However, what happens once you have been successful in your attempts at conception and are now expecting a baby? What happens to your sex life then; what is normal, what is safe, and what can you expect?
Well, the short answer is that if you are having a normal, low risk pregnancy, it is perfectly safe to continue having sex throughout the pregnancy. Your midwife or GP will be able to confirm whether you are low risk.
Your sex drive may change frequently throughout your pregnancy. Some women find that the fatigue and other symptoms make the whole idea a no go, especially early on, whereas others find an increase in their sex drive. Your partner may find this happens too, especially in a first pregnancy, as they will be unsure about the effects on you and the baby, or anxious about the prospect of parenthood. All of these feelings are perfectly normal.
Some people worry that having sex when pregnant could hurt a baby, but there is absolutely nothing to worry about.Your baby is very well protected in there by the surrounding amniotic fluid and sac, and there is a mucus plug at the top of your cervix, which seals it off and helps prevent infection. And, at the risk of bursting your partner's bubble, even the most well-endowed of men won’t come anywhere near to touching the baby!
The contractions you experience through orgasm are completely different to the ones you will get throughout labour, so orgasms are not a problem in pregnancy either; all the more reason to enjoy them!
There are a couple of things to note about sex in pregnancy though. It is not advisable to sleep with someone whose sexual history is unknown to you, or who may have a sexually transmitted disease such as herpes, chlamydia or HIV. Of course this is never a good idea, but it’s especially true now, as all of these infections can be transmitted to your baby via you, which can make them seriously ill.
At the risk of bursting your partner's bubble, even the most well-endowed of men won’t come anywhere near to touching the baby!If you engage in oral sex with your partner, they should never blow air into the vagina; in rare cases this can lead to an embolism - a blood vessel blockage - which can be fatal for both you and your baby.
Some midwives or GPs do recommend abstaining from sex for the last few weeks of pregnancy as it is speculated that semen can stimulate contractions, so do check with your GP.
Of course, there are some pregnancies in which it’s not advisable to continue having sex as normal. If you are at high risk of miscarriage, have a history of early labour, have any unexplained vaginal bleeding or leaking of amniotic fluid, have an incompetent cervix (one which is weak and likely to open prematurely) or have placenta previa, your medical professional will probably advise against having sex for the duration of your pregnancy.
Any, as always, if you experience any pain, bleeding or discharge or get contractions after sex, do speak to a medical professional as soon as possible.