. Avoid weight loss diets.
A combination of exercise and a healthy diet will not only better your overall health but will also help you feel better about yourself and which in turn will definitely improve your libido.
6. What are the safest sex positions for pregnant women?
The important thing to realize, when trying out different positions to have sex during pregnancy is that the woman should feel comfortable with it and avoid putting weight on the uterus and the abdomen area.
Here are a couple of positions you can try:
• Spooning Sex Position: This position puts no pressure on the abdomen; Lye down side by side (much like two spoons together) and get your partner to position behind you at various angles for penetration till he finds one that is comfortable for him.
• On Top: Try this position by sitting on top of your partner while he is lying on his back. This position puts you in control of the pace of the movement.
In any case, always clear all your doubts about having sex during and after pregnancy with your doctor. And remember if in doubt or at the first sign of discomfort, discontinue and abstain from sex until you consult with your doctor and follow his /her recommendations.