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Complications
January 25, 2023

Is Sex Safe in Pregnancy?

By:
iMumz Expert Panel
Sex is safe in normal, low-risk pregnancies. The amniotic sac and the strong muscles of the uterus protect the foetus. If you have pregnancy complications or questions about what may be safe sexual activity for you, ask your doctor. You could experience cramps or spotting after sex with penetration. Also, orgasm can cause cramps. If you have severe, persistent cramping, or if your bleeding is heavy please go to the hospital.
Verified by:
iMumz Expert Panel
|
Updated on:
January 11, 2023

‘Is having sex safe? Could it hurt the baby?’ While coping with the many physiological and emotional changes that pregnancy gets, this can be another cause for worry.

To begin with, let’s assure you that it's COMPLETELY safe in normal pregnancies. If you have a high-risk pregnancy and the doctor has advised to not have sex, please follow those orders.

Often, the sex drive itself during pregnancy, is erratic. In the first trimester, most women report that the nausea and tiredness are not conducive to really being ‘in the mood.’

To address the most common concern, we want to assure you that Intercourse and penetration during pregnancy will NOT trigger a miscarriage. Most miscarriages occur because the foetus isn't developing normally. Your developing baby is protected by the amniotic fluid in your uterus, as well as by the strong muscles of the uterus. 

In 3 specific conditions, and towards the end of the 2nd trimester, some women might be at a risk. This is because breast stimulation, female orgasms and certain hormones in semen called ‘prostaglandins’ can cause uterine contractions.

  • Condition 1: Your doctor might ask you not to have sex if your placenta partly or completely covers your cervical opening. This condition is also known as ‘placenta previa’.
  • Condition 2: Sex may be a no-no if you have unexplained vaginal bleeding or are leaking amniotic fluid.
  • Condition 3: If your cervix has begun to open prematurely, also known as ‘cervical incompetence’,  there is nothing to worry. While you feel contraction-like sensations during an orgasm, they aren't the same as labour contractions. In the case of preterm labour or premature birth, sex is not advised.

Is sperm safe for the baby during pregnancy?

Yes, sperm is safe.  

Your baby is protected by the placenta, the amniotic sac, and the mucus plug. Most semen and sperm that enter a woman's body during sex is discharged the same way it went in. 

Is anal sex safe during pregnancy?

If you have a normal, low-risk pregnancy, anal sex is safe. It is not advised if you are  suffering from pregnancy hemorrhoids. Just proceed through very gently - no rough play. 

Here is an important tip - don’t switch from from anal to vaginal sex without washing up first. It could send harmful bacteria into your vagina that could infect you and your baby.

Does sex help in normal delivery?

Having sex closer to the due date can help in certain ways. Here are the details:

  • Oxytocin, one of the key hormones involved in progressing labor, is released during sex.
  • Orgasms mimic contractions. Those are not strong enough to start labour but if body is already starting labour on it's own, they help.
  • Hormones in semen called prostaglandins can stimulate labour contractions.
  • Sexual intercourse can also cause mucus plug to dislodge and break free. It may be the sign that the cervix and body pass through various changes, and your body is getting ready for delivery.

Can you get pregnant while pregnant?

There are three things that happen to your body when you get pregnant that make it super unlikely you’ll be able to get pregnant again in the next 9 months:

  • You stop ovulating. To get pregnant, you need to produce an egg - that egg is what fertilizes with the sperm and becomes a baby. Once that egg has been successfully fertilized and implants in your uterus, pregnancy hormones tell your ovaries that you don’t need to ovulate anymore right now.
  • Once you are pregnant, the environment of your uterus changes. It is not easy for another fertilized egg to implant once the first one has nestled in there. The uterine lining thickens to support the first egg and that makes it hard for another to attach itself.
  • During pregnancy, your cervix produces something called a mucus plug, which not only protects your uterus from infection but also prevents sperm from passing through the cervix.

Any one of these things — ovulation, second implantation, or sperm getting through in the first place — happening after conception would be unusual. In very rare cases, it does happen, though.

Pros and Cons about Sex in Pregnancy

Pros

  • Does NOT harm your baby. 
  • Does NOT cause preterm birth or labour. 
  • Penetration does NOT happen beyond vagina, hence the baby can NOT feel what is happening.
  • Changed hormones MAY affect your sex drive. 
  • Enhances your bond with your partner. 
  • May be feel better (changes level of hormones).
  • Helps to discover new sex positions. 
  • Orgasms help in relieving stress.
  • Sex promotes better sleep, and improves immunity. 

Cons

  • MAY cause bleeding if the placenta is low lying.
  • Having sex for too CAN cause exhaustion. 
  • Unprotected sex MAY lead to infections. 
  • Low body image MAY lead to discomfort and displeasure.

Postpartum Sex. Why wait? 

Doctors recommend that you avoid sex for about four to six weeks postpartum. Why? It is mostly to prevent uterine infection or disrupting any stitches from an episiotomy, and giving the body some time to heal.

