Expert answers to your embarrassing questions about sex during pregnancy
Will my orgasm induce preterm labor?
"We don't know what exactly causes labor, but in a normal pregnancy, having an orgasm is not dangerous and will not induce preterm labor," Minkin says. If you are at risk for preterm labor, are carrying twins or had a previous preterm birth, you will probably be told not to have sex. Although engaging in sex won't induce labor, having an orgasm might stimulate contractions. "When a woman is past her due date and has not gone into labor, we tell her to go home and have sex," Minkin says. "We know that prostaglandin in semen might help induce labor." Does it work? Maybe. But it might be fun to find out.
Is it safe to use a personal lubricant?
Sure. Using lube won't harm your baby, but you probably won't need it. High estrogen levels during pregnancy mean your vagina often feels moist, and you'll notice a lot of discharge--so much so that some women think they have vaginitis. If you breastfeed after your baby is born, that might be the time to use a glycerin-based lube like KY or Astroglide. "Women who breastfeed might experience a dry vagina," Minkin says. "The prolactin released in the body to stimulate milk production lowers estrogen levels, which leads to less vaginal secretion."
Now that I am pregnant I find it hard to achieve orgasm--am I normal?
"All women react differently, but there are many more hormones in the body during pregnancy, which should actually make it easier for them to have orgasms," Fiss says. "Also, your vagina is engorged with blood and is more sensitive, so that can help you climax." However, sometimes pregnant women feel awkward about their new body or are anxious that sex will hurt the baby. This may prevent them from having an orgasm as easily as they did in the past, but there is no physiological reason it should not happen.
Can we use sex toys?
"Yes, but stick with ones that provide external stimulation only," Fiss says. "A pregnant woman is more prone to infection and her cervix is more friable [bleeds more easily], so don't insert any foreign object into the vagina."