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I'm Pregnant. Is It Still Okay To Have Sex?

I'm Pregnant. Is It Still Okay To Have Sex?

Pregnancy hormones wreaking havoc on your body? Higher levels of oestrogen and progesterone, along with increased blood flow to your genitals, can mean that you might experience a higher sex drive when you’re knocked up. For some, that raises a few awks questions that you might not feel comfortable asking in front of your whole prenatal class. So, if baby brain has got you hot and horny, Henn Mossery-Golan shares our definitive guide on whether penetrative sex during pregnancy is safe, with OBGYN input from our own obstetrics expert (and new mum!), Dr Sarah Welsh.

Can I have sex during pregnancy?

The answer is yes: penetrative sex during pregnancy is perfectly safe. Contrary to urban legend, a penis or penetrative sex toy won’t penetrate beyond your vagina – and no, the baby can’t feel or tell what's going on. In gentle medical terms, your baby is bobbing away in amniotic fluid within your uterus, which protects it. Unless you’ve been specifically advised by your doctor or midwife against sexual activity, getting it on will not hurt your baby. Our Co-Founder Dr Sarah Welsh:

 

“Pregnancy can be a really exciting time – but it can also come with uncertainty around what’s okay to get up to. Good news: for the majority of people, there’s no reason to give up nookie! Regular exercise is helpful in supporting your mental wellbeing, as well as reducing pregnancy-related problems such as pack pain, swelling and constipation. Most activities are safe in pregnancy, but make sure to check in with your GP/health professional before starting any new, or continuing current, exercise in pregnancy. You should avoid exercises that involve holding your breath or require you to be lying on your back for extended periods of time. Lying on your back can affect the blood flow to baby, especially in your third trimester of pregnancy when your bump is getting bigger.”

 

Get into position

Whilst it is safe to have penetrative sex during pregnancy, you might find that your old favourite positions need a rethink. Treat this as an opportunity to explore and experiment – and you might find a new winner. Let’s address the obvious: having a pregnancy bump can make it more tricky and/or uncomfortable to have a partner on top of you for missionary sex. You might also experience breast tenderness, which is exacerbated by extra weight on top. It can also be a bit uncomfortable if your partner penetrates you too deeply, so starting slow can help ease your discomfort. 

Try lying on your sides, either facing each other or with your partner behind you. Many say that doggy and cowgirl were their preferred positions too. Make pillows your friends and add some cushioning around you to get more comfortable, especially if you’re on your hands and knees. Remember that penetration isn’t the only form of sex, and many pregnant people prefer oral sex as the vulva and clitoris are especially sensitive due to increased blood flow. External toys can also be a saviour – try our mini clit sucker, Cindy.

 

When to avoid sex in pregnancy

There are however, certain reasons why your healthcare giver might advise you to pause sex. If you’ve experienced heavy bleeding during the pregnancy, penetrative vaginal sex may increase the risk of further bleeding if the placenta is low or there's a haematoma. If your waters have broken, which can increase the risk of infection, or there are any problems with your cervix, you might also be advised to hold off humping.

Expecting multiples? Having twins, or if you have previously experienced early labours, are also reasons that your GP/midwife might cite for avoiding sex. 

If you or your sexual partner/s are having sex with other people during your pregnancy, remember to use a barrier contraception, such as HANX condoms. You might be thinking: “Well, I can’t get more pregnant”. True – but being up the duff doesn’t magically protect yourself and your baby against getting STIs.

 

Want more?

  • Keep it moving: try our pregnancy-safe sensitive Lubricant.
  • Designed whilst pregnant: discover our Co-Founder Dr Sarah Welsh's most-wanted Pregnancy Support supplement.

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