Sex in pregnancy

Pregnancy | | Louise Broadbridge

By Louise, The Honest Midwife

Welcome to pregnancy! You may have been trying for a baby for a long time or fell pregnant easily. Either way, sex was likely part of the story! Finding out you are pregnant doesn’t have to mark the end to passion and intimacy – it’s actually really rather good for you. Love-making lowers our blood pressure and gives us a nice release of that “happy hormone” - Oxytocin - helping you to sleep better and feel happier.

That said, you may have mixed feelings regarding whether you want to have sex or not and, that’s perfectly ok too. Talk it over with your partner to make sure you both feel comfortable and, if not, consider other ways you can have intimate time together. Some women feel super sexy during pregnancy and find themselves with a heightened sex drive, whilst others feel the complete opposite. Neither one is right or wrong – every pregnancy is different, so try not to worry.

One of the most common question on this topic is “Is it safe?”

The answer to this is yes! Unless you have been advised by your midwife or doctor to avoid sex, then it is perfectly safe. Having a low-lying placenta, unexplained bleeding or a previous premature baby may be one of the reasons you have been advised not to have intercourse.

Many people worry that penetrative sex can harm the baby but, rest assured, your baby is safely tucked away in your uterus and well away from your partner’s penis. Due to the increase in hormones, sex may feel different. The increase in blood volume can result in heightened sensitivity and arousal may be easier and more intense. However, some women experience dryness and so may want to consider using a water-based lubricant to make things more comfortable.

Later on in your pregnancy, orgasms may bring on a few Braxton Hicks contractions (practice contractions). This is perfectly normal and won’t have any effect on your baby.

As your baby grows, you may find that the logistics of bedroom activities need more consideration. Traditional positions may be uncomfortable with tender breasts or a growing bump. Being side by side or “spooning” may be much more comfortable. However, all of these are subjective, so don’t be afraid to experiment to find the right fit for you and your partner.

As we have said, in the vast majority of cases, sex in pregnancy is safe. However, if you are carrying double trouble (twins), have a history of pre-term labour or a low-lying placenta, you will likely be advised to abstain for the time being!