Sex During Pregnancy: Is it Safe?

Being pregnant means a lot of changes in the future mum’s body. The parents-to-be frequently have lots of worries and questions, especially when this is their first pregnancy: is it safe to have sex? Are we going to hurt the baby? Can intercourse trigger labour? While in the majority of cases having sex during pregnancy is totally safe, it is better to know a few things beforehand, even if this is just for reassurance.

Can having sex during pregnancy hurt the baby?

Within the womb your baby is completely protected, safely suspended in amniotic fluid and cushioned by the amniotic sac. He or she won’t be harmed at all during sex. Besides, a mucus plug lodged in the cervix completely separates the baby from the vagina. Having sex won’t wake him or her up either. So don’t worry, your baby won’t hear a thing!


close loving pregnant couple on bed

Can the penis touch the baby?

Once again, the baby is safe and out of reach, protected by the amniotic sac and the mucus plug that seals the cervix. The penis cannot penetrate beyond the vagina and touch the baby. You and your partner can have fun and enjoy the pleasure of sex without any worries at all.

Can having an orgasm invoke labour?

While it’s true that generally the frequency of lovemaking decreases during pregnancy, sex can’t trigger labour or cause a miscarriage, unless you have a high-risk pregnancy. If your pregnancy is normal, making love is perfectly fine. An orgasm can cause the uterus to contract, however the contractions are usually harmless.

Can sex cause an infection?

Your body is well prepared: the mucus plug in the cervix is there to protect you and your baby from any infections. Both of you are perfectly safe. Nonetheless, make sure your partner has no sexually transmittable diseases, and if this is the case use latex condoms each time.

Frequent sex can also trigger bladder urinary tract infections. If symptoms occur, promptly see your doctor.

What about oral sex?

Oral sex is safe most of the time. However, it’s best to avoid oral sex if your partner experiences an oral herpes outbreak. Additionally, if they have a history of herpes you should avoid having oral sex during the third trimester entirely, regardless of whether they are currently displaying symptoms or not.

It’s also imperative that your partner refrains from blowing into your vagina. A bubble of air could enter the circulatory system and create an embolism which would be extremely dangerous for you and your baby.

When do I have to worry?

If after having sex you experience contractions that do not stop, or if you bleed after intercourse, contact your practitioner or your midwife as soon as possible.

Follow your doctor’s advice

While having sex is certainly safe and even encouraged for most couples, in certain cases your doctor might advise you to refrain from it.

If you have a high-risk pregnancy, a low-lying placenta, cervical weakness, you are at risk of preterm labour or you have experienced bleeding or vaginal infection, having sex might provoke complications that could for instance induce labour or a miscarriage.

Depending on what your practitioner or midwife advise you, the period of abstinence could concern the entire duration of the pregnancy or just the final months. For some expectant mothers, having sex may be permitted as long as orgasm is not reached. In other situations, foreplay is allowed but not penetration. Having sex after the water breaks is also not recommended. To ensure that you stay safe, asking your doctor about what you can and cannot do is fundamental.

It is essential that you always pay attention to your body and your feelings and that you always communicate with your partner. If you are still worried and you still have questions about pregnancy and sex, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor or midwife.

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