- Safe to Have Sex While Pregnant
- Dangerous to Have Sex While Pregnant?
- Will You Want Sex While Pregnant?
- Benefits of Sex
- Who Should Get Medical Help?
When is it safe to have sex while pregnant?
Keep in mind, though, that orgasms or sex in general in your third trimester could induce Braxton Hick's contractions. These are mild contractions that are completely normal and nothing to worry about, though, they can be uncomfortable. Try relaxation techniques or simply lie still to keep yourself calm until these pass.
You can contact your doctor or another medical advisor if you’re unsure whether or not your contractions are signs of actual labor.
Sex allows you to enjoy physical pleasure and intimacy with your partner with little chance of harming your baby. Just make sure that your pregnancy is low-risk before engaging in sexual activities.
Your baby is ordinarily protected by the amniotic sac when you have sex. This sac surrounds the baby and holds in the amniotic fluid. Your baby is also protected by the strong muscles of your uterus and a thick mucus plug at your cervix.
If you’re having penetrative vaginal sex, there’s no risk of anything — like a penis — coming into contact with your baby.
However, doctors don’t always recommend anal sex during pregnancy. Bacteria in your anus could spread to your vagina and possibly complicate your pregnancy.
Your partner should also avoid blowing into your vagina during oral sex. In rare cases, air bubbles can create embolisms in your blood vessels. These could cut off circulation to a region of your body, which is dangerous for you and your baby.
When is it dangerous to have sex when pregnant?
There are some situations when it’s not safe to have sex during your pregnancy. These situations include all high-risk pregnancies.
You likely have a high-risk pregnancy if you meet any of these criteria:
- A history of miscarriage
- Multiple fetuses — including twins and triplets
- Previous premature births or pre-term labor (signs of pre-term labor if this is your first baby)
- Unexplained vaginal bleeding
- Unexplained vaginal discharge
- Placenta previa — a condition where your placenta covers your entire cervix
- Leakage of amniotic fluid
- Incompetent cervix — a condition where your cervix is weak and can open prematurely, increasing your risk of miscarriage and premature labor
Talk to your doctor about how and when it’s safe to have sex if you fall into a high-risk category. It might not be safe at all. In this case, you should avoid both having sex and orgasms in order to keep your baby as safe as possible.
Will you want to have sex when pregnant?
It’s normal for your sex drive to either increase or decrease when you’re pregnant. Every person and every pregnancy is different. Listen to your body to know when sex is right for you.
In the first trimester, symptoms like nausea and exhaustion can make sex difficult. At the same time, your hormone levels are changing rapidly, which can make you want to have sex. How you feel can easily differ from one day to the next.
Many women find that they’re most aroused during the second trimester. At this point, you’ve gained about three pounds of blood, and most of it is circulating below your waist. This can make it much easier for you to orgasm. Plus, your belly is still at a manageable size, so more positions are available compared to later points in your pregnancy.
Increasing concerns about the realities of having a baby can decrease your desire in the third trimester. Your belly also becomes march larger and can be difficult to maneuver around when you’re trying to have sex. You can try new positions to make sex more comfortable with your growing belly.
Examples of comfortable positions include:
- Spooning. Lay on your side with your partner behind you. This keeps your growing belly from putting pressure on your body.
- Resting on your hands and knees. This position leaves room for your belly to hang down toward the bed, though it may be uncomfortable after you reach a certain size.
- Being on top. This gives you the most control over your movements and is an effective way to maximize your pleasure.
Your partner will likely go through phases of increased or decreased sexual desire too as the reality of your pregnancy sets in. The best way to navigate this potentially confusing time is to maintain clear and honest communication with your partner. Remember that there are plenty of other ways to be intimate besides sex, like cuddling and massage.
What are the benefits of sex during your pregnancy?
There are many benefits to having sex when you’re pregnant. The most obvious is the physical pleasure that’s associated with the activity.
Other benefits include the facts that:
- There’s no need for birth control — though you should still use protection when sleeping with new partners so you and your baby are safe from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
- You can experiment with new sexual experiences — on top of new positions, some people find that their breasts are easier to stimulate when they’re pregnant.
- Sex is a way to feel close to your partner while you prepare for major life changes.
- Some women say orgasms are more intense during pregnancy.
- There’s an increased chance of experiencing multiple orgasms.
When should you get medical help?
There are some situations involving sex and pregnancy when you will need to seek immediate medical attention.
Call your doctor or go to the emergency room if you experience any of these symptoms after having sex:
- Leaking amniotic fluid
- Heavy bleeding — as much as you would if you had your period. Spotting is normal and fine.
- Painful cramps that don’t go away.
You should talk to your doctor at your next medical appointment if you’re starting to feel mild cramping after you have sex.
You also need to get to the hospital or follow your birth plan if you happen to go into labor while having sex. Although there isn’t a scientific link between sex and labor late in your third trimester, you should still be ready to give birth at any time as your pregnancy approaches full term.
March of Dimes: "Sex During Pregnancy."
Nemours Children's Health System: "Sex During Pregnancy."
NHS: "Sex In Pregnancy."
