Heavily pregnant woman in front of a colourful backdrop
(C) Love Matters | Rita Lino

Sex and pregnancy

When you're pregnant, you want to do everything right so you can have a healthy baby. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions.
I had hard sex. Could it have harmed the baby?

No. You can have sex any way you like when you’re pregnant, and it won’t do the baby any harm. The baby is completely protected inside your womb. Some women find they feel more sensitive and want to have sex more when they’re pregnant. That’s fine – the happier and more relaxed you are, the healthier your pregnancy will be!

It’s true that an orgasm can sometimes trigger an early miscarriage, but it won’t be the cause. It just sets off something that was going to happen anyway.

Also, after an orgasm, your tummy might go hard and feel tight and painful. This is fine, it does no harm at all. Normally when you have an orgasm your womb contracts, but you’re not aware of it. But now you’re pregnant, it’s very obvious. It can be uncomfortable, but it’s completely harmless. It won’t cause a miscarriage or premature birth.

As the pregnancy goes on it can be uncomfortable to have intercourse with the man on top. You’ll need to find other positions, for example lying on your side with your partner behind you. Or you might just feel like having sex in other ways without having intercourse. Or not at all. Just follow your feelings.

The only times you shouldn’t have sex when you’re pregnant is if your waters have broken, if you’re bleeding, or if your midwife or obstetrician says that for a particular reason you have an increased risk of giving birth prematurely.

I got drunk – but I didn’t realise I was pregnant. Could it have harmed the baby?

If you drank a lot of alcohol, smoked, got ill or took drugs before you realised you were pregnant, it’s logical you should worry. Luckily in the first two weeks, there’s hardly any contact between your body and the fertilised egg.

The exchange of blood between you and your embryo only really starts after the time you know your period is late. So if you start living healthily as soon as you realise you’re pregnant, a drinking binge the week before won’t have done any harm.

Of course, it’s possible that you might not realise you’re pregnant straight away. You might have had a little bleeding – ‘spotting’ in your underwear – and thought it was a very light period. Or you might have missed a period or two but somehow not taken on board the fact that you’re pregnant.

In this case, there’s no point worrying if anything you’ve done up to now might have harmed your baby. The important thing is to act now, and start following the tips to look after the baby inside you.

I’m on the pill and I still got pregnant. Could it have harmed the baby?

So you’re on the birth control pill, or you use another hormonal contraceptive but you still got pregnant? You might worry that the contraceptive pill has harmed your baby. The good news is there’s no definite evidence that taking the pill when you’re pregnant can harm your baby – so don’t worry.

On the other hand, there’s no definite evidence that taking the pill when you’re pregnant doesn’t harm the baby. It might say in the instructions with your contraceptive pills that you shouldn’t take them when you’re pregnant.

If you think you could be pregnant, you should stop taking the pill. But remember you might not be pregnant, so if you have sex, make sure you use another kind of contraceptive.

Did you learn something new?

Comments
Hey Veechemchom, Partners can have sex during the course of the pregnancy upto and including the last trimester of the pregnancy. However, as the pregnancy goes on it can be uncomfortable to have intercourse with the man on top, for this reason partners may need to find other positions that are comfortable. The only times you shouldn’t have sex when you’re pregnant is if your waters have broken, if you’re bleeding, or if your midwife or obstetrician says that for a particular reason you have an increased risk of giving birth prematurely. After delivery, it is important to allow some healing time since the woman's vagina and perineum could have been injured or even surgically cut during birth. Some doctors recommend a wait period of between 4 to 6 weeks for physical healing. It may take longer for a woman to be ready to have sex again especially because of psychological issues. Also, this applies for a normal or vaginal delivery. It maybe important to seek the advice of your doctor as to when to resume sex if the birth was through a Cesarean Section which can be received during the review visit. Check out the following articles for more information;- https://lovematters.co.ke/pregnancy/sex-after-pregnancy-myths-and-facts https://lovematters.co.ke/pregnancy/sex-after-pregnancy-top-five-facts
Hey Dorcas, a missed period is one of the early signs of pregnancy. There are other reasons that may lead to this including; change in environment, significant weight loss or weight gain, eating disorders, excessive exercises and also stress. You may want to start by getting a pregnancy test. If you are pregnant, it is important to start your Pre-natal clinics as soon as possible, so now would be a good time to start. Check out this article;- https://lovematters.co.ke/pregnancy/being-pregnant/your-body-and-pregnancy
Paulie
Tue, 04/24/2018 - 09:51 am
My boyfriend just proposed to me and he wants us to have baby but am not ready what should i do? He's 27yrs am 22 Contact me via e-mail:

