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Gynaecologist and Sex and Relationship Expert Reveal Their Top Tips for Safely Navigating Sex and Intimacy During Pregnancy


By Health Desk


Tuesday, October 20, 2020.

Literature on sex and intimacy during pregnancy is vast, but more often than not, discussing this topic out loud is met with trepidation and utterings of “surely not?”, “is it even safe?” and “what about the baby?”

But while intimacy during pregnancy might not be everyone's cup of tea, the fact remains that it’s perfectly natural, should you wish to explore it.

That’s why, intimate health brand Intimina and sexual welness brand LELO, have partnered to help dispell false truths surrounding pregnancy and sex and lend their advice and top tips for navigating pleasure during pregnancy.

Gynaecolgist Dr Shree Datta, for INTIMINA says that in most cases, it's perfectly natural and safe to have sex during pregnancy. 

“Your baby has a protective cushion of fluid around him or her, so they will not be affected by sex if your pregnancy is normal,” she points out.

But Dr Datta cautions that you may be advised to avoid sex if you have been experiencing vaginal bleeding or if your placenta is low-lying. 

She says: “In some cases, ultrasound may show a collection of blood (haematoma) in which case you may again be advised to avoid sex as this may trigger bleeding. If you have broken your waters or have previously delivered babies early, you may also be advised to avoid penetrative sex. Don't forget you are still at risk of sexually transmitted infections if you or your partner are having sex with other people, so using barrier protection is a must.”

Dr Datta also explains that pelvic floor exercises are also incredibly beneficial when preparing for pregnancy and post pregnancy.  

“Not only do these exercises help to strengthen the muscles around your vagina back passage and bladder,” says Dr Datta, “ but regular pelvic floor exercises can help bowel and urinary control, prolapse and there's some evidence to suggest more sensitivity during sex! Intimina’s KegelSmart is the easiest and smartest way to incorporate a regular Kegel exercise routine into your schedule.” 

Sex and relationship expert for LELO, Kate Moyle adds that the hormonal changes that women go through during pregnancy can impact women in many ways.

“An increase in blood flow can make breasts, nipples and the genital area feel more sensitive which for some women can in turn increase sex drive,” she says. 

Ms Moyle also lends her 5 top tips for exploring intimacy during pregnancy:

  1. When it comes to the act of sex, stick to the simple rule of if something is uncomfortable then change it. It won't be just the discomfort which takes you out of the moment and is distracting but also the worries that might come with it. Pregnancy for many can be an uncertain time, and you don't need to be exacerbating any of your worries or causing yourself any stress, because aside from the fact that it's horrible for you to be worrying, that it also won't motivate you to want to be sexual with your partner again soon.

 

  1. In terms of sex positions, what is possible and not possible throughout certain stages of pregnancy is obviously going to change as your body changes. For some women positions where the woman is on top like cowgirl or reverse cowgirls, can help her in feeling more in control of the depth and speed of penetration, and also in being able to more comfortably shift or move your body weight around; but you may also notice that you get tired quicker. Spooning is another great position for navigating around a bump, which can also allow for clitoral stimulation. 

 

  1. Also focusing on forms of non-penetrative sex such as mutual masturbation or oral sex can help you to experience pleasure without any pressure on intercourse. Also remember that you can use things like pillows to support you, your hips, your stomach or wherever you need them, and don't be worried about having to move things around or change positions in a way that you are not used to doing pre-pregnancy. 

 

  1. A good water based lubricant can be a great addition for clitoral stimulation, and making intercourse more comfortable as with hormonal changes you may notice a change in vaginal lubrication. 

 

  1. Pregnancy is also a great time to incorporate toys like masturbators or sleeves for men, and clitoral toys and stimulators for women like LELO’s Sona 2 Cruise, and some women even report orgasms feeling more intense during pregnancy.

Ms Moyle points out that women experience pregnancy differently.

“It is completely individual,” she says, “ because pregnancy is such a combination of bodily changes, hormonal changes, and psychological changes; some women experience a real boost in their interest in sex, and for others they feel like their desire really plummets and they aren't interested at all.” 

 


Guide to Pregnancy and Pleasure

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