Nine months is a long time to not be having sex. But a study from the UK has found that one in six couples abstain throughout their entire pregnancy.
According to the study of 2000 parents, many are worried that having sex will hurt the unborn baby. Others just think it’s wrong to do it when there’s a baby around.
Among those couples that do keeping having sex during pregnancy, most of them have stopped by the sixth month.
But Canberra-based obstetrician and gynaecologist Steve Robson has some reassuring words for parents-to-be. He says in general, intercourse poses no risk to the unborn baby.
“Very, very rarely could there be a situation where it might be a problem, and that’s if there’s some suggestion that the woman’s waters have broken or the placenta is very low and covering the cervix,” Professor Robson tells Mamamia. “But those things are quite uncommon. So if the question is, can a healthy couple with a healthy pregnancy do any harm having intercourse? Absolutely not.”
He says as the pregnancy goes on, the issue is finding a position that works for the mum-to-be.
“A lot of women end up finding that lying on their side is the most comfortable,” he adds.
This is backed up by the UK survey, which found 23 per cent of pregnant couples named the “spoon” as their number one pick, followed by “doggy style”, at 15 per cent, and then “woman on top”, with 14 per cent.
Professor Robson says everyone’s different when it comes to sex during pregnancy.
POST CONTINUES BELOW: Hello Bump is Mamamia’s pregnancy podcast.
“Some women are very, very receptive to intercourse when they’re pregnant,” he explains. “They have a big blood supply to the pelvis and that gives them very pleasant sensations. Others feel awful and don’t want a bar of it. But that’s nothing to do with harming or causing problems.
“Similarly, some guys find their wife irresistible when they’re pregnant. Other men are more apprehensive.”
According to the UK survey, nine out of 10 men fancied their partner just as much when she got pregnant. In fact, one in 10 found their sex drive increased.
So the official advice is: if you feel like it, go for it. Or, if in doubt, ask. Your obstetrician has no doubt heard the question plenty of times before.
“Some people say, ‘Look, Steve, we just want your reassurance that it’s safe to have intercourse,’” Professor Robson says. “And I say, ‘Look, it’s fine. Just wait till you get home!’”