Midwife debunks five of the most common myths
Concern about having sex during pregnancy is common among couples who are expecting their first baby.
It is an issue some of them raise with midwife Annette Mulhern, who sees all patients on every visit they make to the Evie clinic in Sandyford. Here she debunks five of the most common myths:
Women go off sex during pregnancy
Well they might in the first trimester, if they are feeling very nauseous and wiped out. But in the second trimester, when they have more energy, “they are well up for it”, says Mulhern. Their libido may start to wane towards the end of the pregnancy if they are “more uncomfortable and don’t feel sexy”.
Sex is too difficult
This should not be the case, although as the pregnancy progresses couples may have to adjust their positions to find ones that are more comfortable for both partners.
Sex can harm the baby
Not unless there is a contra-indication, which is why it is always a good idea to have this conversation with a health professional. Generally, the foetus is very well protected in the amniotic sac.
However, it is not okay for a woman who has had a stitch put into her cervix to have intercourse – that couple would have to find some other way of being intimate, she says.
Likewise, in cases of placenta praevia, where the placenta is lying too low over the neck of the womb. “You could cause a lot of trouble there – haemorrhaging, even losing the baby.”
Oral sex during pregnancy is harmful
Blowing air directly in the vagina can cause complications but, otherwise, oral sex is safe. It can be a good option If intercourse becomes uncomfortable.
Contractions from an orgasm can cause a miscarriage
There is a hormone in semen that can cause contractions “but they are so minor they wouldn’t start off a labour”, she says.
Meanwhile, after the birth, most women are definitely not interested in sex for some weeks.
Generally, life is all about the baby and recovering from the delivery.
New mothers are exhausted and when they lie down on the bed, they want to go asleep, Mulhern points out.
However, she recalls that when training in the Coombe about 20 years ago, she discovered in one of the public wards a guy in a curtained-off bed with a girl.
“God love her, I couldn’t believe it – 24 or 36 hours after delivery and there he was.”
Not to be recommended.
Generally, the foetus is very well protected in the amniotic sac
Midwife Annette Mulhern attends a patient at the new “well-being” pregnancy care service called Evie at Beacon Hall, Sandyford, Co Dublin.