We here at DNews are but humble public servants, really, so we're pleased to bring good news to pregnant couples today. Not only is sex generally safe for pregnant women, it may have specific health benefits for everyone involved. Bonus data: Many women report better orgasms, too. Everybody wins!
As Natalia Reagan dutifully reports in today's DNews special report, scientists have been studying sex and pregnancy for a looong time. Not the causal relationship; we've got that pretty well figured out. Rather, scientists (and concerned couples) have naturally been curious about whether vaginal sex could impact the health of the baby or the mom during various stages of pregnancy.
As with so many biological concerns, it turns out that the human body worked all this out way before we got curious as a species. The fetus develops in an amniotic sac filled with fluid, which rests just beyond the cervix at the end of the vaginal canal. Around four weeks into pregnancy, the body forms an additional mucus plug at the end of the cervical canal, further protecting the fetus. Regardless of the length of the penis, the fetus is well guarded.
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This is good news because studies show that around 40 percent of women experience a heightened sex drive during pregnancy. It turns out sex has health benefits for both mom and baby. Sex lowers blood pressure and helps moms fall asleep, which also benefits the wee one.
Many women also report having more intense orgasms during pregnancy, which likely has to do with increased blood flow to the pelvic region. There's even evidence that orgasms during pregnancy release higher levels of oxytocin, the so-called "cuddle hormone" that strengthens relationship bonds.
It get better: A recent study out of Denmark suggests that proteins found in semen can actually help reduce a woman's risk of developing pre-eclampsia, a potentially fatal condition that affects three to five percent of pregnant women.
Now, all that said, there are some instance in which sex during pregnancy is not recommended. This is often the case in high-risk pregnancies, or in cases where certain venereal diseases are present. In any case, always check with your doctor. Then get busy, and think kind thoughts about your friends here at DNews.
-- Glenn McDonald
Huffington Post: Revealed: Can A Man Poke A Baby In The Head During Sex With His Pregnant Partner?
NCBI: Sex In Pregnancy
Science Nordic: Frequent Sex Can Prevent Pregnancy Complications