The count in pregnancy is not always about how far you’ve gone but how far you have left to go. While you are thrilled by the idea of nursing a new life in your womb, you also can’t wait to carry this precious gift in your arms. As you wait for your due date, you begin to be careful of the things you do in order to have a safe delivery. One of the fears you may have is the effect of sex on your pregnancy. There are women who believe that having sex during pregnancy will cause their water to break.
As you journey on with this article, you will learn: what water breaking in pregnancy is; the safety of sex during pregnancy; the benefits of having sexual intercourse during pregnancy; if your water can break during pregnancy, and also the signs that your water has broken.
What’s water breaking?
Water breaking is a sign that labor will soon start if it’s yet to start. This term refers to the breaking of the amniotic sac. The amniotic sac is a sac that surrounds your fetus and contains the amniotic fluid. The amniotic fluid serves as a cushion for your baby. Once the sac breaks, the fluid is let out.
Breaking of the amniotic sac has been associated with a sudden gush of water, but most times, this is not so. Your water may break before or during labor and some may even require medical help to break the sac.
Is sex during pregnancy safe?
Your water may break long before labor starts. Some women feel that having sex during pregnancy may be a reason for this. Some are even of the opinion that sex during pregnancy will impact their baby negatively. Is this really true?
During pregnancy, the amniotic sac encloses your baby in the uterus protecting it from minor moves. The cervical opening beneath is enclosed with a fluid fitting and the uterus itself is over the vagina. With these organs in their positions, entrance into the uterus is not possible. This means your baby is perfectly safe.
When you have normal and uncomplicated sex while you are pregnant, you can be sure that your baby will be safe and unharmed.
Benefits of having sexual intercourse during pregnancy
Having sexual intercourse during pregnancy has a lot of benefits. Some benefits are emotional, others are physiological. Some of these benefits include:
- It helps you feel better about yourself.
- It strengthens the existing relationship between you and your partner.
- It helps to reduce pain and discomfort.
- It helps you relax and have a great night’s rest.
- It strengthens your pelvic floor muscle.
- It boosts your mood.
- It helps with bladder control.
- It helps you stay fit
- It improves your happiness.
- It boosts your immune system.
Can your water break during sex?
Normally, the amniotic sac can’t break just because you had sex. The intensity of the contraction the uterus undergoes during sex is not strong enough to cause your water to break.
Yes, your water can break during sexual intercourse, but it won’t be because you were having sex. It may be because you were already in your first stage of labor. At this stage, contractions have begun, but they are minimal and do not last for long.
In certain abnormal conditions, your water can break even when you are not in labor yet. This is known as premature rupture of membranes (PROM). PROM can occur for different reasons such as:
- Changes in abdominal pressure are sudden: This may occur in case of an accident or during stress.
- Infections: Some infections can weaken the amniotic sac and cause it to break even before its time.
- Drug Use: These drugs can be legal or illegal. It is best you consult your doctor before taking any drug during pregnancy.
- Excess pressure within the amniotic sac: This may be a result of polyhydramnios (excess amniotic fluid in the amniotic sac) or multiple pregnancies (when you are pregnant with more than one baby).
- Placental abruption
- High blood pressure.
- Poor nutrition during pregnancy can also cause your water to break prematurely
- Delivery by elective C-section. If you are delivering by C-section, your water may not break until surgery.
- On some rare occasions, the water does not break at all and the baby is born still enclosed in the amniotic sac.
What causes water to break?
Water breaking is also known as the rupture of the membranes. At this time in your pregnancy, your baby’s head should be towards the vagina. When your baby is ready to come out or just when you are due, your uterus begins to contract. Contractions can be a result of the pressure your baby is putting on your womb too. As the intensity of the contraction increases, it puts pressure on the amniotic sac.
This increased pressure makes the amniotic sac break, and water comes out through the vagina.
What are the signs when a pregnant woman’s water breaks?
Different mothers can have different experiences when their water breaks. Some mothers feel a trickle of water coming from their vagina while for some, it gushes out. In some instances, it may feel like you accidentally peed on your pants, and sometimes, the fluid can have bits of blood in it. When your water breaks, contractions may start or become more intense.
You can read this article to learn how to time your labor contractions.
It is easy to know your water broke if your experience is that of water gushing. In a case where it trickles down, you may confuse it with urine or a vaginal discharge.
Sexual intercourse itself does not cause your water to break although your water may break during the process if you are due.
If you have any issues with sexual intercourse during the course of your pregnancy, speak with your doctor.
In some cases, your doctor may have to restrict you from sex for your health and that of your baby. If you have had a miscarriage or you’re at risk for one; if you are at risk of preterm labor; or your cervix dilated early, your doctor may restrict you from having sexual intercourse.