Yes, it is important that your vagina, uterus and cervix heal. You may also experience fatigue, stress, vaginal dryness in the initial weeks.

In the Article

‘Is having sex safe? Could it hurt the baby?’ While coping with the many physiological and emotional changes that pregnancy gets, this can be another cause for worry.

To begin with, let’s assure you that it's COMPLETELY safe in normal pregnancies. If you have a high-risk pregnancy and the doctor has advised to not have sex, please follow those orders.

Often, the sex drive itself during pregnancy, is erratic. In the first trimester, most women report that the nausea and tiredness are not conducive to really being ‘in the mood.’

To address the most common concern, we want to assure you that Intercourse and penetration during pregnancy will NOT trigger a miscarriage. Most miscarriages occur because the foetus isn't developing normally. Your developing baby is protected by the amniotic fluid in your uterus, as well as by the strong muscles of the uterus. 

In 3 specific conditions, and towards the end of the 2nd trimester, some women might be at a risk. This is because breast stimulation, female orgasms and certain hormones in semen called ‘prostaglandins’ can cause uterine contractions.

  • Condition 1: Your doctor might ask you not to have sex if your placenta partly or completely covers your cervical opening. This condition is also known as ‘placenta previa’.
  • Condition 2: Sex may be a no-no if you have unexplained vaginal bleeding or are leaking amniotic fluid.
  • Condition 3: If your cervix has begun to open prematurely, also known as ‘cervical incompetence’,  there is nothing to worry. While you feel contraction-like sensations during an orgasm, they aren't the same as labour contractions. In the case of preterm labour or premature birth, sex is not advised.

Is sperm safe for the baby during pregnancy?

Yes, sperm is safe.  

Your baby is protected by the placenta, the amniotic sac, and the mucus plug. Most semen and sperm that enter a woman's body during sex is discharged the same way it went in. 

Is anal sex safe during pregnancy?

If you have a normal, low-risk pregnancy, anal sex is safe. It is not advised if you are  suffering from pregnancy hemorrhoids. Just proceed through very gently - no rough play. 

Here is an important tip - don’t switch from from anal to vaginal sex without washing up first. It could send harmful bacteria into your vagina that could infect you and your baby.

Does sex help in normal delivery?

Having sex closer to the due date can help in certain ways. Here are the details:

  • Oxytocin, one of the key hormones involved in progressing labor, is released during sex.
  • Orgasms mimic contractions. Those are not strong enough to start labour but if body is already starting labour on it's own, they help.
  • Hormones in semen called prostaglandins can stimulate labour contractions.
  • Sexual intercourse can also cause mucus plug to dislodge and break free. It may be the sign that the cervix and body pass through various changes, and your body is getting ready for delivery.

Can you get pregnant while pregnant?

There are three things that happen to your body when you get pregnant that make it super unlikely you’ll be able to get pregnant again in the next 9 months:

  • You stop ovulating. To get pregnant, you need to produce an egg - that egg is what fertilizes with the sperm and becomes a baby. Once that egg has been successfully fertilized and implants in your uterus, pregnancy hormones tell your ovaries that you don’t need to ovulate anymore right now.
  • Once you are pregnant, the environment of your uterus changes. It is not easy for another fertilized egg to implant once the first one has nestled in there. The uterine lining thickens to support the first egg and that makes it hard for another to attach itself.
  • During pregnancy, your cervix produces something called a mucus plug, which not only protects your uterus from infection but also prevents sperm from passing through the cervix.

Any one of these things — ovulation, second implantation, or sperm getting through in the first place — happening after conception would be unusual. In very rare cases, it does happen, though.

Pros and Cons about Sex in Pregnancy

Pros

  • Does NOT harm your baby. 
  • Does NOT cause preterm birth or labour. 
  • Penetration does NOT happen beyond vagina, hence the baby can NOT feel what is happening.
  • Changed hormones MAY affect your sex drive. 
  • Enhances your bond with your partner. 
  • May be feel better (changes level of hormones).
  • Helps to discover new sex positions. 
  • Orgasms help in relieving stress.
  • Sex promotes better sleep, and improves immunity. 

Cons

  • MAY cause bleeding if the placenta is low lying.
  • Having sex for too CAN cause exhaustion. 
  • Unprotected sex MAY lead to infections. 
  • Low body image MAY lead to discomfort and displeasure.

Postpartum Sex. Why wait? 

Doctors recommend that you avoid sex for about four to six weeks postpartum. Why? It is mostly to prevent uterine infection or disrupting any stitches from an episiotomy, and giving the body some time to heal.

Yes, it is important that your vagina, uterus and cervix heal. You may also experience fatigue, stress, vaginal dryness in the initial weeks.

Complications
January 25, 2023

Is Sex Safe in Pregnancy?

By:
iMumz Expert Panel

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