SEX DURING PREGNANCY

Is it safe to have sex during pregnancy? YES!  

Goals:

To regard sexuality as an important part of your overall health.

Benefits of Sex:

  • Encourages baby into a good position for birth
  • Strengthens the body and the mind for the requirements of labor
  • Improves blood flow
  • Reduces effects of stress
  • Reduces headaches
  • Can improve mood
  • Balances hormones
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Cardio strengthening
  • Can provide emotional intimacy
  • Can strengthen relationship

Neither intercourse nor sexual stimulation will harm a growing baby. Your baby is growing inside of the uterus and is protected by the surrounding amniotic fluid. The cervix is elongated normally, and during pregnancy, acts as a cushion between your baby and your partner’s penis or fingers. 

All women experience sexual ups and downs during pregnancy. Some women experience heightened sexual sensations and arousal while others have less desire to have sex. This is an important time to experiment with what feels good to you both physically and emotionally. Explore massage and touching as an alternative to intimacy without intercourse. Expect sexual urges and desires to vary throughout the course of pregnancy as hormones fluctuate and your body and baby grow.

If you experience pain during intercourse or sexual contact, let your partner know and try changing positions. It may be challenging, at different times, to find a comfortable position. For example, as the abdomen gets larger as a result of the growing baby and uterus, deep penetration during intercourse may no longer be comfortable. Be patient and have open conversations with your partner. This is the perfect time to foster better communication with your partner and to share in the experience of pregnancy.  

General Recommendations:

  • Anything that goes into your vagina should be clean. Before intercourse or masturbation, it is always a good idea to wash hands, toys, and ask your partner, if male, to wash his penis.
  • If you or your partner has multiple sexual partners use appropriate latex barriers to protect yourself and your baby from HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.
  • If you or your partner has a Herpes sore, avoid sexual contact.
  • Lubrication gel may be helpful.

Positions: Pregnant women generally have a better sexual experience if they are on top of their partner or in a position in which they can control the depth of penetration. Other possible positions include standing, sitting, or lying on your side with your partner behind you.

Orgasm: If you have an orgasm from either masturbation or intercourse, you may feel light uterine contractions for a short time afterward. Orgasm at the end of pregnancy may help to stimulate labor because the body may sustain the uterine contractions. The ejaculation of semen inside your vagina may also stimulate labor because it contains prostaglandins that soften the cervix. It is important to note that you will not go into labor from sexual stimulation or orgasm if your body is not ready and your birth is not imminent.  If you are not orgasmic, now is the time to remedy that.  Speak to your partner if you can and/or consider purchasing an aid/toy designed help you achieve orgasm.  

Reasons to not engage in intercourse during pregnancy:

  • If you do not want to
  • If you have abdominal pain
  • If you have broken water or ruptured membranes
  • Reason to believe that you may miscarry
  • If it hurts
  • If it does not feel emotionally safe