Hi Pauline, the right thing to do it to talk to him and let him know that you are not ready at this time for a baby. If he does care for you he will respect you choice. Find a good time and talk about this with him. It is completely normal for the both of you to have differing ideas especially when it comes to such decisions like when to have a child and perhaps how many to have. Let him know why you feel not ready at this time so that together you can work toward that right time for you. This might be a good time now that he has proposed, for you to begin to talk about the different decisions you will need to make or agree on as a couple. We wish you well. 

Hi Theo, there is nothing wrong with having sex during pregnancy however bleeding is not normal. It is important that your partner visits a medical centre for a check up. Check out the following articles for more information;- 

https://lovemattersafrica.com/pregnancy/being-pregnant/your-body-and-pregnancy

https://lovemattersafrica.com/pregnancy/sex-during-pregnancy-top-five-facts

Doreen
Thu, 05/24/2018 - 01:50 pm
I am pregnant and I recently caught my boyfriend cheating on me with another girl. Can i use PEP for protection? I can’t resist having sex with him but i also don’t want to get infected with HIV.

Hey Doreen, have you talked to your partner about the cheating? Are you happy with him cheating on you? Is this the kind of relationship you want? PEP is taken by a person who feels they have been exposed to HIV but on your part you can use Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), which are anti-HIV drugs taken by a person who feels they at a risk of HIV infection to reduce this threat. You can receive PrEP from a health facility near you. Check out this article for additional information;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/safe-sex/sti-prevention/pre-exposure-prophylaxis-top-facts

Hey Dona, it is completely alright to have sex throughout your pregnancy. However, as the pregnancy goes on it can be uncomfortable to have intercourse with the man on top. You’ll need to find other positions, for example lying on your side with your partner behind you. Or you might just feel like having sex in other ways without having intercourse. Or not at all. Just follow your feelings.
The only times you shouldn’t have sex when you’re pregnant is if your waters have broken, if you’re bleeding, or if your midwife or obstetrician says that for a particular reason you have an increased risk of giving birth prematurely. Check out the following article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/pregnancy/sex-during-pregnancy-top-five-facts

Hey Ann, it may take upto 12 months for one to get pregnant. One can still get pregnant after having an abortion. Have a look at this article on tips to increase your chances of getting pregnant;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/pregnancy/before-pregnancy/getting-pregnant-dos-and-donts Additionally have a look at the following article on safe abortions;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/pregnancy/unsure-about-being-pregnant/abortion-myths-busted

Am 19rs I was in love with my boyfriend then after few days he asked for sex after I had sex I got pregnant but I was so confused because I Neva trusted him BT allover sudden I deicide to have abortion ppls help me I have been trying to get pregnant again I don't know what the problem

Hey Ann, so sorry about this. It may take upto 12 months for one to get pregnant. One can still get pregnant after having an abortion. Have a look at this article on tips to increase your chances of getting pregnant;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/pregnancy/before-pregnancy/getting-pregnant-dos-and-donts Additionally have a look at the following article on safe abortions;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/pregnancy/unsure-about-being-pregnant/abortion-myths-busted

Hey Vinnie, there is no real way to enlarge ones penis other than surgery which also presents high risks. The different methods and products do not produce the results they promise. Have a look at the following article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/our-bodies/male-body/six-myths-about-increasing-penis-size

Hello Joel, during pregnancy, it is normal for both the mother and the father to experience a change in their level of sexual desire. Some will find themselves roaring with passion, others won't. Some women may not want to have sex – believing it will harm the baby or induce labour (even when they know it won’t!) – while for others, the changing hormones will make sex irresistible. Sometimes, particularly during the first trimester, many women find themselves too tired and nauseated and uncomfortable to have sex. Meanwhile, during the second trimester, many women experience a surge of hormones (including testosterone) that can significantly boost sex drive. Later in the pregnancy, more blood flow to the pelvic region, the freedom of not having to worry about birth control and increased sensitivity of the skin, especially around the breasts and other erogenous zones, may also increase sexual desire.

