Can I Have Sex When I Am Pregnant? Questions and Answers

Eileen Bailey Health Guide
  • Is it Safe to Have Sex When You are Pregnant?


    Many women worry that having sex, especially early in the pregnancy, can cause harm to their growing baby or cause a miscarriage. During a normal pregnancy, there is no harm in having sex. Miscarriages are generally caused by a chromosomal abnormality and having sex doesn't cause or increase the risk of having a miscarriage. Some women may be concerned that her movements during sex will harm the baby but this is also not true. Babies are cushioned by an amniotic sac and do not feel the movements of sex any more than they would feel movements when running or jogging.

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    Do I Need to Limit Sexual Positions?


    No, you don't need to limit sexual positions. As your pregnancy progresses, however, you may naturally switch positions based on what is comfortable for you. Sex should provide mutual satisfaction and pleasure, so don't try a position that you are not comfortable in, experiment to find positions where  both you and your partner can enjoy the intimacy of sex.


    How About Oral Sex?


    Oral sex is also generally considered safe during pregnancy with one exception. It is important for your partner to not blow air into your vagina during oral sex. Although rare, it can cause an embolism, which can be life-threatening to your baby.


    Why Do Some People Think it is Wrong to Have Sex During Pregnancy?


    While many couples enjoy an active and satisfying sex life during pregnancy, some people still believe you should avoid sex during pregnancy. This may come from outdated ideas that the mother needs to be "pure" and "perfect" but this notion somehow conveys that sex is dirty or disrespectful. However, sex between couples should be an enjoyable way to show love and to maintain feelings of intimacy and love and there if there is no health reason present, you can and should enjoy sex throughout your pregnancy.


    Can Sex Still be Pleasurable During Pregnancy?


    Many women enjoy an active sex life during pregnancy, but for some hormonal fluctuations take away or decrease their desire for sex. During the first trimester you may feel too tired or nauseous to have sex more than on occasion. During the second trimester many women find the increased blood flow to sexual organs and breasts actually make them "in the mood" even more often than before and in the third trimester it may be challenging to find a comfortable position. Overall, however, women find sex during pregnancy just as satisfying as sex before or after pregnancy.


    When Shouldn't You Have Sex?


    Even though it is normally safe to have sex when you are pregnant, there are some times you should avoid sex or speak with your doctor before having sex:


    High-risk pregnancies - If your doctor has told you there is a risk for vaginal bleeding or pre-term labor, he may also have suggested you not have sex for the remainder of your pregnancy. It is important to ask your obstetrician if you have any questions about the impact sex will have on your pregnancy.


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    Anal sex- Doctor's generally recommend that you avoid anal sex during pregnancy. This is because infection causing bacteria can move from your rectum to your vagina, causing problems. Anal sex may also be uncomfortable during pregnancy because of swollen blood vessels. If you have pregnancy-related hemorrhoids, anal sex will aggravate the situation and cause more pain.




    "Ask an Expert: I'm Pregnant...Will Having Sex Hurt the Baby?" 2011, Aug 10, Lisa Oldson, M.D.,


    "Sex During Pregnancy," 2011, Aug 17, Staff Writer, UCSF Medical Center


    "Sex During Pregnancy," 2009, March, Staff Writer,


    "Sex During Pregnancy: What's OK, What's Not," 2010, June 12, Staff Writer, MayoClinic


Published On: September 25, 2011