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Safe Sex During Pregnancy: What You Need To Know

Medically reviewed by Jobelle Ann Dela Cruz Bigalbal, MD · General Practitioner

Written by Tracey Romero · Updated Dec 15, 2021

Safe Sex During Pregnancy: What You Need To Know

During pregnancy, concerns about health and safety naturally arise. One of these questions is whether it is safe to have sex while you are pregnant. What does safe sex during pregnancy mean?

Safe Sex During Pregnancy: Common Misconceptions

Penetration will not harm the baby

Penetration and sexual intercourse will not harm the baby who is well protected. Your uterus has muscular walls and your abdomen along with the fluid of the amniotic sac all serve as a cushion for your baby. 

Orgasms will not trigger labor

Others are worried about the contractions that are caused by orgasms. They are worried that those contractions can trigger labor. The contractions caused by orgasm are different from those labor contractions.

Safe sex during pregnancy

But care must be taken in the final weeks of pregnancy

Although, some doctors would advise not to have sex during the final weeks of pregnancy, because of certain hormones in the semen which can stimulate contractions.

Women who are overdue and would like to induce labor, some doctors would advise sex because of the hormone prostaglandin, which some doctors believe can induce contractions and potentially labor.

Just keep in mind that the connection between that hormone and labor contraction is not yet well-established and is just theoretical for the most part.

In short, if you have a normal pregnancy and you are not suffering from any complications or any disease which can have a complication, then having sex during pregnancy is perfectly fine.

Safe Sex During Pregnancy: When to Abstain

Though it is generally safe to have sex during pregnancy, there are certain situations where having sex is not recommended.

As mentioned earlier, there are some situations where doctors would advise against sex while a woman is pregnant. The following are some of those conditions:

  1. You have a history of miscarriage or your doctor has diagnosed you to be at risk of miscarriage.
  2. Your doctor has determined that you run the risk of preterm labor or labor contractions before the 37th week of pregnancy.
  3. You are experiencing vaginal bleeding or cramps with no determined cause yet. Your doctor will probably advise against having sex under this condition.
  4. The amniotic sac has ruptured and is leaking.
  5. The placenta is placed too low inside your uterus.
  6. You are expecting twins or multiple babies at the same time.

As you can see, the conditions under which safe sex during pregnancy is not possible, are quite rare. 

What is the Importance of Family Planning?

Practicing Safe Sex During Pregnancy

While it is okay to have sex during pregnancy for most of the time, there are still some things you have to keep in mind.

Each woman’s experience of pregnancy is unique and that same is true when it comes to sex. For some women, there is a reduction in sexual desire or libido during pregnancy. Some, however, feel more sexual and have a strong desire for sex. 

Your feelings may also be tied with the changes that your body is undergoing. Whatever your experience or sexual drive is, it is perfectly natural. 

The most important thing is that you are informed about what you can do and what works. 

Safe Sex During Pregnancy: Tips to Remember

  • It is still advisable to practice safe sex during pregnancy if you are having sex with a new partner or if you are not in a monogamous relationship. Always use a condom to protect both you and the baby from contracting sexually transmitted infections.
  • Make sure that you discuss how you feel about sex during this period with your partner. Openly discussing your honest feelings about intercourse during this time can help strengthen your relationship. 
  • Think beyond vaginal sex. Some might still feel uneasy about the idea of sexual intercourse during pregnancy. If you feel that way, then you should explore other avenues of intimacy beyond vaginal sex.
  • Avoid having sex on your back. It’s not very comfortable and it might strain your hips. Try positions that do not put pressure on your hips, abdomen, or back. 
  • Explore what you can do with sex toys. Use the period of pregnancy as a time for experimentation and exploration. 
  • You can also try having sex while submerged in water. It can create a sense of weightlessness and sensations that can be very unique and less straining.

These are just some of the ideas that you can explore when you want to have sex while you are pregnant.

As you can see, it’s all about exploration. Don’t hesitate to try new things as long as you are properly informed about safe sex during pregnancy.

Safe sex during pregnancy

Myths About Sex During Pregnancy

There are plenty of myths regarding sex during pregnancy which might hold you back.

In the Philippines, for example, many believe that having sex while a woman is pregnant will cause the baby to be born with white stuff on the head. Some also believe sex could stimulate early labor or even, miscarriage.

With a little knowledge about anatomy and how pregnancy works, you can easily disprove these myths. And engage in intimacy armed with the knowledge of how to do so safely.

Key Takeaways

It’s perfectly to enjoy sex during pregnancy. And it is also fine to abstain, should you choose to do so. This is a time when you could explore new avenues of intimacy with your partner, as long as you get the approval of your doctor and you are not suffering from any complications.

Find more about Being Pregnant here


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Jobelle Ann Dela Cruz Bigalbal, MD

General Practitioner

Written by Tracey Romero · Updated Dec 15, 2021

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