Sex during pregnancy can be a sensitive topic. For some women, pregnancy can significantly increase libido, while for others, sex may be the furthest thing from their mind.

It’s normal to have questions about sex during pregnancy, though asking them may feel awkward. Rest assured, we have heard it all, and there is no need to hold back if you have any questions or concerns related to your pregnancy. Meanwhile, here are answers to some of the most common questions about sex during pregnancy.

Is it Okay to Have Sex during Pregnancy?

Couples often wonder if it is safe to have sex during pregnancy. Generally, if your pregnancy is progressing normally, sex is safe for both you and your baby. Your baby is well-protected by your abdomen, the amniotic fluid in the uterus, and the mucous plug, which seals the cervix to prevent infection.

There may be concerns that sex, particularly orgasms, could induce labor prematurely. While orgasms can cause uterine contractions, these are not the same as labor contractions and are unlikely to cause premature labor. Additionally, contrary to popular belief, having sex to induce labor when your due date is near is not likely to be effective.

When is it Not Safe to Have Sex during Pregnancy?

Sex during pregnancy is perfectly safe unless your physician/nurse practicioner/midwife has told you otherwise. A pregnancy may be deemed “high risk” if the mother:

  • has a history of premature labor or birth
  • has a history of miscarriages
  • has placenta Previa, which refers to your placenta partly or completely covering the cervix
  • has a dilated or incompetent cervix
  • has experienced unexplained vaginal bleeding or discharge
  • is leaking amniotic fluid

If either you or your partner has a sexually transmitted infection, you might have to refrain from sex during pregnancy. If you’re concerned that you might have an STI or have never been tested, you can contact any one of our offices or book an appointment online with one of our nurse practitioners who can help.

Can Having Sex While Pregnant Cause a Miscarriage?

This is a very common concern among couples, but it need not be. Having sex during pregnancy will not cause a miscarriage. Most miscarriages are the result of chromosome problems that prevent the baby from developing properly. Other possible causes of miscarriage include:

  • Substance abuse
  • Smoking
  • Infection
  • Problems with the mother’s reproductive organs
  • Systemic disease, such as uncontrolled diabetes
  • Obesity

If you have concerns about any of these, speak to your midwife or nurse practitioners who can answer your questions and help you get the care that you need.

How Will Pregnancy Affect My Sex Life?

Pregnancy affects each woman differently. Hormonal fluctuations, nausea, and fatigue, and even breast tenderness can all take a toll on your sexual desire; especially in the early stages when you’re body first begins to change. Further along, back pain and weight gain can zap your sexual desire some days. Some women report an increase in sex drive at different times during pregnancy and find sex more pleasurable. This is likely due to hormones and increased blood flow to the pelvis that can heighten sensation when the genitals become engorged.

Your emotional state can also impact your enthusiasm for sex. Common concerns and fears, such as about childbirth and being a mother, can make it hard to relax and enjoy sex. And while pregnancy is a beautiful thing; weight gain and other changes in the body can sometimes impact a woman’s self-esteem, leaving her feeling anything but beautiful. This can also put you off of being intimate.

How Can I Make Sex More Comfortable/Enjoyable While Pregnant?

For many women, making sex more enjoyable during pregnancy is about comfort. Getting enough rest and getting proper nutrition can help you feel better throughout your pregnancy, in and out of the bedroom.

As your baby—and belly-grows, you might find that certain positions become uncomfortable. Together with your partner, try other positions to find what works best for you. Talk openly with your partner about any discomfort you’re having, like breast tenderness, and find ways to work around it. It’s all about being comfortable so that you can enjoy being intimate.

Pregnancy doesn’t have to stop you from enjoying intimacy with your partner. Get in touch either by phone or online to book an appointment with a provider about pregnancy, sex, or any other gynecologic concerns that you may have.

Physicians and Midwives, an Advantia Health Practice

Physicians and Midwives is a unique collaborative practice you won’t find anywhere else. We have 5 offices for your convenience all across Northern Virginia, including Alexandria, North Arlington, Mt. Vernon, Kingstowne, and Woodbridge. If you would like to be listened to, as well as cared for, then look no further.