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Sex During Pregnancy: Why It's Absolutely OK!

It’s normal for women to experience a surge in their sex drive during pregnancy, with some women reportedly feeling ‘hungrier’ for sex during pregnancy than any other time. Considered a taboo in some cultures and religions, we talk to Dr. Ting Hua Sieng, Specialist in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and bust the myths surrounding it. 

  1. Hormonal Spike

    What causes the surge in sexual appetite? 

    One of the symptoms of early pregnancy is the change in sex drive. Some women experience a dramatic increase in drive whereas others may feel a significant drop in sexual desire. The main reason to explain this surge in sexual appetite can be attributed to hormonal changes. However, every woman may undergo a different experience during pregnancy and it should not be too much of a cause for concern. 

    How else does the body change?

    Pregnancy changes the body physically and very often, emotionally for women. The body changes as the pregnancy progresses. On top of hormonal fluctuations along with the strain of additional body weight, pregnancy also increases blood flow and supply. Therefore, it is not surprising that some areas are more sensitive for some pregnant women. For example, some experience tenderness and sensitivity when their breasts grow. 

  2. Sex During Pregnancy 

    Is it safe to have sexual intercourse during pregnancy? 

    Yes, it is safe only if there are no complications and you have a normal, low-risk pregnancy. However, there are specific instances when you should refrain from sexual intercourse, such as when you have a low-lying placenta or heavy bleeding. You should also abstain if you have a high-risk partner as that increases your risk of infection or transmission of any STDs. 

    Is there specific period (e.g. first trimester) that a woman should refrain from it?

    There is no specific period for a woman to refrain from sexual intercourse. However, as mentioned above, it is very important to monitor if you experience anything unusual such as bleeding or contractions. In such cases, it is highly recommended that you seek medical attention immediately. 

  3. What Can I Do?

    Is there any way one can reduce the desire (e.g. do more exercises)?

    It is not necessary to try to reduce the desire during your pregnancy as for many women, the main reason for this is due to your hormones and increased blood flow. Some women find that such desire decreases as their pregnancy progresses or vice versa. Therefore, this should not be a cause of concern. 

Originally published in “Preggy Sex Taboo Tackled”, written by Juansa Arissa Cheng, in Singapore’s Child June 2016.