Sex in late pregnancy

With every change in your body reminding you that the due date is around the corner, you may feel the presence of the baby more than before. It’s not unusual for women — and men — to have anxiety about hurting the baby, but there are many reasons why sex can be desirable and beneficial in late pregnancy. We spoke with The Doctor and Daughter for more information.

We don’t have to tell you that a heavily pregnant woman has undergone many physical changes and, while some of these may lead to discomfort or even under confidence, others can make a woman feel very feminine and very sexual. In fact, some changes, like swollen and more sensitive breasts, are very stimulating. If you’re in the mood, The Doctor and Daughter team of Mr Roger Marwood MBBS MSc. F.R.C.O.G and Rebecca Maberly break down the basics.

SheKnowsUK: Are women in late pregnancy “in the mood?”

Doctor and Daughter: It depends on a few factors. Some women feel an increase but it’s more typical to see a decreased sex drive. Some may feel less sexy or attractive. Most may seek gentler, less adventurous sex but can feel liberated by not having to worry about birth control.

SK: Is there a best position?

DandD: The best position is probably on your side (either side). Alternatively, woman on top may make women feel like they are more in control. Lying on your back may make you feel sick and/or faint and the bump gets in the way but use your common sense and find a position that is comfortable for you. And note that oral sex, in any position, is OK.

SK: Can sex really induce labour?

DandD: Having sex is thought to help induce labour as semen contains the hormone prostaglandin, which can encourage labour to start. If the pregnancy is at full term or later and if the cervix is favourable and the baby ready to come, then vaginal sex may just stimulate labour. There should be no harm in trying.

SK: Is there any reason to worry about harming the baby?

DandD: You can’t harm the baby. At one stage it was thought that vaginal sex late in pregnancy was associated with increased preterm labour. However, this is now discredited and it is thought to be quite safe. If, however, there has been recurrent bleeding and especially if you have Placenta Praevia, then you may be advised to abstain.

SK: What about dads then? Do they have fears and anxiety?

DandD: Many men are freaked out at the prospect of having sex with a heavily pregnant woman, worried about hurting their partner or the baby or even hitting the baby with their penises… but these fears are unfounded. Again, this comes down to common sense: if a man or woman is not keen, then just don’t do it. It won’t be enjoyable if both parties aren’t happy — and no one will judge you for abstaining.

SK: So… is sex good for the baby?

DandD: There is no evidence that sex is directly good for the baby. However, if it’s good for the mother, then it should be good for the baby.

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