Pregnancy changes every aspect of your life as your body and mind prepare for welcoming your baby. For thousands of patients, this also includes transformations in the bedroom, as sex and intimacy may be uncomfortable—or even painful.
But what causes painful sex during pregnancy, and how can one of our OBGYNS in Durham and Chapel Hill help you? We’ll explore the answers as well as let you know when it’s time to call the doctor.
“Having a baby is an exciting time in your life, and you may want to still remain intimate with your partner,” said Carey Jefferson, CNM.. “As your body changes during pregnancy, sex may become uncomfortable or feel differently than it did before. This is one reason why we work closely with patients to help them face these challenges if they occur during pregnancy.”
“Sometimes the pain during sex may be due to an underlying medical condition, while in other cases, merely changing to a different position can be helpful. Together, we’ll create a care plan that works for you,” Amy Dixon CNM said.
What Causes Painful Sex During Pregnancy?
Your body is undergoing a lot of changes, and these transformations are the main reasons behind painful sex during pregnancy. We’ve outlined a few of the most common causes below:
The natural, normal hormonal changes you’re undergoing may cause a dry vagina, which can cause sex to be painful and uncomfortable.
When you’re pregnant, there’s added pressure on your bladder, which makes you feel like you need to urinate more often. This can frequently cause sex to be uncomfortable or painful.
Hormonal changes can also make your breasts and nipples more sensitive and sorer than usual, and for many women, this contributes to painful sex during pregnancy.
As your baby grows and your uterus expands, some of the sexual positions you previously enjoyed may not be comfortable, causing painful sex during pregnancy. Trying a different position can often help alleviate this issue.
Because an orgasm releases oxytocin, some women may experience mild cramping after sex. As long as these are mild and they resolve shortly after sex, they can be typically treated with rest. However, because cramping can be indicative of other problems, we encourage you to contact us if they are intense and particularly if they don’t go away after rest.
During pregnancy, the cervix undergoes changes that make it more sensitive to touch. It can bleed much easier during sex. This may not be painful, but it can cause patients to worry. If you have bleeding with sex, please let us know.
STDs or Sexually Transmitted Infections
An STD can have serious consequences for both you and your baby. If you have discovered that your partner has been diagnosed with an STD, avoid all types of sex—anal, oral and vaginal. Then, schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible so we can test you for infection and help safeguard the health of both you and your baby.
If you’re not in a monogamous relationship or if you have a new sexual partner during your pregnancy, we urge you to practice safe sex.
When to Call Your OBGYN in Durham or Chapel Hill
If, at any point, sex is so painful that you’re avoiding it, schedule an appointment with us.
In addition, any intense cramping associated with sex should also be evaluated by one of our OBGYNs in Durham or Chapel Hill.
Usually, we can schedule an appointment within a week – or sooner if it is an emergent issue – and we’ll provide the undivided attention you need. There’s no need to be embarrassed to discuss sex with us: Intimacy with your partner is an important part of your overall well-being, and sexual health is an important aspect of your life.
Is Sex Safe During Pregnancy?
If you have a low-risk pregnancy with no complications, then typically there is no issue with sexual activity. If you have placenta previa or bleeding complicating your pregnancy, you should talk to us about the potential risks of intercourse during pregnancy.
See Why We’re Your Trusted OBGYNs in Durham and Chapel Hill
You want the advantage of state-of-the-art care that you’d find at a major university hospital.
You also want the personalized, compassionate care that you’d receive at a smaller medical practice.
The good news is you don’t have to choose: With Chapel Hill OBGYN, you can have the best of both worlds.
For more than 40 years, we have treated generations of patients in the Triangle, Chapel Hill and Durham areas, welcoming new lives into the world and helping patients overcome health care challenges. We would welcome the opportunity to be your medical home, regardless of your stage in life.
Contact us to schedule an appointment today!