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Sex while pregnant- is it a good idea?

Maya Griffiths

Maya Griffiths

Can you have sex while pregnant or does it mean nine months of chastity? Well yes, possibly, but things may continue as normal. 

Many women feel protective during pregnancy and their top priority is to make sure the baby is kept safe and well. But, that doesn‘t necessarily mean she‘s forgotten about sex completely!

Sex forms a part of a healthy, loving relationship so it’s important to find out how your partner feels about it during the perinatal period and aim to put their wishes and wellbeing first. 

How does she feel about sex while pregnant?

Inevitable changes in her body and her health may mean she doesn’t feel like having sex. This could be for a number of reasons, from feeling overall discomfort, to tiredness or a fear of harming the baby.

On the other end of the scale, other women feel a strong sexual urge during pregnancy.

Each pregnant woman has a different experience, so be prepared for anything!

Will she go off sex?

Possibly. Pregnancy can be a rollercoaster of hormones, emotions, different bodily sensations, aches and pains and feeling uncomfortable. Therefore, desire and activity can vary, and things may change during different trimesters.

Some women are off sex for the whole nine months. But many discover pregnancy makes no difference to their sexual feelings, or even increases them. 

Try to be sensitive to how your partner is feeling both emotionally and physically and talk to her about how she is.

Is it safe to have sex during pregnancy?

One possible barrier to sexual activity during pregnancy is a fear that it might threaten the pregnancy, or harm the baby. 

Penetrative sex in pregnancy is usually safe unless one of the following issues is present:

  • placenta praevia
  • bleeding
  • problems with the cervix area
  • broken waters
  • your partner is expecting twins
  • your partner has a history of going into labour early.

Will semen affect the baby?

Unless your partner is experiencing a high-risk pregnancy, semen (always assuming no infections) poses no danger to either mother or child. There is some evidence to suggest one of the ingredients of semen – prostaglandins – can induce contractions in some women, as can an orgasm, but it’s highly unlikely in an unproblematic pregnancy before the due date.

Does the baby feel anything?

As far as infant health is concerned, sex and orgasm has no effect – studies show no difference between children born to parents who continue sex throughout their pregnancy and those who do not.

There is some suggestion that a sense of happiness and contentment can be communicated between mother and offspring and sex has been proven to lower stress levels. So if she’s happy and enjoying her life – so much the better.

Any wisdom on positions to use?

If you’re going to have sex you can be reassured that the growing child is protected inside a cushion of fluid, but for your partner’s comfort positions that do not press on a rounded belly are best.

Your partner can suggest which positions are most comfortable for her- try things out and see what works best. Being side by side is one option that can work well, but all pregnant women are different and may prefer other alternatives. 

Want to chat to other dads? Come and join our forum.

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