Pregnancy is a very important milestone in a woman’s life . With an increasing age of getting married , the anxiety to conceive has increased many fold in recently married couples. In fact, getting pregnant is a much higher priority than normal sexual pleasure in a large number of couples . There are a number of issues to be discussed in this regard-
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Can sexual activity cause harm to pregnancy-
Contrary to popular belief, there is no clear scientific evidence to suggest so. Yet common sense will guide us to be careful in high risk pregnancies . The best is to avoid violent sex but continue with normal enjoyable sex life Avoid female on top if she feels tired and be gentle as breast may be tender . You can use lubricants if dryness is an issue . Many believe that continuing sex during pregnancy helps in bonding in the couple , reduces stress and improved self confidence in the female . There are fears of inducing labour due to prostaglandins in semen , especially near the term but again this is not proved.
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Can pregnancy harm sex life –
Yes, pregnancy has several negative effects on sex life
1- Desire for sex – It gets reduced as the pregnancy advances. The reasons are many like nausea and vomiting in first trimester , fear of harm to fetus , tenderness in breast or feeling disfigured , esp in last trimester . Second trimester shows almost same desire levels as before because emotionally, she is stable and fear of abortion is reduced somewhat.
2- Arousal– Anxiety , tiredness , pain in lower back due to unusual posture or low confidence due to fear of looking unattractive may result in reduced lubrication and painful sex
3- Orgasm– All the above factors and fear of harm to baby inhibits the woman to let herself go during sex so reaching climax becomes difficult.
Effect of pregnancy on partner–
This is completely forgotten aspect by the Gynecologist.I see a large number of cases who were advised to abstain completely from the time urine test is positive for pregnancy. It continued till delivery and 3-6 months after. Such a long gap for the sex starved individual resulted in extramarital sex, visits to sex workers and contracting diseases or develop pre mature Ejaculation or ED when they resume sex afterwards. People who are very sensitive or ill informed ( as most people are) may develop severe sexual dysfunctions when there is failure to perform as per their own expectations. This may be very crucial as often marital problems may erupt in this scenario
What to do–
1- Don’t observe total abstinence. Intimacy is beneficial so is sex
2- Avoid positions like female on top all the time . Missionary should be avoided in last trimester . Best is rear entry or woman taking support from bed or kneeling down.
3- Use ample lubricant if there is dryness
4- Assure her that she looks as beautiful as before to keep her self esteem high.