The Importance of Sex for Pregnant Women
Unfortunately, there is still a lot of unnecessary taboo surrounding sex during pregnancy, strange, considering that sex is what got you into this state in the first place. But just mentioning “sex” in the same sentence with “pregnancy” has everyone turning their heads in shock.
However, public opinion and taboos aside, research has actually shown that along with being perfectly safe during pregnancy, sex is actually important for most pregnant women and may even prevent certain complications such as pre-eclampsia.
A recent study carried out by Danish researchers from the Center for Immune Regulation and reproductive Immunology found that a certain protein in a man’s sperm can work to regulate the immune system, which can reduce the woman’s risk of developing pre-eclampsia, a serious condition that can raise a woman’s blood pressure, and in serious cases even cause seizures which can be fatal to mother and baby. This benefit is not noted in couples who use condoms or who have not known each other long before the pregnancy occurred.
Other studies have shown that sex strengthens the pelvic floor muscles, which can make the delivery easier and speed up the recovery time after labor.
Aside from the health benefits, sex is important for couples simply because it helps them to remain intimate during the nine months leading up to the birth of their child. After a pregnancy, many couples find that they have lost some of the intimacy that they used to have. This is normal considering all the changes, both emotional and physical that couples go through, both during and after a pregnancy.
A research carried out at the University of Pittburgh showed that sex and orgasms can increase levels of the hormone oxytocin, which is also known as the “love hormone,” and may help couples to bond and develop feelings of trust.
Many psychologists agree that it is important for couples to remain intimate throughout a pregnancy, in order to avoid growing apart or becoming overwhelmed by the changes their relationship is going through.
During pregnancy, it is easy to let the sexual relationship die down, either because couples feel less spontaneous or because they are concerned that having sex may be harmful to their child. However, a lack of sex may put a strain on a couple’s relationship, so it is important to try to make sex a priority, even during pregnancy.
Cathy Winks, sex educator and author of “Sexy Mamas,” advises couples to plan sex into their schedules during pregnancy by making sex dates or planning romantic evenings away together. Naturally, there will be changes in your sex-life while you are pregnant; you may feel more tired, experience morning sickness and find certain positions to be uncomfortable, so you may need to do a bit of experimenting and get creative.
Perhaps you will find that you are less tired in the morning, so you could plan to have sex earlier on in the day or maybe having a relaxing bath or massage puts you in the mood. Experiment with different sexual positions and find the ones that work for you.
Of course, there’s no need to put pressure on yourself to have sex when you don’t feel like it, but what many women don’t realize is that sex during pregnancy can be both beneficial and enjoyable.
Krisca Te works with Open Colleges, Australia's leading provider of TAFE courses equivalent and fitness courses. When not working, you can find her actively participating in local dog show events – in support of her husband.