It’s really common for expectant parents to ask me.
Is sex during pregnancy safe?
The answer is a resounding YES! And if anything, it’s something I really encourage. Unless your doctor has told you otherwise (and you should definitely be asking them), there is absolutely no medical reason that you cannot have sex during pregnancy. Sex cannot harm your baby, as it’s snug and safely protected by the uterine muscles and amniotic fluid!
Sex during pregnancy: 4 reasons it is actually good for you
Sexual arousal and pleasure actually get the brain to release a delicious mix of neurotransmitters, chemicals and hormones into the body, all of which are good for us.
- Oxytocin, in particular, is released when we experience sexual pleasure, and is known as the cuddle or bonding hormone. It’s actually the same hormone that gets released when you have your baby, which aids bonding between mother and child.
- These hormones are also the reason that sex can feel even better when you’re pregnant.
- Orgasms are also perfectly fine, if not a really wonderful thing, when you’re pregnant as they can help to ease any pain you’re experiencing.
- Sex also helps lower your blood pressure!
Having sex during pregnancy is also a really great way to stay connected to your partner. You’re both in a transitionary period and you’ll need to be creative and explore what positions are comfortable for you
When women think of pregnancy, the terms “sexual pleasure” or “masturbation” are unlikely to come to mind. This is actually a rarely spoken about experience for pregnant women, but it shouldn’t take a back seat just because you are pregnant. If anything, maintaining a healthy and active solo sex life is important for both your physical and mental well-being, and can heighten your sexual experience with your partner as well.
Of course in the first trimester many women struggle with morning sickness and feeling particularly unsexy. This is completely normal and generally eases as you move into the second trimester. Once this has improved, you might feel ready for you and your partner to reconnect sexually.
However, no matter where you are in your pregnancy, it’s important to focus on pleasure and not performance; there’s no need to put pressure on yourself to have it “X” number of times a week or always orgasm each time. Rather focus on the pleasure and connection you can experience together. Learn to go with what feels good for you and explore your body while it’s in a heightened state of arousal and with the surge of hormones.
Having sex during pregnancy is also a really great way to stay connected to your partner.
You’re both in a transitionary period and you’ll need to be creative and explore what positions are comfortable for you, especially as you get later term. Being creative and playful can really heighten arousal between you and make sex an even more exciting experience.
Don’t neglect your erogenous zones, which are as important as clitoral stimulation. Don’t just focus on your breasts, nipples and vulva when you masturbate or when you’re with your partner. Include your neck, lips, ears, lower stomach or collarbones, to name a few. These areas are heightened to sexual pleasure and will lead to a more satisfying sexual experience overall.
I think it’s also important to say that it’s also ok if you don’t want to have sex, and you have the right to say no to sex! Sometimes you might not be feeling great, be exhausted or feel that you look gross… and when this happens, rather focus on emotional intimacy, cuddling and physical closeness. It’s important to know that you don’t have to have sex to be close to one another.
About Catriona Boffard
Catriona is an accredited clinical sexologist, psychotherapist, sexuality researcher & speaker. She is an expert in the field of sexual behaviour, intimacy, relationships and mental well-being, with a particular interest in helping people create or reestablish sexual intimacy and empowering women to embrace their sexuality.
She has delivered her expertise across media, business and private platforms and is a globally recognised voice in the field of sex, pleasure and relationships. She runs a global practice online, consulting with clients from around the world, but has a practice in Johannesburg, South Africa and London, United Kingdom.