There are common myths that continue to circulate when it comes to sex during pregnancy. It's always in your best inerest for health to consider your relationship (Is it healthy? Am I doing this for me?) and to protect against STIs (sexual transmitted infections) before considering sexual contact. Please also talk with your health care provider to be sure all is well.
1. Women don’t want to have sex during pregnancy.
Pregnancy hormones can actually make a woman feel very interested in sex! But remember that every pregnancy is different and communication is critical when it comes to having a mutually respectful and healthy sexual relationship.
2. My baby will know if I have sex.
Nope! The baby may move around and experience the sensation of being rocked or bumped, but will have no understanding or memory of why.
3. Sex during pregnancy will hurt the baby.
Baby is protected by a closed cervix, the amniotic sac, and a thick cervical mucous plug.
4. Sex during pregnancy will start labor.
The cervix may contract during or after sex, but it is likely due to irritation, not the start of labor. Contractons caused by sex will usually stop. And while semen does contain prostoglandins, which are responsible for ripening the cervix for labor, we don't have solid evidence that having intercourse where semen is deposited can cause labor to start.
5. Bleeding after sex is dangerous.
Spotting after sex during pregnancy is normal and not a sign of danger. The cervix is very sensitive during pregnancy, and filled with lots of tiny blood vessels close to the surface. Significant or heavy bleeding, however, is not typical for sex and could be a sign that something is wrong, and should be evaluated by your doctor or midwife.
6. Sex should resume six weeks after the birth.
Like every pregnancy is different, so too is every woman and birth experience. Resuming sex is a personal decision and should be based upon physical and emotional readiness. Open communication with your partner is key. \
For more in-depth information on sex during pregnancy, including answers to many more common questions, check out the online course from Lamaze: Sex During Pregnancy and Beyond.