Is Sex Safe During Pregnancy?
And Other Awkward Questions about Intimacy when You’re Expecting
We quite often get questions from readers about whether it’s safe to have sex during pregnancy and whether there are certain positions you should avoid or symptoms you should be careful of. So, it’s about time we addressed the big questions around sex and pregnancy, no holds barred (excuse the pun). Enjoy!
Eleven Frequently Asked Questions About Having Sex During Pregnancy:
1. Is sex during pregnancy safe?
Unless you’re suffering from severe symptoms or complications, YES. Not only is sex safe, it’s also a great way to stay close to your partner, get a little exercise, and improve your emotional wellbeing.
2. Can sex during early pregnancy cause miscarriage?
Usually not. But, some studies suggest that if you have an incompetent cervix your chances of miscarriage are slightly increased if you have deeply penetrative sex. Talk to your OBS/GYN if you have a history of miscarriage or if you’re worried about having sex during early pregnancy for any reason.
3. What is the Best Sex Position during Pregnancy?
No definitive answer to this one! It all comes down to finding positions that are comfortable and mutually pleasing. Here are a few suggestions for comfortable sex positions during pregnancy:
- Missionary: This one still works well right into late pregnancy. You may want to slip a pillow beneath your back for extra support. Just make sure that your partner supports his weight and doesn’t put any pressure on your abdomen.
- The woman on top: This one is a favorite for many pregnant women. There’s no pressure on your abdomen and you’re in control.
- Side by side from behind: This position allows for an intimate cuddle, a comfortable belly, and not too deep penetration.
- Doggy style: Not everyone finds this comfortable but some couples love it! Tucking a pillow beneath your belly can give you a little extra support if you need it.
- Edge of the bed: This can be a great way to get deeper penetration without putting any pressure on your abdomen. Just position yourself so that you’re lying with your bottom at the edge of the bed and your legs hanging over the side. Your partner can then either stand or kneel to enter you.
4. I have a massively increased libido. Is this a symptom of pregnancy?
Yes. Those busy pregnancy hormones often increase sex drive for women, especially in the second trimester. Take advantage of it while you can – you might be too tired to even think of sex once your Baby arrives!
5. I have no libido. Is this a symptom of pregnancy?
Yes again. Those same hormones which increase libido for some women decrease it for others.
6. Is sex during pregnancy good?
As with every other occasion, it’s different for everybody. It depends on your libido, your energy levels, your pregnancy symptoms, your level of connection with your partner, and a million other factors. If you are enjoying sex – that’s great! But, if you find that you’re not enjoying it, don’t feel that you have to do it. There are lots of great alternatives to sex: talking intimately, cuddling, caressing, massage, your imagination is the limit…
7. Are there any risks to having sex during pregnancy?
Yes, there are some slight risks. But only if you’re already suffering from serious symptoms or complications. Sexual intercourse won’t cause any symptoms but it can make some worse. Talk to your pregnancy professionals about whether sex is safe if:
- You have placenta previa
- You have a history of preterm labor
- You or your partner have genital herpes or any other sexually transmitted infection.
- You have had vaginal bleeding or unusual discharge
Your practitioners may advise that you abstain from sex if you have any of these conditions or there are other concerns about your pregnancy. If you ever experience pain during intercourse, you should stop immediately and discuss the matter with your midwife or obstetrician.
8. Are there any sex during pregnancy benefits?
Lots of them! Obviously, you’ll be getting a bit of exercise, which is great for fighting off insomnia, depression, and anxiety. It also helps to keep your relationship strong and gives you and your partner a chance to express your love for each other. Sex during pregnancy reminds you that you are a woman, not just a baby growing machine. The list goes on…
9. What if my partner doesn’t find me attractive?
Occasionally, men experience a dip in libido when their wives are pregnant. And women sometimes interpret this as the man not finding her attractive because of the changes to her body. It’s actually much more likely that his hesitance to have sex is caused by a fear of hurting you or the baby or a modest misconception that you’re doing the deed in front of Baby. Communicate with your partner and let him know that you want to and that it won’t hurt you. But if he really doesn’t want to, don’t pressure him.
10. Is it safe to have oral sex during pregnancy?
Yes. And this can be a great alternative if penetrative sex is painful. Kissing and licking are fine but blowing into the vagina should be avoided. Oral sex should also be avoided if your partner has a cold sore (facial herpes).
11. Will sex in late pregnancy induce labor?
There are a lot of mixed opinions on this old wive’s tale. Modern obstetric thinking is that intercourse will not induce labor. Your baby will come when he or she is good and ready and a little roll in the hay won’t change that.
More Articles on the Dos and Don’ts of Pregnancy:
Which pregnancy stories have a grain of truth and which are pure fiction? Find out in our pregnancy myth busters post.
What’s the truth about flying and pregnancy? Why do some airlines have restrictions and what are they? Is it safe to fly while pregnant? Ten facts about flying while pregnant.
We’ve all heard that alcohol and pregnancy don’t go together. But what about that aunt who insists it’s fine to have a glass odf champagne at New Year? Is alcohol really as harmful as they say? Find out the facts about alcohol and pregnancy here.