Being pregnant alters many things in your life, including your sex life. As you get further into the pregnancy, sex becomes more difficult to have but not impossible. However, if your pregnancy has been deemed high-risk, is sex worth the potential complications? Let’s explore what sex during a high-risk pregnancy involves.
Conditions That Will Make You Think Twice About Sex While Pregnant
Though the urge to have sex may still be high when you’re pregnant, if you’re in a high-risk category, then it may not be the best idea.
If your doctor determines that you may have preterm labor, you should avoid sex at all costs. The semen contains substances causing the uterus to contract, which may leave you and your doctor or midwife concerned. If your practitioner has counseled against sex for any reason, if you have unexplained bleeding or a history of premature birth, then sex is an unnecessary risk to be taking.
Sex during a high-risk pregnancy may also be ill-advised if you have placenta previa. That is a condition where a part of the placenta covers the cervix. Your placenta is low-lying during the early stages before increasing as the pregnancy goes on. It causes problems more times than not during the pregnancy’s later stages. Placenta previa can lead to growth restrictions for your baby or even fatal hemorrhaging, which makes sex too risky to have.
If you have cervical inefficiency, this is also a cause to avoid sex as much as possible. This condition refers to your cervix being weak and opening too early during pregnancy. Cervical inefficiency increases the chances that you may lose your baby or that the baby may be born prematurely. This condition happens in one of every 100 pregnancies, with strenuous exercises (including sex) not recommended.
Furthermore, if your water has broken, you’re bleeding, or you’re carrying more than one baby while in your last trimester, having sex during pregnancy is high-risk. If you have an infection, a broken or leaking amniotic sac, or have had a miscarriage, limiting or avoiding sex altogether may be in your best interests.
Make sure to ask your doctor or midwife when and for how long intercourse should be restricted should you be experiencing any of these conditions.
How Does a High-Risk Pregnancy Affect Your Sex Life?
Trying to get through a difficult pregnancy will leave you with many things on your mind, and understandably so. Because you’re focusing so much on your baby, sex, especially when it gets closer to the due date, is the last thing on your mind. However, if you’re still craving some action, there are some things to take into account regarding your sex life during a high-risk pregnancy.
Since you’re going through a high-risk pregnancy, your doctor may have recommended bed rest. If that’s the case, then sex is off limits until you’ve welcomed your newborn into the world. Sexual stimulation should not be encouraged during this period, though doctors may suggest enhancing your relationship in non-sexual ways like cuddling, massaging, and more. It may be frustrating for you and your partner. But, it can also boost your communication levels so that when you’re in the clear, your sexual experience and chemistry may improve even more. It’s important that you keep communicating with your partner throughout your pregnancy regarding your feelings regarding sex. These feelings, balanced with any other emotions you’re facing while pregnant, should be explored. Going to a support group may also help you understand your situation and feelings, and you might learn coping mechanisms as the pregnancy develops.
If you’ve had past complications during pregnancy, sex may not be safe, putting your or your baby’s health at risk. Doctors will require you practice abstinence if the risk factors are considered too complicated to overcome.
Keep in mind that contractions triggered by orgasms aren’t the same as labor contractions. Before an orgasm, your heart and blood pressure rise in a rush. During pregnancy, your orgasms might feel different, and you may become more sensitive to them, particularly your vagina, labia, and clitoris. That results from the increased blood circulation in your body due to higher blood production during pregnancy. Your physician may tell you to avoid orgasms, for the rise in blood pressure, during the last few weeks of your final trimester.
Not Every Case is the Same
Not every high-risk pregnancy is created equal or demands the same level of concern. Some pregnancies are considered high-risk due to the possible health issues involved. Other pregnancies are looked at as high-risk due to age, with pregnancies where the mother is over 35 years old traditionally considered as such. However, thanks to evolving times, there are women older than this age who are pregnant and still able to engage in intercourse without issue.
Some aspects of your sexual life may still be okay, so consult with a specialist about your pregnancy concerns. A doctor may give the go-ahead for particular sexual acts such as foreplay but advise against any penetration. In other cases, a doctor may highly suggest the use of a condom if penetration is not risky. Limitations will vary depending on an individual’s situation and health. Be open with your doctor regarding how to continue living a sexual life while managing a high-risk pregnancy.
You may be less or more aroused during pregnancy as well depending on the situation. Since pregnancy ignites hormones, it can cause you to have a higher sex drive than usual. However, the concerns over your pregnancy may make sexual activity feel awkward or less appealing. Whatever your case, your first concern is the baby’s health. And you never want to put your baby in harm’s way or a situation that could make delivery more complex and potentially expose your child to a birth injury.
If your child has a birth injury that you suspect was caused by medical malpractice, the Safe Birth Project provides you with information that could boost your potential legal case. Explore reliable birth injury resources that can save your money and your child’s life.