Is pregnancy intercourse safe?

One of the most common things pregnant folks want to know is whether it’s safe to have intercourse. The short answer to this question is yes — in most cases, sex during pregnancy is safe. But let’s take a closer look at the facts.

Babies are well protected and can’t be touched

If you’ve ever wondered if your baby can be hurt or touched during sex, we’ve got good news. The womb is like a well-protected castle, with shields and barriers to safeguard the inside from potential intruders. Your baby is surrounded by amniotic fluid and safe within the amniotic, with an added layer of protection from your uterus muscles.

Not only that, but the vagina is long enough to keep your baby separated from any penetration. And the mucus plug protects them from infection. However, to protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections (STIs), consider using condoms.

Babies have no idea what’s going on

If you’ve forgone pregnancy sex for fear your precious baby-to-be will be scarred for life, you wouldn’t be the first. But fortunately, this isn’t a realistic possibility. For starters, developing babies have absolutely no idea what sex is, nor can they see what’s going on outside your belly.

What’s more, the amniotic fluid provides cushioning and space to float around, almost like a waterbed. Your little one can jostle comfortably and may even get rocked to sleep with the movement.

Orgasms won’t make you go into early labor

There’s some suspicion that late in pregnancy, intercourse can induce labor because it triggers the release of the hormone oxytocin. While it’s true oxytocin can stimulate uterine contractions (whether you’re pregnant or not), there’s no evidence it actually leads to labor.

Certain things do make pregnancy sex unsafe

Although sex is most often safe during pregnancy, some factors can make it unsafe. Pregnancy intercourse might not be safe if:

  • You or your partner have been diagnosed with an STD
  • You’ve experienced heavy bleeding during pregnancy
  • You’re showing signs of preterm labor
  • Your water already broke
  • You’re carrying multiples
  • You’ve been diagnosed with cervical insufficiency
  • Your healthcare provider advised against it
  • You feel unsafe. Contact the National Sexual Abuse Hotline at 1-800-656-4673
  • The bottom line with pregnancy sex

The bottom line with pregnancy sex

There are lots of myths about the safety of intercourse during pregnancy, but for the most part, it’s a perfectly safe activity. Unless your healthcare provider has specifically told you it’s unsafe, there’s no reason not to enjoy sex during this time — that is, if you’re up for it. If you’re ever unsure, it doesn’t hurt to ask your provider.

Reviewed by the Ovia Health Clinical Team

Related Topics

Get the Ovia Pregnancy app
Get our app at the Apple App Store Get our app at the Apple App Store Get our app at the Google Play Store Get our app at the Google Play Store