Sexuality is part of our life, also during pregnancy and postpartum. You just have to take into account some recommendations to be able to enjoy a normal sexual life during pregnancy and the puerperium.
Fear of hurting the baby
The first myth to be broken is that we can harm the baby or put the pregnancy at risk through sexual intercourse. It is a fear that some couples may have, especially if they have had an unfortunate history of a failed pregnancy. Sex does not cause abortions, if the pregnancy proceeds normally and there are no medical contraindications, a normal sexual life can be maintained.
The infinite majority of abortions are due to genetic or placental causes, which do not depend on anything that the pregnant woman can do to avoid them. The pregnancy that has to go well will do so regardless of the physical activity of the pregnant woman.
Conversely, Sexuality brings physical and psychological health, so living it positively will also have a positive impact on pregnancy. If sex brings us well-being, we will secrete endorphins that reach the fetus, transmitting that same well-being.
Physical changes that influence relationships
The physiological and anatomical changes of the pregnant woman throughout pregnancy can influence how relationships will be:
- The physical appearance of women changes in an obvious way, the increase in weight and abdominal volume modify their body image, which can influence their self-esteem in different ways.
- The modification of the abdominal volume makes movement and agility difficult, so certain postures or movements may be limited.
- The vaginal mucosa is more vascularized and congested preparing to be able to stretch during labor, this makes it more lubricated and sensitive. These changes are usually positive because they increase the sensitive capacity, but sometimes the sensitivity can become uncomfortable.
- The breasts also increase in size and consistency, and the nipples become extremely tender to the point that it is sometimes unpleasant or painful to touch.
Changes in the first trimester
It is very common for the pregnant woman to present general malaise, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and sleep. It is the period of risk of spontaneous abortions, which generates alert and concern, which is why this trimester is generally associated with a decrease in libido from sexual activity.
Changes in the second trimester
The pregnant woman is better, confidence in the pregnancy and positivity increase. The body is still agile, so during this trimester the sexual desire increases.
Changes in the third trimester
Delivery is approaching and therefore mistrust again, and fear of harming the baby or anticipating delivery. The pregnant woman is increasingly uncomfortable due to the volume that the pregnancy is taking. It is difficult to find a position that allows you to move and does not press on your abdomen, so in this phase it is common for sexual activity to decrease again.
There is a pause in a woman’s sexual desire during the first weeks due to multiple factors.
- The woman needs to physically recover from childbirth and heal perineal wounds or caesarean section.
- Quarantine: during the first 3 to 4 weeks, bleeding occurs due to the scarring of the tissue where the placenta was attached. While this bleeding lasts and the cervix closes again, sexual intercourse is inadvisable.
- After quarantine, sexual relations can be resumed, but the newborn requires a lot of attention and remains many hours of sleep, so this phase is not characterized by great sexual activity.
- If breastfeeding is done, prolactin secretion inhibits the cycle to put the raising of the baby before the gestation of another. For this reason, the body puts reproductive function in the background and libido, lubrication and vaginal elasticity suffer. so you have to be patient because little by little everything will go back to the way it was before.
By understanding all these changes, you can better manage the influence that each stage has on our body and remove the fears and myths that surround this issue.
There are exceptions: risk pregnancies due to bleeding, retroplacental hematomas, placentas previa or low insertion, in which it is advisable not to have sexual intercourse.
What you should know…
- With a few exceptions, there is no reason not to enjoy a normal sexual life during pregnancy and the puerperium.
- It is true that the physiological and anatomical changes of the pregnant woman throughout the gestation can influence how relationships will be
- Sex does not cause abortions, it is convenient to remove that fear. On the contrary, sexuality brings physical and psychological health to the pregnant woman.