Chances are, you’ve got a lot of questions now that you’re pregnant or trying to conceive with your partner. Your doctor can answer many of those questions, and a plethora of resources exists to answer other questions. Understandably, asking about sex and pregnancy at your next doctor’s appointment might be a little embarrassing. Rest assured that you’re not the first person to ask any of these common questions about sex and pregnancy.
Although the following advice is medically sound, feel free to contact your doctor if you have any additional questions, want to verify this information or are experiencing symptoms such as bleeding or prolonged pain due to sex during pregnancy.
1. IS IT SAFE TO HAVE SEX DURING PREGNANCY?
According to the Mayo Clinic, sex is absolutely safe during a normal pregnancy. Your baby is protected by your uterine muscles and amniotic sac, while the mucus plug seals off your cervix to prevent infections from spreading. And. no, your baby won’t be able to “see” your partner’s penis. A fetus doesn’t even open its eyes in utero until the eight month, and there would be nothing to see, anyway!
Rest assured that orgasm might cause small contractions, but those contractions won’t have any negative effect on your baby.
If your doctor has ordered you to stay in bed, warned you about not exerting yourself or you’re experiencing an otherwise risky pregnancy, however, sex may not be safe. If you have any questions at all, you should talk to your doctor about whether you can have sex during pregnancy. Your doctor may recommend you avoid sex during the first trimester if you’ve had a miscarriage in the past. Finally, women who are carrying multiple babies should avoid sex during the third trimester of their pregnancy.
2. WILL SEX CAUSE A MISCARRIAGE
Miscarriage is most common during the first trimester, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Miscarriages occur for a variety of reasons, including:
- Smoking and drug use
- Physical trauma
- Incorrect implantation
However, sex is not a known cause for miscarriage. If you experience miscarriage after having sex, it is likely because of an already-existing reason. Source.
3. WILL I WANT TO HAVE SEX DURING PREGNANCY?
You may not want to have sex when pregnant, especially if you’re feeling unattractive or if your hormones have lead to a decreased sex drive. However, you might find yourself desiring sex more than ever before. Either way, it’s important that you remain connected with your man, so he doesn’t feel like he’s being objectified or that you’re disgusted by him. Check out this post for more information about sex drive during pregnancy.
We’ve also got the guide to talking about sex with your partner.
4. WILL HE WANT TO HAVE SEX WHEN I’M PREGNANT?
It’s not unusual for partners to be a little hesitant about sex during pregnancy. After all, you’re growing a child inside you, and your body will soon show this if it isn’t already showing! Your man might be worried about hurting your or your child, or he may wonder what your baby can see. As mentioned above, sex won’t have any negative effects on your baby during a typical pregnancy, and no memories of mommy and daddy doing the dirty will be made!
5. CAN I HAVE ORAL OR ANAL SEX IF I’M PREGNANT?
It’s perfectly safe to give and, more important, receive oral sex during pregnancy. This can result in some amazing orgasms, especially because you may be more sensitive during pregnancy.
Like vaginal sex, anal sex can be completely safe during pregnancy. Make sure to use plenty of lube. Check out our guide to making anal sex comfortable. If things were tight before, they might be even tighter during pregnancy due to the answer to the next question.
6. DOES SEX FEEL DIFFERENT WHEN PREGNANT?
Although your desire for sex may be off the charts, the way that sex feels during pregnancy might be a little foreign to you – or even a little uncomfortable. Many women report that sex during pregnancy feels different than the sex they had before, even if they’re enjoying the same positions and sort of stimulation. This is due to a number of factors, including the fact that more blood is circulating in and around your uterus. This can lead to a “fuller” feeling, which you may or may not like.
Because your cervix is sensitive, you might not like deep penetration as much as you did before pregnancy. Taking sex slower, having sex in positions that allow you to control depth or even wrapping a few fingers around the base of your partner’s penis can help with this.
Finally, your breasts might feel tender in a way that’s not comfortable, and you may not want them to be touched during sex. On the other hand, you might simply be more receptive to breast play, perhaps to the point of orgasm. More on that here.
