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Pregnancy / Smartmum / Trimester 1 / Trimester 2 / Trimester 3

How to Have a Healthy Sex Life During Pregnancy

How to Have a Healthy Sex Life During Pregnancy

How to Have a Healthy Sex Life During Pregnancy

Physical intimacy is a very important part of any marriage but many couples worry if it’s safe to have sex when pregnant. Common worries include if it will cause a miscarriage or harm the baby in any way. Here, we look at how you can enjoy physical intimacy during pregnancy.

Watch this video on Sex in pregnancy by TC Tan

Is it Safe?

Many doctors, such as obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Tan Thiam Chye, advise women in their first trimester to avoid sex as a safety precaution because pregnancy is still at the early stages. This will help reduce, for example, the risk of bleeding which may sometimes result in miscarriage.

In addition, because many women tend to feel uncomfortable or unwell in their first trimester due to hormonal fluctuations, nausea and fatigue, their sexual desire may be lower than normal.

If you are uncertain about whether it’s safe for a mum-to-be to have sex, whatever your stage of pregnancy, it is best that you check with your doctor/gynaecologist.

Which Sexual Positions Are Suitable?

Just as every woman is different (your friend may not enjoy having sex while pregnant but you may be feeling particularly amorous), every pregnancy is different. Dr Tan says that it’s important to experiment to see which position works best, and keep in mind that this may change as the pregnancy moves along.

For example, the missionary position (when the woman lies on her back) may be comfortable in the second trimester but may become awkward in advanced stages of pregnancy.

In the Mood or Not?

Sometimes, your sexual libido fluctuates or decreases during pregnancy due to pregnancy hormones and fatigue. It’s okay to not feel in the mood for sex, as physical intimacy is not only about sexual intercourse.

“Very often, it’s the physical intimacy that keeps the relationship going rather than the sex itself,” says Dr Tan. Communicate with your partner and share your feelings, concerns and needs with him in an open and loving way. Try another type of contact such as massage, cuddling or kissing.

Sex After Pregnancy

Once you have delivered your baby, most doctors recommend waiting 6 to 8 weeks before engaging in sexual intercourse. This is to ensure that any incisions (such as an episiotomy) as well as the delicate tissue of the vagina have healed.

It may take you some time to go back to your pre-baby sexual libido due to the stress of having a new baby, sleepless nights and adapting to having a baby in the house. It’s important to continue to keep the channels of communication open with your partner and for both of you to be patient.

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MBBS (S'pore), M.Med(O&G) (S'pore) Head & Senior Consultant Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology KK Women's and Children's Hospital Director (Clinical), Office of Patient Experience Deputy Director (Education), KKH Campus Associate Professor Duke - NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore

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