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Sex During Pregnancy: Common Concerns and Safety Tips


Pregnancy is a transformative experience, marked by a myriad of emotional, physical, and hormonal changes. It’s only natural for expecting couples to have questions about intimacy during this significant period, particularly surrounding the safety and changes they might experience. As a private obstetrician, I frequently address these concerns. Here, we’ll delve into the subject of sex during pregnancy, discussing common apprehensions and offering some safety tips.

Common Concerns

  • Will it Harm the Baby? A frequent question and a valid concern. The baby is protected by the amniotic sac and strong uterine muscles. Additionally, a mucus plug seals the cervix, guarding against infection. In a complication-free pregnancy, sex is generally safe and won’t harm the baby.
  • Can Sex Induce Labour? While it’s true that orgasm can cause uterine contractions, these are typically harmless and different from labor contractions. However, prostaglandins in semen can soften the cervix, and in very late pregnancy, might nudge the body towards labor. Always consult with your obstetrician if you’re close to your due date.
  • Will Sex Feel Different? Hormonal changes can affect libido. Some pregnant individuals may feel heightened arousal due to increased blood flow to the pelvic area, while others might feel discomfort or have a reduced desire for intimacy. Communication with your partner about your feelings and bodily changes is crucial.

Safety Tips for Intimacy During Pregnancy

  • Open Communication: Always discuss your fears, discomforts, and desires with your partner. It’s essential to be on the same page and ensure both parties feel comfortable.
  • Experiment with Positions: As the belly grows, traditional positions might become uncomfortable. Opt for those that don’t put pressure on the abdomen, like spooning or lying side by side.
  • Lubrication: Increased blood flow to the pelvic area can lead to heightened sensitivity. Using a water-based lubricant can help reduce discomfort during intercourse.
  • Stay Clean: Practising good hygiene reduces the risk of introducing any infections. It’s a good habit for both partners to wash their genitals before and after intercourse.
  • Listen to Your Body: If something feels off or uncomfortable, stop. This is not the time to push through discomfort.
  • Regular Check-ins with Your Obstetrician: Always ensure you’re updated about the health of your pregnancy. If there are complications like placenta previa or a history of preterm labor, your doctor might advise you to refrain from sexual activity.

When to Avoid Sex During Pregnancy

There are certain conditions where sexual activity might be contraindicated:

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Leaking amniotic fluid
  • Placenta previa (where the placenta covers the cervix)
  • History or signs of preterm labor
  • Cervical insufficiency
  • Multiple pregnancies (twins, triplets) – based on your doctor’s advice
  • If your partner has an active sexually transmitted infection

In Conclusion

Sex during pregnancy can be a healthy way for couples to bond and maintain intimacy. It’s vital, however, to keep safety at the forefront and maintain open communication lines with both your partner and your obstetrician.

Your journey through pregnancy is unique, and every aspect of it, including intimacy, should be navigated with care, love, and understanding. If you have any further questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


You can make an appointment with Dr Kenny on 07 3188 5000.

This article is written to be informative and does not substitute seeking a professional consultation from a medical professional.

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Greenslopes Obstetrics & Gynaecology is closely aligned with the Greenslopes Private Hospital which opened Brisbane’s newest maternity facility in February 2013.

To speak directly with a team member please call 07 3188 5000