How safe is sex during pregnancy?
There are lots of myths about sex and pregnancy, such as:
- Sex can be harmful or painful during pregnancy.
- Intercourse could hurt the baby.
- The baby somehow “knows” that sex is taking place.
The truth is that unless your doc or midwife advises you otherwise, sex during pregnancy is safe for the vast majority of us. And as for the baby, he or she has no idea what Mom and Dad are doing. The baby is well protected by a cushion of fluid in the womb and by the mom’s abdomen.
There are some circumstances, however, that can make sex during pregnancy unsafe. Women who have the following health complications should talk to their health provider before engaging in sex:
- A history or risk of miscarriage
- A previous preterm birth or other risk factors for preterm birth
- Unexplained vaginal bleeding, discharge or cramping
- Leaking amniotic fluid
- Placenta previa (when the placenta is low and covers the cervix)
- Incompetent cervix (when the cervix is weakened and opens too soon)
If your pregnancy is considered to be high risk, you may need to be more cautious than other women. Your health care provider may advise you to avoid intercourse for all or part of your pregnancy. This is an important conversation to have, so don’t be shy.
But again, for most of us, sex is safe, nothing to fear and may even become a more intimate experience. Many women find that pregnancy makes them want sex more than they did before they became pregnant. This sex drive is caused by hormonal changes. For some women, newfound voluptuousness can play a role in making them feel sexier than ever.
Other women may find that their sex drive comes in waves while pregnant. Here is a link to some common changes you may find throughout your stages of pregnancy.