For many women hoping to conceive, a positive pregnancy test brings instant joy. It also brings up a number of questions. One question might be whether it is OK to continue to have sex during early pregnancy. The short answer is that sex during early pregnancy is perfectly safe if the pregnancy is progressing normally and the mother-to-be feels healthy.
It’s normal to be concerned about the safety of sex during a pregnancy, especially in the early going, when miscarriages are most common. Many couples worry that sex may harm the baby somehow, or that it may interfere with the baby’s development. Some simply fear that having sex will cause a miscarriage, but this is rarely the case. Miscarriages early in pregnancy are almost always caused by chromosomal abnormalities, according to MayoClinic.com.
Early in the pregnancy, your baby is no larger than the head of a pin. By the end of the third trimester (your 12th week of pregnancy), your baby is still only around 2 inches long. This means you probably won’t even be showing yet. In addition, the baby is surrounded by a nice cushion of amniotic fluid, and there is a mucus plug guarding the entrance to the uterus. Sex during this time will not affect the baby physically in any way, nor will you have to work around a bulging belly (that will come later, of course).
For most women, the reasons not to have sex early in a pregnancy have less to do with the baby and more to do with the way the woman feels. The first trimester is one of tremendous hormonal changes. The production of hCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin, as well as surging levels of progesterone, make many women feel extremely fatigued and nauseated as well. Add some sore, tender breasts to the equation, and she is not likely to be feeling very sexy. A considerate partner will be sympathetic to the mother-to-be’s wishes during this time.
For most women, it is perfectly OK to have sex during early pregnancy. For a few women, it is not a good idea. If you have a high-risk pregnancy due to unexplained bleeding, a history of miscarriages, placenta previa, an incompetent cervix, cramping, or other problems, your health care provider might recommend against sex for a time, or even for the duration of the pregnancy.
When a woman has an orgasm, her uterus contracts. If the contractions continue after sex, are painful, or if bleeding occurs, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Sex should also be discontinued if there is pain when intercourse starts.