Sex during pregnancy? It’s possible!

  • By Team TDO

One of the questions that arise when a woman gets pregnant is whether it is safe for the couple to have sex. We’ll try to answer the most common questions couples tend to ask.

Is sex safe during pregnancy?

Sex is considered safe if the pregnancy is normal in all stages. However, even if it is safe, it doesn't mean the woman would want to have it. Desire for sex fluctuates during the various stages of pregnancy and sex becomes plain uncomfortable as the body gets larger.

What is not safe?

Two types of sexual behaviors are not safe during pregnancy.

  1. While having oral sex, the man should not blow air into his partners’ vagina. It can lead to air blockage of blood vessels by an air bubble, which is called air embolism, and can be lethal for both mother and baby.
  2. The pregnant woman should strictly avoid sex with a partner with unknown sexual history or who may have a Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD).

What are the common risk factors?

In case of significant complications with pregnancy, abstinence from sexual intercourse is advised. Common risk factors can be:

  1. Threat of miscarriage.
  2. One can have pre-term labor or signs indicating the risk of pre-term labor (such as premature contractions).
  3. Unexplained vaginal bleeding, discharge, or cramping.
  4. Leakage of fluid surrounding the baby, called as amniotic fluid.
  5. Placenta previa, a condition in which the placenta (the cord connecting mother to the baby and nourishes the baby) is located low down and covers the opening of the uterus.
  6. Cervix incompetency, a condition where cervix is weak and dilates before full term, increasing the risk of miscarriage or premature labor and delivery.

Can sex during pregnancy harm the baby?

The baby is always protected by the amniotic sac (a bag-like structure that holds the fetus and surrounding fluid) and uterine muscles. A thick mucus plug seals the cervix and protects the baby from infection. The penis does not come into contact with the fetus during sex. So, sex can’t harm the baby directly.

Can orgasm lead to miscarriage or contractions?

The contractions felt by pregnant women during and just after orgasm are totally different from the contractions of labor. Therefore, in cases of normal and low-risk pregnancies, orgasm can’t cause contractions and miscarriage, but always check with the doctor and make sure that your pregnancy is in the low-risk category.

What are the safe positions for sex during pregnancy?

The old standby missionary position for intercourse may not work for you now. Instead, try these options:

Spooning: Lie side by side with him behind you. This will not put pressure on your belly, and makes for more shallow penetration.

Female on top: There’s no pressure on the belly, and the female can control the speed and depth of penetration.

Side of the bed: The female lies on the back on the edge of the bed with knees bent and feet on the edge. The male stands facing her. It’s like classic missionary, but the male won’t be resting his body weight on the pregnant female.

However, remember ‘normal’ is a relative term when it comes to sex during pregnancy. You and your partner need to discuss what feels right for both of you and take advice from the doctor.