Sex During Pregnancy: Is It Safe?
Have fun, listen to your body, and be open with your partner.
Sexual Positions During Pregnancy
“As she grows, the traditional man-on-top position is more uncomfortable for
pregnant women,” Foreman says. Other, more comfortable sexual positions during
pregnancy may include intercourse from behind or side-to-side (spooning).
And “at some point, a pregnant woman should not be flat on her back because
the growing uterus can compress major blood vessels,” Salasche says. This can
cause pelvic pressure and pain. This phenomenon typically occurs during the
third trimester. Lying flat on her back can also cause "supine hypotensive
syndrome," which results in a change in heart rate and blood pressure that
can lead to dizziness and other symptoms or signs.
One sexual act to avoid during pregnancy is blowing during oral sex, Foreman
adds. “If oral sex is performed on the pregnant woman while blowing air into
the vagina, the woman can develop an air embolus, which can travel to the lung
and have potentially fatal consequences.”
Reasons to Avoid Sex in Pregnancy
Sex during pregnancy may not be safe for women with a history of repeated
miscarriages, preterm labor, bleeding, or an incompetent cervix (a condition in
which the cervix effaces and dilates without contractions in the second or
early third trimester, when the baby’s weight puts increasing pressure on it),
That’s not all. Women with placenta previa (a condition where the placenta
is covering the cervix) are at risk of hemorrhaging if they have sex during
pregnancy. Women with premature rupture of membranes (PROM), which occurs when
the sac containing the developing baby and the amniotic fluid bursts or
develops a hole before labor, should also avoid sex during pregnancy, Salasche
“If there are not any contraindications, a woman can have intercourse
throughout her whole pregnancy,” Foreman says.
Other red flags that sex during pregnancy may not be wise may occur after
intercourse. “If you have bleeding or foul-smelling discharge after sex during
pregnancy, tell your doctor right away,” she says. Discharge may be a sign of
an infection that can travel upward to the uterus, and bleeding may be a sign
of a problem in general.