Having sex during pregnancy can affect a couple’s relationship in many positive ways. Most health care professionals support and encourage sex during pregnancy, depending on the physical and emotional state of both partners. Mutual respect and a sensitivity for your partner’s needs and desires are key to maintaining a successful and enjoyable sex life during pregnancy.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, sex during pregnancy usually has no harmful effects. An active sex life that reflects the desires and interest levels of both partners is safe for both the mother-to-be and fetus. Sex can play a role in helping partners maintain an emotional connection, relieve stress and reduce tension.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a woman’s interest in sex may vary during pregnancy. During the first three months of pregnancy, a woman often experiences morning sickness and hormone changes that reduce her desire. As her body adjusts to pregnancy, interest in sex may return. Late in pregnancy, weight gain and back pain may again reduce a woman’s interest.
The changes that a pregnant woman goes through may affect her partner’s desire for sex as well. Preparing for the birth of a child can add stress to a relationship, while sex can help relieve that stress, neither partner will benefit from feeling pressured to engage in sexual intercourse.
Mutual sensitivity to a partner’s physical and emotional state will help couples find the right level of sexual involvement during pregnancy. Couples can experiment to find the most comfortable and pleasurable positions and activities during sex.
Sexual intercourse cannot harm a fetus. Amniotic fluid and a mucous plug protect the baby throughout pregnancy. Miscarriages are not related to sexual activity.
Women with high-risk pregnancies or a history of premature births may be advised not to have sex during pregnancy. Some health care providers may warn against sex in the late stages of any pregnancy, because sperm contains a chemical that may trigger contractions.
If you and your partner like to oral or anal sex, you may want to check with a health care provider on safe practices during pregnancy.