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Sex During Pregnancy

Pregnancy Tips Video for SEX During Pregnancy

Is It Safe to Have Sex During Pregnancy?

If you’re having a normal pregnancy, sex is considered safe during all stages of the pregnancy.

So what’s a “normal pregnancy”? It’s one that’s considered low-risk for complications such as miscarriage or pre-term labor. Talk to your doctor or other pregnancy health care provider if you’re uncertain about whether you fall into this category.

Of course, just because sex is safe during pregnancy doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily want to have it! Many expectant mothers find that their desire for sex fluctuates during certain stages in the pregnancy. Also, many women find that sex becomes uncomfortable as their bodies get larger.

You and your partner need to keep the lines of communication open regarding your sexual relationship. Talk about other ways to satisfy your need for intimacy, such as kissing, caressing, and holding each other. You also may need to experiment with other positions for sex to find those that are the most comfortable.

Many women find that they lose their desire and motivation for sex late in the pregnancy – not only because of their size but also because they’re preoccupied with the impending delivery and the excitement of becoming a new parent.

When It’s Not Safe to Have Sex During Pregnancy

There are two types of sexual behavior that aren’t safe for any pregnant woman:

  • If you engage in oral sex, your partner should not blow air into your vagina. Blowing air can cause an air embolism (a blockage of a blood vessel by an air bubble), which can be potentially fatal for mother and child.
  • You should not have sex with a partner whose sexual history is unknown to you or who may have a sexually transmitted disease, such as herpes, genital warts, chlamydia, or HIV. If you become infected, the disease may be transmitted to your baby, with potentially dangerous consequences.

If your doctor or other pregnancy health care provider anticipates or detects certain significant complications with your pregnancy, he or she is likely to advise against sexual intercourse. The most common risk factors include:

  • a history or threat of miscarriage
  • a history of pre-term labor (you’ve previously delivered a baby before 37 weeks) or signs indicating the risk of pre-term labor (such as premature uterine contractions)
  • unexplained vaginal bleeding, discharge, or cramping
  • leakage of amniotic fluid (the fluid that surrounds the baby)
  • placenta previa, a condition in which the placenta (the blood-rich structure that nourishes the baby) is situated down so low that it covers the cervix (the opening of the uterus)
  • incompetent cervix, a condition in which the cervix is weakened and dilates (opens) prematurely, raising the risk for miscarriage or premature delivery
  • multiple fetuses (you’re having twins, triplets, etc.)
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