3 minute read
18 Mar 2020
9:00 am

Is it safe to have sex during pregnancy? Here’s the medical answer

During intercourse the penis does not hurt the baby.

In our bi-weekly column our in-house gynaecologist answers our reader questions. This week a reader asks:

Hi doc I am 12 weeks is it safe to have sex during pregnancy?

Couples can experience an array of both physical and emotional changes during pregnancy that will have an impact on their sexual life. Sex is generally safe throughout pregnancy except in a few instances,  such as having a front/low lying placenta (Placenta Previae ) ,or a premature rupture of membranes for this, your doctor will flag and guide you on the do’s and don’ts.

It’s important to emphasise the wide spectrum of intimacy ( which includes emotional connection, touch , play , and actual intercourse ) rather than just SEX.

Sex drive or libido “ the desire to have sex” , is generally decreased in the first trimester owing to the drastic hormonal change, but also nausea and vomiting, extreme tiredness  that is often pronounced during this phase .

The second trimester is marked with an increased fluid which causes more blood to be channelled to the reproductive organs for the growing baby , but also increases vaginal lubrication and overall sensation.

Together with the subsiding morning sickness and psychological settling into the pregnancy one can experience a sudden shoot up in their sex drive…  Just enjoy it and experiment with more comfortable positions.

In the third trimester once again tend to see a decline as a result of mainly the discomfort caused by being highly pregnant .

Important tips to take note of during intercourse the penis does not hurt baby, baby is protected inside the womb and further covered by a protective membrane ( amniotic sac and fluid). When addressing the sexual needs and changes during pregnancy , don’t forget the partner . Last but not least sex in the third trimester can actually help assist in starting spontaneous labour , so in a nutshell pregnancy is no reason to kill you intimacy MOJO.

Want a question answered by Dr Mpume? email us on editors@parenty.co.za

*Always consult your gynecologist or health care practitioner should you have concerns.

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Meet our resident Obstetrician & Gynecologist: Dr Mpume ZendeAbout Dr Mpume:

Obstetrician & Gynaecologist Special interest in Sexual & Reproductive Health and Sexual Medicine She is not only a passionate OB-Gynae ,but also Founder of Mics & Steths (Microphones &Stethoscopes) Legacy ,a health and information consultancy that seeks to provide solutions to Sexual and Reproductive Health & Wellness through connecting Media and Medicine. Her qualifications include:

  • Undergraduate (MD): MBCHB Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine University of KwaZulu Natal
  • Post-Graduate: Specialized in Obstetrics & Gynecology FCOG(SA) University of Witwatersrand

Recipient of International Society of Sexual Medicine attended ESSM School of Sexual Medicine programing Budapest (Nov 2019)

As if studying and helping women with their journeys isn’t enough Dr Mpume is also a sexual and reproductive Health and Rights Advisory – Gauteng MEC, Westrand District Health : strategies to deliver quality services  and Content Producer – Expert OB-Gynaecologist advisor and producer of content across all platforms, including print, tv and radio, social media, including Facebook, Areas of interest Women’s Health: hormones and family planning and teen health among others.

She is currently a Obstetrician & Gynecologist Morningside Mediclinic , works at DISA Private Clinic (part time)  and is a shareholder of The Birthing Team shareholder and specialist clinician, while also serving as a  Gauteng Region Committee Member: Southern Africa Sexual Health Association (SASHA) •

You can listen to her on Kaya FM : Co-host Home with Mapaseka Sexual Health

Career highlights include:

  • Speaker at 6th Annual WE CAN Africa 2019: breast and cervical cancer advocacy summit
  • Attendee : Women’s Health Summit 2019 Berlin Germany • Attended European Society School of Sexual Medicine November 2018 Budapest
  • Winner Women of stature Woman the year in Healthcare 2018
  • District (Clinical Specialist ( Obst & Gynae) West rand District : oversees mater nal health at district and primary healthcare , as well as school health • Member of MEC of Health Gauteng task team in O&G : focusing on Clinical governance, Health Policy advisory and implementation

Find her on Instagram : @dr.gynae Twitter: @celebgynae