7. ARE SEX TOYS SAFE DURING PREGNANCY?
Your raging hormones might mean a sex drive that even your helpful lover can’t sate, so what’s a girl to do? Fortunately, you can still reach for your favorite vibrator or dildo to get yourself off during pregnancy. It’s more important than ever to follow instructions to keep your toys clean, however. For example, you can boil glass, ceramic, silicone, wood and stainless steel toys without motors for three minutes to sterilize them. Alternatively, a 10% bleach solution can be used to thoroughly clean your nonporous sex toys.
All toys should be cleaned with soap and water before and after use and between sterilization. Consider using a condom for jelly, TPR/TPE and other porous materials, which cannot fully be sterilized because of the tiny holes in them. Learn more about sex toys and materials in this post about vibrators.
8. WILL SEX DURING PREGNANCY CAUSE BLEEDING?
You may already experience some breakthrough bleeding during your first trimester, and bleeding during and after sex is fairly common, too, according to the American Pregnancy Association. This is because your cervix is more sensitive than normal. A little blood is nothing to be worried about, and wearing a pad or pantyliner should do the trick. Stay away from having more sex or inserting tampons, toys or douches during this time. Wait until bleeding has stopped to engage in sex again.
9. WHAT SEXUAL HYGIENE SHOULD I FOLLOW?
Some women are more susceptible to UTI and similar infections during pregnancy, and peeing after sex to clear out the urethra may help to reduce the risk of developing a UTI. Source. Additionally, you might consider using a condom when having sex while pregnant. This isn’t to prevent pregnancy but to prevent the spread of bacteria that can cause UTIs and other vaginal infections – more on that here – and to make cleanup even easier.
Cleansing your vulva with water and non-scented soap before and after sex can also help to prevent possible infections.
10. WILL ANY STIS TRANSFER DURING PREGNANCY?
Although few STIs transfer between mother and child during pregnancy, your baby can still become infected during delivery through the birth canal. Gonorrhea, chlamydia, Trichomoniasis, and even bacterial vaginosis can transfer during delivery. All of these sexually transmitted infections are treatable, however. More on STIs in this post.
Be aware that Syphilis, HIV and, sometimes, herpes can transfer through the placenta. This is why using condoms to protect against STI transmissions remains important if you have sex while pregnant. Although you won’t be worried about birth control, condoms offer other protections.
The American Pregnancy Association has more information about STI transmission during pregnancy.
11. WHAT SEX POSITIONS ARE BEST?
Positions where you can control the angle of penetration and pace of sex might be best if you’re pregnant. Consider cowgirl, reverse cowgirl or straddling him while he’s in a chair. You can consult this post to see more positions that might work when you’re pregnant.
Another thing you’ll want to take into consideration is your belly, which might get in the way or feel heavy. Positions that support your pregnant tummy, such as spooning, might be preferable during your pregnancy.
12. CAN SEX REALLY INDUCE LABOR?
There’s an old wive’s tale about how having sex when pregnant can finally help to get your baby out. Evidence for this is anecdotal, much like your best friend might swear by eating spicy foods to induce labor. However, feel free to enjoy yourself toward the end of your pregnancy as long as you’re comfortably able to do so. It might not induce labor, but we’re proponents of having sex whenever you can!
13. DOES SEX WHEN PREGNANT CAUSE CONTRACTIONS?
As your due date approaches, you might begin to experience false labor, also known as Braxton Hicks contractions. These contractions can be brought on by a few things, and sex is one of those things. More specifically, orgasm can lead to or BH contractions or even feel like those contractions, even if it’s not real labor. Source.
Your belly will feel tight down the front of your uterus, which differs from actual contractions. You can also tell the difference because false labor is irregular in interval and duration. If sex during pregnancy causes Braxton Hicks contractions, those contractions will eventually go away.
Enjoy sex during pregnancy, if you can. New sensations and the powerful changes of your body can be quite the turn on, and there’s typically nothing wrong with having sex while pregnant. But you’re not alone if sex doesn’t sound appealing to you during your pregnancy. Just make sure to check in with your partner if that’s the case!