University of California San Francisco: "Sex During Pregnancy."
Top Having Sex In Your Third Trimester Induce Labor Related Articles
Braxton Hicks Contractions (False Labor)Braxton Hicks contractions are also known as false labor pains. Though these irregular uterine contractions may occur in the second trimester, they're more likely to occur during the third trimester of pregnancy. Unlike true labor pains, false labor pains are often irregular, may stop when you walk, rest, or change positions, and the contractions do not get closer together or stronger.
Braxton Hicks vs. True Labor: How to Tell the DifferenceSome pregnant women may mistake Braxton Hicks contractions (false labor) for real labor contractions, especially in the first pregnancy. Real labor contractions occur at regular intervals that become progressively shorter; more painful as labor progresses; are described as a tightening, pounding, or stabbing pain. Braxton Hicks contractions do not occur in regular intervals; do not become longer over time; and may disappear for a period of time and then return. Braxton Hicks contractions occur in third trimester of pregnancy, however, sometimes can occur in the second trimester. True labor contractions begin around your due date (unless your baby is preterm, in which you will be in preterm labor). So how can you tell the difference? Here are a few similarities and differences between Braxton Hicks contractions and True or real labor contractions.
Braxton Hicks contractions
Braxton Hicks contractions tend to become more frequent toward the end of pregnancy, and are not as painful as real labor contractions; do not occur in regular intervals; do not become longer over time; and may disappear for a period of time and then return.
Frequently one of the early symptoms and signs of true labor is when the contractions begin to occur less than 10 minutes apart.
Real labor contractions occur at regular intervals that become progressively shorter; more painful as labor progresses; are described as a tightening, pounding, or stabbing pain; may feel similar to menstrual cramps; and sometimes Braxton Hicks contractions can be triggered by dehydration, sexual intercourse, increased activity of the mother or baby, touching of the pregnant woman's abdomen, or a distended bladder.
Natural and home remedies to soothe and provide comfort for Braxton Hicks contractions include relaxation exercises like deep breathing or mental relaxation; change positions or take a walk if you have been active and rest; drink a glass of herbal tea or water; eat; or soak in a warm bath for 30 minutes (or less).
Preterm labor signs and symptomsWhen you have reached 37 weeks, and the contractions are more painful and are increasing in frequency you will have abdominal pain or menstrual-like cramping, an increase in pelvic pressure or back pain, and the contractions are more than four contractions an hour.
Can You Really Induce Labor Naturally?Natural ways of inducing labor aren’t backed by science. While you can try the methods listed here, talk to your doctor about whether they’re right for you.
Does Sex Speed Aging?There is no scientific evidence to suggest that engaging in sexual activity can speed up the aging process. In fact, some research has suggested that regular sexual activity may have a number of health benefits, such as improving cardiovascular health, boosting the immune system, and reducing stress. Still, it is important to practice safe sex in order to reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancies.
Labor Symptoms (Early Signs)Every woman's experience with labor and delivery is unique for each woman, and thus "Normal" labor varies from woman to woman. Some of the common signs and symptoms of normal labor include the "baby dropping," increase urination, back pain, contractions, and diarrhea.
How Long Does Labor Last for First-Time Moms?Labor is the process by which a baby is born. Labor for a first-time moms typically lasts for 12 to 18 hours.
Is Sex Safe During Pregnancy?You should talk to a healthcare provider if you feel like your situation is unique, but the general answer is yes—sex is safe during pregnancy!
Labor and DeliveryEarly and later symptoms and signs of labor and delivery are unique to each woman. Early signs of labor are "lightning" and passing the mucus plug. Later symptoms and signs that labor that labor is are the woman's water breaking, and when contractions begin. There are three stages of labor, stage 1 is the longest and occurs when the cervix begins to thin and dilate. During stage 2 of labor the baby passes through the birth canal and remains there until delivery, and stage 3, is when the baby is delivered.
Pregnancy Myths and Facts QuizBeing pregnant is a delicate time for both mother and baby. Take this pregnancy myths and facts quiz to separate the myths and facts about being pregnant, and learn the truth behind healthy pregnancies!
Benefits of SexHow would you like a stronger immune system or better sleep? Action between the sheets can help you get all of this and more. Read on to discover the surprising health benefits of sex.
Stages of Pregnancy: Week by WeekSee pictures on the various stages of pregnancy. See and learn what changes a woman's body goes through and view fetal images of how her baby grows during the 1st, 2nd and 3rd trimesters.
True Labor vs. False Labor and the 5-1-1 RuleIf you are in late pregnancy, it's hard to know when it is 'go' time. You may feel many different sensations and not know if it's true or false labor.
What Are the 4 Stages of Labor?The 4 stages of labor are: dilation of the cervix, delivery of the baby, afterbirth, and recovery. Learn more about what to expect during each stage.
What Are the Warning Signs of Premature Labor?Labor that starts before 37 weeks of pregnancy could put your premature baby at risk. Know the signs of preterm labor and what to do if you notice them.
What Does Labor and Giving Birth Feel Like?There are three stages of labor you'll progress through during and after a vaginal delivery.