You may not feel ready to give up your sex life even if you’re pregnant. Yet, you worry about having sex during pregnancy. Could it harm the baby or increase your risk of complications? Lots of women have the same concerns. Yet, some gals continue to have sex up until the time they go into labor. Are your putting your baby at risk by such intimacy?
Assuming you have a normal pregnancy, your baby is well protected by the amniotic sac that surrounds him or her. The amniotic sac is tough and serves its purpose well. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll harm your baby during sex. Yet, you may want to modify HOW you have sexual intercourse. Especially late in pregnancy, some positions are safer and more comfortable. Lying on your back during the second trimester and after during sex can place excess pressure on blood vessels. It’s safer to have sex lying on your side, on your hands and knees, or with you on top. It’s important to choose a position that’s comfortable for you and your partner.
Another concern you might have, especially late in pregnancy, is whether having sex can bring on premature labor. For the most part, this concern is unfounded. Contractions that happen during intercourse are too weak to affect your baby or trigger labor. This assumes you’re having a normal, uncomplicated pregnancy. If not, talk to your doctor before having sex. It’s a good idea to get your doctor’s okay anyway.
In certain cases, your doctor may advise against having sex, especially if you have certain conditions, like placenta previa where your placenta lies low or if you have an incompetent cervix. When you have an incompetent cervix, you’re at risk of your cervix opening too early in pregnancy. If this happens, the baby could come out prematurely. Other situations where your doctor may recommend against sex, is if you’re carrying multiple babies or you have a history of miscarriages. Again, it’s important to talk to your doctor and follow their advice.
Another concern is avoiding sexually transmitted diseases. Some sexually transmitted infections can be harmful to an unborn baby. If you have a single, loving partner that may not be an issue but it’s something to be concerned about otherwise. Certain types of sex, like oral sex also carries a risk. If your partner blows into your vaginal canal, it could cause an air embolism to form that could harm your baby. It’s also safer to avoid anal sex.
It’s unlikely that you’ll experience problems having sex during pregnancy but if you develop cramping, abdominal pain, leakage of fluid, or bleeding, contact your doctor right away. Otherwise, follow your doctor’s advice about whether it’s okay for you and your partner to have sex. Sex may be more pleasurable during this period in your life due to increased blood flow to your genital area. However, as the baby grows in size, it could become uncomfortable. If it’s uncomfortable, you may want to find another way to be intimate temporarily.
March of Dimes. “Sex During Pregnancy”