What's Safe (And What's NOT) When It Comes To Sex While Pregnant

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is sex during pregnancy safe

Pregnancy brings lots of hope and happiness to a couple; however, it's sometimes a cause of worry with some vital factors to consider. Pregnant women might have some confusion and doubts about safe sexual practices during their pregnancy.

This article can shed some light on factors that pregnant women must consider about whether or not to have sex while pregnant.

Is Sex During Pregnancy Safe?

The embryo is very well protected by an amniotic sac and uterus muscles. The baby is defended against any possible infections by a thick mucus plug that fuses the cervix closed. The NCBI journal lists sex during pregnancy as safe in most cases.

Orgasms, although known to bring mild contractions to the uterus, in no way harm the baby in low-risk pregnancies. So it's safe to have sex while pregnant.

Safe Sexual Practices During Pregnancy

Is sex during pregnancy safe? If you're concerned, pregnant women can follow these added tips to keep her and her baby safe:

1. Use condoms to prevent STIs that can harm the vulnerable upper genital tract.

A severe infection can occur several times in the first three months and this can threaten the well-being of the baby.

2. Any sexual position is safe during pregnancy as long as the woman is comfortable.

As gestation advances, certain positions, like the missionary position, aren't possible. In such cases, they can opt for a side-lying position or get creative to find a more comfortable position.

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3. Understand that you're at a higher risk for STDs.

Pregnant women with multiple sexual partners are at higher risk of contracting transmitted diseases and infections. Hence they should choose to use a condom.

4. Oro-genital sexual practices, though considered safe, can cause an unusual but fatal venous air embolism.

When the blood vessels come in direct contact with bursts of air, this can lead to a venous air embolism, which can lead to cardiopulmonary failure and death.

5. Rear-entry position can cause discomfort during pregnancy.

This position can also lead to an air embolism as well. Moreover, this position can aggravate the spread of infection from the rectum to the vagina.

When Should You Avoid Sex During Pregnancy?

There isn't a sufficient amount of evidence of sex inducing premature labor. However, women with a history of premature labor are cautioned against having sex during the pregnancy. Orgasms can cause contractions and release the hormone oxytocin, which can trigger premature labor.

Women with multiple pregnancies are at risk of preterm labor; however, this is generally not sex induced. Women with cervical cerclage and cervical impotence are also advised to refrain from sex, as the condition may trigger preterm labor. In any case of vaginal bleeding without a known cause, sex is restricted.

Placenta Previa is comprised of antepartum hemorrhage in which the cervix is partially or totally covered by the placenta. In these instances, pregnant women should avoid sexual intercourse. If the amniotic sac is leaking amniotic fluid, pregnant women should not have sex.

Psychological Factors That Affect Sexual Desire

Pregnancy significantly increases hormones in the body as it is constantly changing to accommodate the growing baby. During pregnancy, women often experience a change in their moods. Such variations can affect their sex lives, especially as the pregnancy progresses.

A pregnant woman can be sexually active, but the frequency of such acts may vary. Usually, the sexual urge decreases as pregnancy matures. It's absolutely normal to have a low sex drive after the 22nd week of pregnancy.

Some women are anxious about intercourse during pregnancy as they fear it will cause a miscarriage. However, intercourse during gestation very rarely results in a miscarriage, so there's nothing to fear.

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Women often feel unattractive and awkward due the changes in their body. This can lead them to withdraw from sex due to low self-esteem.

Sex during pregnancy is generally safe unless there's an underlying medical issue. However, one needs to understand that during gestation, a woman's sex drive can vary greatly. As the pregnancy matures, she might experience a lower sex drive or painful intercourse due to various underlying psychological factors.

Sex isn't known to induce preterm labor in pregnant women; however, women with high-risk pregnancies and a history of premature labor are advised to restrict sexual activities. Women must opt for safe sex practices to safeguard their health and also the health of the baby.


Donna Begg is an expert editor, mentor, analyst, and researcher. She has worked across the globe with highly qualified health and beauty experts. She has gained wide acceptance across the globe for her knowledge and wisdom.