Sex and Pregnancy

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For most of us sex and pregnancy go hand in hand. So this is about sex during pregnancy. Unless your Obstetrician has specifically asked you to refrain from sex for medical reasons that apply to you during this pregnancy or you have one of the symptoms/circumstances listed below, there should be no reason to worry. Sex does not cause miscarriages or harm a developing baby.

During pregnancy sex can be better than before pregnancy for a number of reasons. The vaginal area is more lubricated and blood flow is increased. The increased blood flow leads to increased clitoral engorgement and so during pregnancy climaxes are more easily reached. Many people climax for the first time or become multi-orgasmic for the first time during pregnancy. Orgasms can cause uterine contractions but do not cause premature labor. And for those who have spent time and energy trying not to get pregnant for years, or trying to get pregnant for this pregnancy, the stress is gone. You’re pregnant now, so enjoy!

During the first trimester positions are not usually an issue, though sometimes morning sickness can interfere because of fatigue and nausea. During the second and third trimester position can become an issue so you’ll have to experiment with what feels best for both you and your partner. Once your stomach is prominent there are some positions that tend to work more easily than others, though you don’t need to limit yourself to these. Avoid positions in the third trimester where the woman is flat on her back.  This can compress the uterine artery and can be dangerous for the baby.  Oral sex is safe but if you are receiving oral sex your partner should avoid blowing air into the vagina as this can be dangerous for you and your developing baby.

The times when you should refrain from sex are:

  1. If your OB has specifically told you to hold off.
  2. If you have placenta previa or a history of premature labor- discuss with your OB.
  3. If your water has broken or you are leaking amniotic fluid
  4. If you are experiencing pain or vaginal bleeding.
  5. If you or your partner have an active case of a sexually transmitted disease

-Monique Araya, MD, FAAP

The medical information on this Web site is provided for educational purposes only. The information provided in this site, or through linkages to other sites, is not a substitute for medical or professional care, and you should not use the information in place of a visit, call consultation or the advice of your physician or other healthcare provider.
If you believe you have a medical emergency you should call 911 or your physician immediately. If you have any questions regarding your health or a medical condition, you should promptly consult your physician.