The Truth About Having Sex While Pregnant

You've probably heard them. Myths about having sex while pregnant are common, and even sometimes comical (no, the baby cannot feel anything). The truth is, doctors say having sex while pregnant is perfectly safe in most cases.

Pregnant mother holding belly

You're feeling in a mood for a little closeness with your significant other, but wait — you're pregnant. "Can the baby feel it?" "Will it hurt the baby?" "Could I go into labor?"

Those questions may race through your mind, and ultimately be a huge mood killer. But rest assured, sex while pregnant is perfectly safe in most situations. Check with your doctor to make sure you do not have a high-risk pregnancy. Your doctor may advise against having sex if there's a threat of having a miscarriage or going into early labor.

Myth: Having sex can hurt the baby

Sex does not physically hurt the baby. According to the March of Dimes, sex is perfectly safe during pregnancy unless your doctor advises against having sex while pregnant — usually because you are experiencing a high-risk pregnancy.

A doctor may advise against having sex if you have a history of miscarriages, have unexplained vaginal bleeding, are leaking amniotic fluid or if you have an incompetent cervix — when the cervix is weakened and can open too soon.

Myth: The baby knows what's going on

The baby has no idea what Mom and Dad are doing. In fact, the baby is well protected by the amniotic sac and uterine muscles. The cervix is also sealed by a thick mucus plug.

Myth: Sex can cause me to have a miscarriage

Sex and orgasms during sex do not cause miscarriages. In fact, contractions from an orgasm are different than the contractions associated with labor. Again, check with your doctor to make sure you are indeed experiencing a low-risk pregnancy.

According to the Mayo Clinic, early miscarriages are usually related to conditions such as chromosomal abnormalities or other problems that are occurring in the developing baby.

Myth: Pregnancy will kill my libido

Many women actually find that pregnancy makes them want more sex, according to the March of Dimes. The root of this sudden libido change? Hormones. Because hormones can fluctuate during different stages of your pregnancy, so may your libido. The first three months, especially, can be tiresome for newly pregnant moms because of soreness, frequent trips to the bathroom and morning sickness.

In the second trimester, those symptoms are usually more manageable, and women may find they have more desire for sex. Did you know women gain about three pounds of blood during pregnancy? According to the March of Dimes, most of that blood flow is below the waist line.

Myth: Pregnancy protects me from STDs

Pregnancy does not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases, according to the Centers for Disease Control. If you contract an STD while pregnant, it could be transmitted to your baby.

The best way to reduce your risk of contracting an STD while you're pregnant is to only have sex with someone who's not infected and who only has sex with you. Condoms also can reduce your risk of getting some STDs if used the right way, according to the CDC.

More on pregnancy

Stay comfortable in your third trimester
Secrets of labor and the delivery room
Creating a birth plan


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