Sex during pregnancy: What's OK, what's not
Has pregnancy spiked your interest in sex? Or is sex the last thing on your mind? Either way, here's what you need to know about sex during pregnancy.
By Mayo Clinic Staff
If you want to get pregnant, you have sex. No surprises there. But what about sex while you're pregnant? The answers aren't always as obvious.
Here's what you need to know about sex during pregnancy.
Is it OK to have sex during pregnancy?
As long as your pregnancy is proceeding normally, you can have sex as often as you like.
However, hormonal fluctuations, fatigue, nausea and breast tenderness early in pregnancy might lower your sexual desire. As your pregnancy progresses, weight gain, back pain and other symptoms might dampen your enthusiasm for sex.
Your emotions can take a toll on your sex drive, too. Concerns about how pregnancy or the baby will change your relationship with your partner might weigh heavily on your mind — even while you're eagerly anticipating the addition to your family.
Can sex during pregnancy cause a miscarriage?
Although many couples worry that sex during pregnancy will cause a miscarriage, sex isn't generally a concern. Most miscarriages occur because the fetus isn't developing normally.
Does sex during pregnancy harm the baby?
Your developing baby is protected by the amniotic fluid in your uterus, as well as the strong muscles of the uterus itself. Sexual activity won't affect your baby.
What are the best sexual positions during pregnancy?
As long as you're comfortable, most sexual positions are OK during pregnancy.
As your pregnancy progresses, experiment to find what works best. Rather than lying on your back, for example, you might want to lie next to your partner sideways or position yourself on top of your partner or in front of your partner. Let your creativity take over, as long as you keep mutual pleasure and comfort in mind.
What about oral and anal sex?
Oral sex is safe during pregnancy. If you receive oral sex, though, make sure your partner doesn't blow air into your vagina. Rarely, a burst of air might block a blood vessel (air embolism) — which could be a life-threatening condition for you and the baby.
Anal sex might be uncomfortable if you have pregnancy-related hemorrhoids. More concerning, anal sex that is followed by vaginal sex might allow infection-causing bacteria to spread from the rectum to the vagina.
July 31, 2015
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- Tulandi T, et al. Definition and etiology of recurrent pregnancy loss. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 21, 2015.
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Month 6 (weeks 21-24). In: Your Pregnancy and Childbirth Month to Month. 5th ed. Washington, D.C.: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; 2010.
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- Butler Tobah Y (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 27, 2015.