This is one of the hottest topics that our readers have asked us over the last year. So, to answer this question, I’ve reached out to Jennifer Katz, RN – who is one of our sexual health nurses.
As a sexual health nurse, I often speak to prenatal clients about their sexuality throughout their pregnancy. Having sex while pregnant is safe for most people with uncomplicated, low-risk pregnancies – it is okay if you choose to and it is okay if you choose not to.
What are the positives of having sex while you are pregnant?
- can bring you pleasure
- gives you exercise and increases your heart rate
- can improve your mood
- may improve the way you feel about your pregnant body
- improves muscle tone which may help with labour
- can provide a closeness between partners
Are there times when my health care provider might advise me NOT to have sex during my pregnancy?
Having sex and/or orgasms may not be advised in certain circumstances; for example placenta previa, people at risk for preterm labour, and other conditions.
Check with your health care provider if you are unsure.
If your health care provider has advised you not to have sex, clarify what sexual activity is off limits, and for how long.
Once the amniotic sac has broken and fluid is leaking from the vagina (also known as “breaking the water”), sex is no longer recommended until after your baby is born.
Can sex during pregnancy hurt the baby?
The strong muscles of the uterus and the fluid in the amniotic sac protect the baby from bumps and injury, and the mucous plug in the cervix protects the baby from infection, so sex does not pose a risk.
Pregnancy does not protect from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and some STIs can have negative effects on pregnancy and on the baby during birth. Condoms and other risk-reducing sexual practices, including regular STI testing, are still recommended.
Does my baby feel it when we’re having sex?
No need to be concerned – the baby will simply feel the movements.
Why might sex during pregnancy feel different?
With increased blood flow and hormones, some people desire and enjoy having sex during pregnancy. Others may feel this increased sensitivity and up-and-down emotions makes sex the last thing on their minds. Fatigue that comes with pregnancy can affect people’s desire and ability to have sex, as well as other physical symptoms like tender breasts and a growing baby.
As the body changes throughout pregnancy, sometimes people need to become creative with new positions for sex in order to make it more comfortable, or to consider having sex at times of the day when they feel more energetic.
Consider speaking to a Public Health Nurse or speaking to someone confidentially:
- TPH e-Chat (416-338-7600)
- AIDS & Sexual Health InfoLine (416-392-2437)
- Learn more: Sexual Health