Sex is safe during all stages of pregnancy
So, the little blue line has shown it’s really happening, and suddenly sex changes completely. For a start, you’re no longer thinking about whether you’ll make a baby this time around. But it can also be a daunting time for both of you, as your body and brain and your partner’s brain adjust to the thought of you being a mum.
“Women and men worry a lot about sex during pregnancy, especially as there are so many myths surrounding it,” explains sex therapist Rachel Foux (www.householdcompanion.com).
“For example, will it hurt the baby? Is it safe and will it bring on early labour? But the truth is, providing you don’t have any complications, sex is fine during pregnancy, and it can be a great way to retain the intimacy between you and your partner.” To find out more, read on…
Your first trimester
You’re bound to feel nervous about sex in your first trimester, especially as you wait for the all clear at 12 weeks. Don’t worry. Sex is safe at all stages of pregnancy, as long as you’re not suffering complications. “If you’ve had bleeding or unusual symptoms and problems, avoid sex until you’ve spoken to your midwife,” explains midwife Sarah Fitzsimmons (www.privatebirthcentre.co.uk). Likewise, you should abstain from sex if you have thrush or your partner has any sexually transmitted infections.
“My boobs hurt in the first 12 weeks so I went off sex and wouldn’t let Jack near me. He was scared of hurting the baby and me, so we used a lot of foreplay to help us both relax, and took it slow with me on top to control the speed and depth. It helped to talk, as we realised we were both worried about the same thing. Once we’d chatted about our concerns, we were much more confident about having sex because we both knew exactly what we wanted from the experience,” said Laura Jones, 28, from Surrey, 25 weeks pregnant.
“It’s normal to feel exhausted and achy during your first trimester, so although you might not necessarily have gone off sex, you could find you’re simply just too tired for it!” says Sarah. “During the early stages of pregnancy, many women say they experience the same levels of tiredness they feel before they start their period, so if you’re not feeling up for sex, don’t worry.” If doing the deed isn’t top of your list, find other ways to be intimate with each other to stay connected. For example, try kissing, cuddling and talking.
“It’s common for him to feel scared about hurting you or the baby,” says sex therapist Rachel Foux. “But the mucus plug that seals the cervix won’t let his penis near the baby.” The key is communication, so discuss any worries.
Feeling a bit nervous or dry down there? Water-based lubes are safe to use during pregnancy and are great for getting you on your way. Durex Sensilube, £5.89 (www.durex.co.uk).
Position of the trimester – You on top
This lets you control the depth and movement, so if you’re feeling a little achy or have any concerns, you can stop or change it to suit your needs. It’s great for intimacy during those nervous first 12 weeks too, as you can both look into each other’s eyes for reassurance.
Bleeding after sex
Q. I’ve got light bleeding after sex, is this normal?
A. This can be quite common and isn’t always a cause for concern,” reassures Sarah. “During your nine months, the blood vessels on your cervix and vagina are swollen and easier to break during sex, so you might experience light spotting, which will be dark in colour. While it’s important not to panic and stress yourself out, it’s best to get checked out by your midwife to be on the safe side.”