Meanwhile, it’s perfectly normal for the mother’s partner to be extra aroused by all the changes occurring in her body, particularly her growing breasts!

The key to great lovemaking and intimacy during pregnancy is communication. Be open and honest with your feelings, especially if you have mixed thoughts about having sex. At the same time, encourage your partner to talk about their worries and desires, especially if there has been a noticeable change in their sexual behaviour.

Rose Cheruiyot
Thu, 10/25/2018 - 02:02 pm
Do you mean I can still have sex throughout the pregnancy? My husband is very oppossed to this idea, he even thinks we should have separate room. Give me more information?

Hi Rose, yes you can still have sex during pregnancy. It is however important that you use positions that don't exert pressure on your growing tummy. Find a good time and talk to your husband to get to know exactly why he is opposed to having sex during pregnancy, this way you can help him see that there is really no harm because the baby is well protected in the uterus. Have a look at the following article for additional information;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/pregnancy/sex-during-pregnancy-top-five-facts

Yes you can Cate. Infact one of the benefits of having sex during periods can help relieve some of the period pain. It is however important to consider protection since there is a small chance one could get pregnant. Check out the following article for additional information;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/our-bodies/female-body/sex-during-your-period-top-five-facts

Hi Mary, P2 only has short term effects including changing the timing of next period so that it comes early or late, breast tenderness, fatigue, headaches, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and dizziness. There are no long term effects of associated with emergency contraception. Have a look at the following article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/birth-control/types-of-birth-control/emergency-contraception

Hi Glady, the effect is a positive one where your baby will be healthy and develop well during pregnancy. Do discuss with your Doctor or midwife about what supplements you ought to take during this time. We wish you well in your pregnancy journey. Check out this article for additional information;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/pregnancy/being-pregnant/your-body-and-pregnancy

Hello Aggy, first, congratulations. Both of these are expected 'side effects' of being pregnant. As the baby grows in your womb, it takes energy and the result is that you feel tired. You also have lots of appetite, you are eating much more or more frequently. The result is that you put on a bit more weight. It is important to ensure you are eating healthy during this time, if you can eat small meals frequently as opposed to three large meals. Have a look at the following article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/pregnancy/being-pregnant/your-body-and-pregnancy

Hi,my girlfriend is 36 weeks pregnant and haven't had sex with her for long,is it accepted to have intercourse with her at this time as she's about to deliver

Hi Martha, I suggest you begin you prenatal clinics as soon as possible and then discuss this your health provider depending on what your actual weight is. You will find that during this period you are likely to put on some weight. We wish you all the best in your pregnancy journey. Check this out;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/pregnancy/being-pregnant/your-body-and-pregnancy

Hello Susan, what exactly do you mean when you say it has been difficult? Sex after child birth is different and it is important to talk about it with your partner in the case where there are difficulties. One may experience pain, one may experience a low desire for sex and the baby weight may also get in the way of the experience. Have a look at the following article for more information;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/pregnancy/sex-after-pregnancy-top-five-facts

charles
Sun, 07/14/2019 - 10:06 am
I have had difficulty when it comes to sex.every time I have a sexual intercourse with my wife she complains if itching from the sperms.I tried masterbation and the moment sperms fall on my skin there was itching at that part.what's the problem because I thought its STI an I went for checkup but the results were negative.

Hello Charles, it is possible that your partner has a rare case of allergic reaction to sperm. Do consider speaking to health care provider together with your partner to see what options you can adopt to address this. In the meantime, you can consider using condoms during sex to prevent exposure to the sperm on the part of your wife. Have a look at the following article for more information on condom use;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/birth-control/types-of-birth-control/condom

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