Is Sex Safe During Pregnancy?

Yes! As long as you’re having a normal pregnancy without complications, sex during pregnancy is safe up until your water breaks or you go into labor.

Can You Have Sex While Pregnant? Is it Safe?

It is common for couples to wonder whether sex and pregnancy are safe together. Unless your health care provider advises you otherwise, sex during pregnancy is safe for both you and your baby. The baby is protected by the amniotic fluid in the womb, by your abdomen, and by the mucus plug which seals your cervix and helps guard against infections.

When is sex during pregnancy NOT safe?

Sex is safe during pregnancy unless your healthcare provider has indicated that you have a high-risk pregnancy. Although there are few reasons to avoid sex during pregnancy, there are some situations when your health care provider may indicate that sex should be avoided. These situations include:

It is also important to note that we are speaking about vaginal sex here. Anal sex is not considered safe during pregnancy and should be avoided. To read more about the risks this can bring into the equation, read our article.

What are the benefits of sex during pregnancy?

What are the benefits of sex during pregnancy?

Besides having sex during pregnancy just for the sheer fun of it, other possible benefits include:

  • Staying active Having sex burns calories, which could help you and your partner stay active and keep fit
  • Better orgasms Increased blood flow to your genital area during pregnancy often means better orgasm
  • A boost in happiness Having an orgasm releases endorphins that can make you feel happy and relaxed
  • Closer bond with your partner Having a healthy sex life during pregnancy is a good way to maintain a close emotional connection with your sexual partner – especially important in a time of so many changes.

What changes are expected during pregnancy?

Sex during pregnancy can still happen but realize your usual practices may need to adjust to keep things more comfortable given all the changes your body has gone through. Here are some things to consider when thinking about sex during pregnancy:

  • The common missionary position may become uncomfortable and warrant considering other positions such as side by side or with you on top.
  • As your breasts increase in size, they may become more tender or sore. Encourage your partner to explore other parts of your body and to find other ways to caress you. With the changes in your breast, it is best to avoid direct nipple stimulation.
  • There is increased blood flow to the pelvic area that can lead to engorgement of the genitals and heighten the sensation; however, for some women, this can be more uncomfortable.
  • Exhaustion, hormonal fluctuations, tender breasts and self-consciousness about weight gain can bring your sex drive to a halt. Sometimes you may need rest to regain energy – give yourself a break.

Unless your healthcare provider tells you otherwise, you and your partner should be able to enjoy sex during your pregnancy. Pay attention to your body and make adjustments so that you can enjoy the experience to the fullest.

Want to Know More?

Compiled using information from the following sources:
Planning Your Pregnancy and Birth Third Ed. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Ch. 5.
Mayo Clinic Guide To A Healthy Pregnancy Harms, Roger W., M.D., et al, Introduction.