Is Sex During Pregnancy Encouraged or Discouraged?

If you find yourself pregnant, the question of whether or not you should still be having sex may cross your mind. After all, there are plenty of myths regarding the safety of doing so, and plenty of ideas that may come to a creative mind. However, there is a simple answer: in most cases, having sex during pregnancy is perfectly safe. Let’s take a closer look at the specifics.

Listen to Your Doctor

First and foremost, if you’re worried about the safety of your baby during sex, you should get the opinion of your doctor. No one knows you better than yourself and the medical professional who’s been caring for you.

If you have a history of complicated pregnancies or related conditions, your doctor may prefer you avoid sex. Sex can exacerbate existing problems and conditions or induce premature labor if, and only if, something unusual is going on with your pregnancy. For the average person, sex and pregnancy can coexist peacefully.

Listen to Your Needs

Pregnancy brings with it a slew of hormonal changes. For some people, this means a high sex drive. For others, being touched can be overwhelming, irritating, or just downright unpleasant. No matter who you are or what changes pregnancy brings to your physical needs, it’s important that you go with the flow.

This can be difficult for people to adjust to, as couples who usually have a lot of sex can struggle with a lack of desire. On the flip side, couples who don’t have sex very frequently may feel overwhelmed by a sudden uptick in one partner’s interest. For those who are struggling to balance the hormonal changes of pregnancy in their sex lives, some help from a sex therapist can be a huge weight off their shoulders.

Condom Usage

If you and your partner are mutually monogamous and neither of you has an STI, condoms aren’t necessary during sex when pregnant. However, if your partner has an active STI, is someone you recently became sexually active with, has not been tested, or is having sex with other people as well, you should use a condom to prevent passing on any STIs. This is, of course, good advice even when not pregnant. However, if given an STI during pregnancy, it can lead to complications, so it’s best to play it safe.

Positions and Activities

Some of us enjoy the less vanilla side of sexual activity. When one of these more wild participants becomes pregnant, safety may cross their mind. What’s the truth about position and activity safety during sex?

Generally, most positions remain perfectly safe, as the baby is held protectively within the womb, surrounded by amniotic fluid. The only positions you might want to take a rain check on are those that are dangerous even when not pregnant. Any position that strains the body intensely, some of those used in BDSM circles, or things that may cut off air or blood flow, are things that might be put on the back burner until after childbirth.

As far as activities go, most kinks are perfectly harmless to a growing fetus. The only things we don’t recommend are those that cause direct impact or strain to the abdomen. Avoid putting unnecessary pressure over the uterus. Aggressive enough sexual play could potentially cause premature labor or injury to your baby, though it would take some unusual extremes to get that far. Listen to your gut instincts and do what you’re comfortable with.