Sex During Early Pregnancy

When you and your partner have been trying for a baby, the news of pregnancy will always be a joyful experience. However, you may be wondering how this impacts your physical relationship, and whether sex during early pregnancy is advisable. We’ve compiled a list of dos and don’ts to help you stay intimate during your first few weeks after conception.


Is sex during early pregnancy safe?

Deciding whether to engage in sex while pregnant is something that many couples worry about. In most cases, sex during pregnancy is perfectly safe and is in fact encouraged. It’s normal to feel a bit uneasy at the thought of damaging your baby during intercourse, however, the amniotic sac, uterus muscles and mucus plug will help protect your baby. Some exceptions are if there are medical reasons to refrain from intercourse – or modify your activity – during pregnancy, however your doctor will advise you on this.


Is sex during early pregnancy healthy?

Just like sex pre-pregnancy, regular intimacy releases the ‘love hormone’, oxytocin, which can help you feel closer to your partner and deepen your bond.[1] When a woman orgasms her uterus contracts, however this should not have negative on your pregnancy, and should not encourage labor until your body is ready and your waters have broken.[2] It is best to talk to a doctor to know if there are any risks in your particular situation.


How do I make pregnant sex more enjoyable?

You’re bound to feel apprehensive about having sex during your first few weeks of pregnancy, however, there are specific positions that are recommended to provide maximum comfort during intercourse. The most popular position involves the women on top; this solves any worry about squashing your baby, as well as letting the women control the depth and movement that she feels comfortable with. It is advised to always talk to your doctor before using any product while pregnant.


When should sex be avoided during pregnancy?

While most women can continue to have intercourse right up until labor takes place, you’ll be advised to avoid sex if you experience symptoms such as bleeding, as this could indicate serious pregnancy implications, and further sex may increase the risk of more bleeding.[3] There are other risk factors and conditions in which you may need to avoid intercourse during pregnancy. Speak to your doctor to find out more information. You will also be advised to avoid sex if your waters have broken, as this can expose you to infection. If you experience any of these issues or have any uncertainties, then you should speak to a midwife or doctor.


Alternatives to Sex

There are still plenty of enjoyable ways to be intimate with your partner if intercourse is not possible or desirable. Foreplay and oral sex are great ways to experience pleasure together, and can make you feel a lot more relaxed if you don’t want to engage in intercourse. You can spice this up by introducing sex toys or vibrators to the bedroom, which can create even more intense pleasure. While some women have a heightened libido during pregnancy, other women find a decrease in their sex drive, therefore they may prefer to be intimate through kissing, cuddling, or even just holding hands.[4] 


[1] MacGill, Markus “What is the link between love and oxytocin?” Medical News Today, September 4 2017

[2] Bitzer, Johannes “The Female Sexual Response: Anatomy and Physiology of Sexual Desire, Arousal, and Orgasm in Women” Management of Sexual Dysfunction in Men and Women, 2016 

[3] Blocker, Wayne “Bleeding During Early Pregnancy (First Trimester)” Medicine Net, Undated

[4] “Sexuality and sexual activity in pregnancy” BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, August 12 2005

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