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Will Sexual Intercourse During Pregnancy Hurt My Baby?

Caitlin - Midwife at The Baby Academy

Conception is among the primary purposes of sexual intercourse. But, once it’s been achieved, must you go nine long months without having sex?

Is it OK to have sex during pregnancy?

In the vast majority of cases, yes. Your baby is protected by the muscles in your uterus, as well as the layer of amniotic fluid within them. This means they’ll remain unharmed during sex. That said, pregnancy can affect your desire for and enjoyment of intercourse so it’s completely okay if you take this time to take a break from sex.

In exceptional cases, say where you’re experiencing problems with the placenta or preterm labour, you should check with your physician before having sex. These are the exceptions to the rule.

Can sex during pregnancy cause a miscarriage?

In short, no. Most miscarriages arise due to a problem with fetal development.

What are the best sexual positions during pregnancy?

  • Missionary – Any position that has you on your back in your 2nd or 3rd trimester is not recommended
  • Using the wall – Stand with your legs apart and face the wall. This position gets harder as your pregnancy advances, but the wall offers support, making you comfortable and reducing physical strain.
  • Spooning – This position is suitable for all three trimesters of pregnancy and requires minimal effort on your part
  • From behind – The pressure is kept off your belly on all fours, which can be a lot more comfortable. Tip: Use a pillow to prop you up.
  • Reverse cowgirl – Put your in control of speed and angle of penetration.

Are condoms necessary?

Obviously, there is no chance of conceiving another child while you are pregnant. However, condoms are also critical in preventing the transmission of STDs and STIs. Having an STI during pregnancy can cause serious health problems for you and your baby so condoms should be worn. If you’re in a monogamous relationship and you know your partner is free of any STIs, however, you should be fine without one.

Are there times when sex should be avoided?

Breast stimulation, female orgasms, and certain hormones in semen called prostaglandins can cause uterine contractions.

To that end, your health care provider might recommend avoiding sex if:

  • You have unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • You’re leaking amniotic fluid
  • Your cervix begins to open prematurely (cervical incompetence)
  • Your placenta partly or completely covers your cervical opening (placenta previa)
  • You have a history of preterm labor or premature birth

Learn More

Are you currently pregnant? – Together, let’s get ready to parent. We have created a class tailored for pregnant women in their second or third trimester (Fill in the form below to get your free place today!).