"One woman said that she felt like having sex, but her husband was uncomfortable about the idea," said Greenfield, who is division chief of general obstetrics & gynecology at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland. "Some men say they feel the baby is watching them or that they are going to hurt the baby."
About half of the women in the survey said their sexual satisfaction remained the same throughout the pregnancy while a lesser proportion -- 27.7 percent -- said it declined. Sexual desire was the same in 38.8 percent and down in 32.5 percent of the participants.
The most common type of sexual activity was vaginal (performed by 98.3 percent), followed by oral sex (38.1 percent) and anal sex (6.6 percent). About one-fifth of women said they masturbated during pregnancy.
More than 40 percent of women said they felt less attractive while they were expecting, but three-quarters said they sensed no decrease in sexual interest from their husband or partner.
In general, the authors and other experts stated, sex during pregnancy is not dangerous.
"A lot of people think it causes abortions in the third trimester or damage to the child, but regular penal-vaginal intercourse is not an issue," Goldstein said, adding that there can be issues with air embolisms during oral sex and infections during anal sex.
And there are some people for whom sex during pregnancy can be unsafe, said Greenfield, including women with placenta previa, when the placenta lies lower in the uterus.
"Bumping into the placenta under those circumstances can cause the mom to hemorrhage," she said.
"But for your average person, there's only one sex act that has an increased risk for women who are pregnant," she added. "There have been fatalities if air is blown into vagina. Anything that forces air into the vagina is not safe."
"It's important to recognize that d
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