Sex during pregnancy: Is it safe to make love while pregnant?

My wife is newly pregnant. We have enjoyed a good sex life and do not want pregnancy to change this. Is is safe to continue making love?


Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

It is safe for most couples to continue making love throughout their pregnancy.

Although orgasm, as well as breast stimulation, can cause the uterus to contract, this will not cause miscarriage. A bit of cramping after intercourse can be very normal. Of course, if cramping continues, or if it is associated with any spotting, you should see your care provider right away.

There's a very positive side to sex during pregnancy. Physiologically, the increased blood flow to the pelvis, the uterus, vagina and clitoris is enhanced, which congests the pelvis a bit and can increase a woman's pleasure, causing more intense orgasms. It can also cause a heightened libido.

If your partner is uncomfortable, you may wish to try alternative pleasuring activities, without actual penetration -- at least for a while. Manual or oral stimulation is fine during pregnancy. When making love, positions you may find more comfortable are side-lying or woman on top. Allow yourself the time to be alone, without fear of interruption. A relaxing bath and massage can help you to enjoy each other!

If your wife had a history of bleeding after the first trimester or was at risk of pre-term labor it's important she discuss this with her care provider.

Sheila Kitzinger has written many books on pregnancy and birth and each one shares a wealth of sensitive, expert information. I would recommend reading her book, Woman's Experience of Sex


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