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Sex during pregnancy

In most cases having sex during pregnancy isn’t a threat to either you or your unborn baby. However, there are some issues that need to be taken into consideration to make sure it is both safe and comfortable.

Comfort and safety

As the baby develops and the mother’s stomach grows, you may have to try some different positions to make sex more comfortable.

The baby is protected from the movements created during sexual intercourse by the amniotic sac, muscle and the woman’s abdomen. However, you should still take care. The mucus plug, or vaginal mucus, will ensure that your child is safe from infection.

If you experience any unusual symptoms either during or after sex, you should speak to your doctor or midwife before attempting to have sex again.

When sex should be avoided

In some cases a doctor may recommend that you don't have sex. This is particularly common if the placenta is lying over the neck of the womb (known as placenta previa) or if you are at risk of bleeding. Other reasons include if the woman:

  • is experiencing unusual discharge from the vagina
  • has a history of miscarriage or premature labour
  • has a dilated cervix
  • is experiencing pains in her abdominal area
  • is feeling pain while urinating
  • is expecting more than one baby
  • has ever had to undergo medical treatment for vaginal or reproductory issues

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

A pregnant woman should not have sexual intercourse with anyone whose sexual history is unknown to her. They could be carrying STIs like chlamydia, herpes, HIV/AIDS or gonorrhoea. STIs can be passed on to both the mother and baby.

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  • Source Direct Gov
  • Last Updated: 06 Jan 2012