Sex During Pregnancy
You're a couple of months on the way and your belly is blossoming. It's a struggle to find a comfortable sleeping position. Plus, you need to go to the bathroom all the time. But somehow, on top of all that, you still want to have sex! What's up with that? Okay, no need to worry. Expectant women may experience a higher sex drive because of the increase in the female hormones in their bodies.
But the question, is it okay to have sex during pregnancy?
Dr. Valerie T. Guinto, Vice Chair of the St. Luke's Medical Center-Global City Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Chief of the Philippine General Hospital Maternal and Fetal Medicine Section, says yes!
Theoretically, sex during pregnancy may cause contractions of the uterus, she says. This may increase the risk of miscarriage and preterm labor because of the following:
- Stimulation of the cervix and lower uterine segment
- Release of oxytocin due to orgasm
- Increased exposure to infection
- Action of substances in the semen (prostaglandins)
Sex during pregnancy is also not okay if there is an increased risk of a sexually transmitted infection like HIV, syphilis, Hepatitis B, Zika virus.
But Dr. Guinto points out, “If the woman is not at risk for miscarriage or preterm labor due to other factors and in the absence of other signs like vaginal bleeding or leaking or ruptured membranes or hemorrhage seen on ultrasound, sexual contact during pregnancy is relatively safe... There is not enough evidence to recommend against sexual contact in pregnancy."
Your baby will be okay too! Barring any signs of infection, sex during pregnancy won't harm the little bun in the oven.
There are instances, however, when you may need to see your doctor.
Dr. Guinto advises seeing your doctor if you have sexual contact and experience any of the following:
- Painful uterine contractions
- Vaginal bleeding
- Watery vaginal discharge
- Unpleasant, foul-smelling discharge
- Abdominal or perineal pain
- Decreased fetal movement
As for the sexual position most suitable for expectant moms, she recommends spooning as it decreases the chance of trauma to the abdomen. In this position, the couple should lie down on their side with the back of the woman facing the man.
Valerie Tiempo Guinto, M.D., MSc., FPOGS, FPSMFM, FPSUOG, is Clinical Associate Professor at the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital, Chief of the Philippine General Hospital Maternal and Fetal Medicine Section, Vice Chair of the St. Luke's Medical Center-Global City Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Head of the St. Luke's Medical Center-Global City Advanced High Risk Pregnancy Care, and Active Consultant at Asian Hospital and Medical Center and Manila Doctors Hospital.