Pregnant women often wonder if having sex can affect pregnancy. In deciding whether to have sex while you are expecting, consider a number of factors including your stage of pregnancy, existing health factors and the type of sex you enjoy. Certain symptoms during pregnancy require forgoing sex and may even necessitate an immediate trip to your doctor’s office.
As your baby grows in your uterus, the amniotic fluid provides a buoyant layer of cushioning around his developing body. A thick mucus plug in the neck of your cervix, the opening into your uterus, helps to protect his environment from bacteria. While the amniotic fluid and mucus plug help shield your baby from harm, these barriers may not remain in place throughout your entire pregnancy.
Whether or not sex is good or bad during pregnancy depends on your individual situation. In general, sexual intercourse is a safe practice in normal pregnancies until the last few weeks. You may need to experiment with different sexual positions, especially during the later stages of your pregnancy. If you experience complications of your pregnancy, such as pre-term labor or spotting, your doctor may advise that you avoid sex.
Sex during pregnancy can bring you and your partner closer together during this potentially stressful time. You may notice that your physical changes can increase both your sexual desire and pleasure, especially during the middle phase of your pregnancy. Sex may also help you feel attractive and desirable as your body changes shape to accommodate your growing baby.
Having sex after your water breaks or you lose your mucus plug can increase your risks of developing a uterine infection. In addition, you should avoid certain sexual practices throughout your pregnancy. During oral sex, blowing into your vagina may cause an air embolism to enter your bloodstream. Although this occurrence is very uncommon, an air embolism can be fatal to you and your baby. MayoClinic.com advises you avoid anal sex during pregnancy, a practice that may allow bacteria to spread from your rectum to your vagina.
While intercourse during a healthy pregnancy seldom causes reasons for concern, certain situations require you to seek your doctor’s advice prior to sexual activities. Possible risks include a history of premature labor or miscarriage, a rupture in your amniotic membrane, unexplained vaginal discharge or bleeding, placenta previa, the presence of sexually transmitted diseases, and an incompetent cervix. Consult your doctor immediately if you notice any unusual signs or symptoms during your pregnancy.