One of the most commonly asked questions about pregnancy has to be – “Is sex in pregnancy safe?” For most women, who are having a low-risk pregnancy (with no risk of complications), having sex when you’re pregnant is absolutely normal. In fact, you can actually continue to have sex in pregnancy right up until your water breaks or you go into labor.
Sex in pregnancy is considered a normal and healthy way to express your love with your husband. Don’t worry – you aren’t hurting your baby by having sex. Your baby is safe and sound, protected by the amniotic sac and the muscles in your uterus. Plus, you have a thick mucus plug that seals the cervix and protects your developing baby from bacteria and infection.
Safe Sex in Pregnancy – What You Should Know
Sex in pregnancy may be safe, but you still need to keep some safety precautions in mind. Here are 8 Things to Know about Safe Sex in Pregnancy.
1. Sex in early pregnancy will not cause miscarriage. Early miscarriages are often linked to chromosomal abnormalities or other problems with the developing baby. In most cases, it is not anything that you did. (However, smoking and abusing illegal drugs in early pregnancy can cause miscarriage.)
2. Having an orgasm can cause mild uterine contractions. Nipple stimulation and the prostaglandins in semen can also cause you to experience mild contractions. These are usually harmless and temporary. Most women can experience contractions that last up to 30 minutes. (You’ll want to call your doctor if your contractions persist longer than this, however.)
3. In the last trimester, your cervix may bleed after sexual intercourse. This is due to increased blood volume and engorgement of the genitals that occurs in pregnancy. If you see just a little bit of blood, this is normal. But if there’s more than just slight spotting, call your doctor right away.
4. Always let your partner know if you’re feeling uncomfortable. Sex in pregnancy can be uncomfortable for some women. You may have to experiment with different sexual positions, or other erotic activities (such as oral sex, self-stimulation, etc.) if sex is uncomfortable for you. Keep in mind that kissing and cuddling are other ways of staying intimae if you’re not enjoying intercourse.
5. As your pregnancy continues, you may find that woman on top or side-lying sexual positions are more comfortable. Once your belly gets large enough, the missionary position (man on top) is probably more difficult and nearly impossible in the final trimester. You’ll have to find what position is most comfortable for you.
6. Oral sex in pregnancy is safe, but be careful. During pregnancy, it’s usually fine and safe for you to engage in oral sex. However, make sure that your husband doesn’t blow air into your vagina. Sometimes, a burst of air can block a blood vessel, and this can lead to air embolism – a life-threatening complication for you and your unborn child.
7. Anal sex isn’t recommended. Plus, anal sex may be uncomfortable for you, especially since hemorrhoids are a common problem in pregnancy. What’s most concerning about anal sex is that it can cause infection-causing bacteria to spread from your anus to your vagina.
8. Don’t have sex if your doctor or midwife has warned against it, or if you’re at risk for any complications. You’ll also want to avoid sex if you’re experiencing vaginal bleeding, or you’re leaking amniotic fluid.