Monday, May 27th

Last updateSun, 21 Feb 2021 9am

Font Size



G Nikas2

There's little talk about the topic of sex during pregnancy and  less literature about sex during IVF treatment  because of our culture's tendency to dissociate expectant mothers from sexuality.
Like many parents-to-be, you may have questions about the safety of sex and effect on IVF treatment and the following pregnancy
What's normal tends to vary widely, but you can count on the fact that there will be changes in your sex life.
Open communication will be the key to a satisfying and safe sexual relationship during pregnancy.

Sex and Infertility.
Sex and IVF
Sex and Pregnancy

Sex and Infertility.

Myths about sex lives
A belief about infertility - that treatment will be harmful for the relationship - was  exposed as a myth by the survey; more than 80% of patients said treatment had resulted in no damage to their relationships.
In a fertility survey which was performed in nine countries (which included Greece )among couples seeking fertility treatment, physicians and support staff involved in IVF. Results of the survey were presented at an international meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) congress in Vienna.

Myths also about the sex lives of couples being treated for infertility have been exposed by a worldwide fertility survey. Contrary to belief, fertility treatment has little impact on the sex lives of patients: almost 70% of those questioned said that sex was just as spontaneous as before treatment, and 85% said they were just as interested in sex as before.


Sex and IVF

Sex in IVF treatment:
Before ivf treatment and before the egg collection sex is both allowed and recommended for a psychological reasons amongst others.
Remember only, that it is advisable to have 3 day abstinence before the day of egg collection for improved sperm quality.
Waiting for test result:
After the embryo transfer it is advised to wait until at least the outcome of the pregnancy test 12-14 days after egg collection. There is  no scientific evidence to say it may be harmful but  sex can provoke  spasms in the uterus and maybe it is better be to avoid this.
Of course we do not know in normal/ physiological circumstances that you have a fertilized egg developing in your uterus.
But because in IVF we know exactly when fertilization occurred and when we transferred the embryos so, it is generally considered better  to abstain.

IN IUI many doctors recommend sex immediately after IUI and for the  following days for two reasons 1) to increased the chance of fertilization after ovulation  2) the positive effect of participation of the husband.
In some rare cases if many follicles have been stimulated by hormonal treatment sex may be not allowed for fear of multiple pregnancies.
IUI is different from IVF because no surgical operation has occurred and fertilization occurs in the natural environment (the fallopian tubes) and not in vitro. Insemination by IUI is timed to coincide with ovulation either with or without induction by HCG.



Sex and Pregnancy

If you're having a normal pregnancy, sex is considered safe during all stages of the pregnancy.
So what's a normal pregnancy? A normal pregnancy is one that's considered low-risk for complications such as miscarriage or pre-term labour. Talk to your doctor, nurse midwife, or other pregnancy health care provider if you're uncertain about whether you fall into this category.
Of course, just because sex is safe during pregnancy doesn't mean you'll necessarily want to have it!
Many expectant mothers find that their desire for sex fluctuates during certain stages in the pregnancy. Also, many women find that sex becomes uncomfortable as their bodies get larger. You and your partner need to keep the lines of communication open regarding your sexual relationship. Talk about other ways to satisfy your need for intimacy, such as kissing, caressing, and holding each other. You also may need to experiment with other positions for sex to find those that are most comfortable.
Many women find that they lose their desire and motivation for sex late in the pregnancy - not only because of their size but also because they're preoccupied with the impending delivery and the excitement of becoming a new parent.


Men's Possible Reactions to Sex During Pregnancy

 Men share many of the anxieties of their partners, but they also have special concerns and pleasures of their own.

A man’s desire for sex is likely to increase or decrease as well. Some men feel even closer to their pregnant partner and enjoy the changes in their bodies. Others may experience decreased desire because of concerns about the health of mother and unborn child or anxiety about the burdens of parenthood. Your partner may have trouble reconciling your identity as sexual partner with your new (and increasingly visible!) identity as expectant mother.

Again, remember that communication can be a great help in dealing with these issues.


Decreased desire for sex.
Physical awkwardness.
Fear of harming fetus.


Being turned on by increased breast size.
Love of extra weight and roundness of partner’s belly.
Freedom   from   infertility   concerns.
New   ways  of  pleasuring.
Fun  of   finding  new positions.


Can sex harm my baby?
No, not directly.
Your baby is fully protected by the amniotic sac (a thin-walled bag that holds the fetus and surrounding fluid) and the strong muscles of the uterus.
There's also a thick mucus plug that seals the cervix and helps guard against infection. The penis does not come into contact with the fetus during sex.

Can intercourse or orgasm cause miscarriage or contractions?
In cases of normal, low-risk pregnancies, the answer is no.
The contractions that you may feel during and just after orgasm are entirely different from the contractions associated with labour. However, you should check with your gynaecologist to make sure that your pregnancy falls into the low-risk category. Some doctors, though, recommend that all pregnant women abstain from sex during the last few weeks of pregnancy because semen contains a substance that may stimulate contractions.
Is it normal for my sex drive to increase or decrease during pregnancy?
Actually, both of these possibilities are normal (and so is everything in between). Many pregnant women find that symptoms such as fatigue, nausea, breast tenderness, and the increased need to urinate make sex too bothersome, especially during the first trimester. Generally, fatigue and nausea subside during the second trimester, and some women find that their desire for sex increases. Also, some women find that freedom from worries about contraception, combined with a renewed sense of closeness with their partner, makes sex more fulfilling. Desire generally subsides again during the third trimester, as the uterus grows even larger and the reality of what's about to happen sets in!

When to Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor if you're unsure whether sex is safe for you. Also, call him or her if you notice any unusual symptoms after intercourse, such as pain, bleeding, or discharge, or if you experience contractions that seem to continue after sex.
Remember, "normal" is a relative term when it comes to sex during pregnancy. You and your partner need to discuss what feels right for both of you.

Check with your gynaecologist to see what he  thinks is best.


Making Love During Pregnancy
For women, pregnancy often creates an increased need for physical affection -- a
craving that may be greater than the desire for sexual satisfaction.
Pregnancy is a wonderful time to explore aspects of making love such as cuddling, holding each other and discovering new positions and new ways of pleasuring.
Many women experience added sensitivity during pregnancy and find orgasms lasting longer than when they're not pregnant.
But though intercourse can be very welcome, just talking and holding hands can also
be very intimate.


There's no evidence that intercourse in the last trimester causes premature labor, and
studies show no difference in birth weight, length of pregnancy or health of the fetus related
to intercourse during that time. The hormone prostaglandin, which is sometimes used to
induce labour, is present in semen, but in small amounts. And having intercourse won't rupture your membranes.


When It's Not Safe

You should not have sex with your partner who may have a sexually transmitted disease, such as herpes, genital warts, chlamydia, or HIV.  If you become infected, the disease may be transmitted to your baby, with potentially dangerous consequences.
If your doctor, nurse midwife anticipates or detects certain significant complications with your pregnancy, he or she is likely to advise against sexual intercourse.

The most common risk factors include:
• a history or threat of miscarriage
• a history of pre-term labor (you've previously delivered a baby before 37 weeks) or signs indicating the risk of pre-term labor (such as premature uterine contractions)
• unexplained vaginal bleeding, discharge, or cramping
• leakage of amniotic fluid (the fluid that surrounds the baby)
• placenta previa, a condition in which the placenta is situated down so low that it covers the cervix 
• incompetent cervix, a condition in which the cervix is weakened and dilates (opens) prematurely, raising the risk for miscarriage or premature delivery .