Pregnancy can have an impact on a couple’s sex life. Sexual desire and the frequency of sexual relations may increase, decrease, or vary during pregnancy. The changes taking place in the woman’s body and the new perception of yourself and your partner as parents as opposed to lovers can create feelings that affect sexual desire.

Essential information to rememberSexual relations can continue throughout pregnancy without any problem, as long as you respect each other’s needs, limits, and comfort zone.

Photo: Patrick Vachon

Various factors, including a big belly, medical contraindications, discomfort, personal limits, or a greater desire for simple tenderness, may lead you to set aside certain sexual practices or try new ones. Pleasure, whether physical or psychological, may be experienced differently by each partner during pregnancy. For example, you and your partner may not have the same ability to reach orgasm, the same degree of sensitivity, or the same feeling of closeness.

You may have certain fears about being sexually active, but there is no need to worry: neither vaginal penetration nor orgasm cause miscarriage and they will not lead to premature labour or hurt your baby. The baby is well protected inside the amniotic sac in the uterus.

In some situations, however, you may be advised not to have sexual intercourse; for example, if you have bleeding, abdominal pain, or problems with the placenta, or if there is concern about premature labour or a rupture of the amniotic membranes. Your health professional will tell you if this is the case and advise you about what precautions you should take.

During pregnancy, it is doubly important to protect yourself against sexually transmitted infections (STIs). If you have sexual relations where there is a risk of contracting an STI, use a condom to prevent the infection from being transmitted and avoid the complications it can cause you and your baby.