Sex during pregnancy

Sex is normally perfectly safe in pregnancy. Any sexual activity that doesn’t harm you will not harm your baby. You don’t risk hurting or affecting your baby.

Is it ever risky?

Women and men sometimes find their desire for sex changes during pregnancy, and both may go off it. This is not serious or long lasting. Keep your closeness with lots of warm, physical contact that need not lead to sex. If sex played an important role in your lives before, then the feelings are very likely to come back in time.

Some women feel that sex with either partner on top is a little uncomfortable in later pregnancy. You can get round this by the person on top bearing their weight on their arms. Or try side-by-side positions.

Some women – and some men – get less keen on penetrative sex as the pregnancy develops. That’s fine. You can have closeness and as much sexual excitement as you want without it.

Your baby is protected in the uterus by the bag of waters, which cushions movement. Your baby may feel the movements of vigorous sexual activity, but they won’t do her any harm. Occasionally, women who have had a number of miscarriages may be advised not to have sex around the time their period would have been due, or even not at all during the first three months. There’s no evidence that sex and miscarriage are linked though, and some doctors disagree about how to advise couples in this situation.

Last Updated: 29 June 2011
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