Many couples think that sex – and orgasms – while pregnant can pose risks to their baby, but the research proves that not only is this a misconception , but in fact the opposite is true.
What are the guidelines for sex during pregnancy?
For many women, pregnancy’s fluctuating hormones make them want to have sex more than ever. AND for many other women, fatigue and pregnancy symptoms make sex the last thing they want to contemplate.
But there’s also a subset of expectant women who are avoiding sex because they think it might spark pregnancy complications.
In fact in one study, researchers found that approximately 49 percent of women surveyed were concerned that intercourse could harm their pregnancy.
To be clear, for women with low-risk or ‘normal’ pregnancies there is little evidence that avoiding sex during pregnancy leads to better outcomes. In fact, there’s no point avoiding sex at all. And we have proof! A study of 10 981 singleton low-risk pregnancies found no increase in the frequency of preterm labour in women who abstained from sex compared with those having sex.
Researchers have concluded that:
Sex is generally considered safe in pregnancy.
Abstinence should be recommended only for women who are at risk of preterm labour, or antepartum haemorrhage because of placenta previa.
There is little evidence to show that sex at term may help induce labour, but this practice is considered safe in women with low-risk pregnancies.
So if you’ve been worrying that sex during the first, second or third trimester might harm your baby – know that your concerns are not backed up by science.
Read more about the science of parenting:
- Activewear proven to reduce pregnancy ‘bump bounce’
- Tiny babies may only recognise their mum’s face front-on (and NOT side-on)
- Researchers reveal the real reasons babies kick and jab inside the womb
- Kids “stifled” by too many overprotective play rules and bans, experts say
5 reasons to have an orgasms during pregnancy
Well now that we’ve established that it’s okay to have sex, it’s good to note that there are some clear benefits to having orgasms and – if your pregnancy is normal – you shouldn’t avoid those either! Hooray!
- Sexual activity and orgasms are thought to boost our immunity, with research finding that immunoglobulin A – which protects us from bugs and sniffles – is higher in those who have regular sex.
- Orgasms feel better during pregnancy. Increased oxytocin levels combined with increased blood flow to the sexual organs mean that orgasms are intensified when you’re up the duff.
- For lots of women, orgasm is often easier to achieve during pregnancy (but not all women, so don’t despair if that’s you!) Again, this is due to increased blood flow to the lady bits.
- Many women find not having to worry about getting pregnant means they can engage more fully in the experience.
- It can help you and your partner become closer (and sneak in some couple time before there’s a baby in the picture!)
Whodathunkit?! Hooray for pregnant orgasms!