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10 Misconceptions About Sex and Pregnancy

Sex is a normal, healthy part of everyday life -- even when you’re pregnant. In fact, it can provide a host of unexpected benefits. But there are also a lot of misconceptions about sex during pregnancy.

First, the good stuff. Here are the benefits of having sex while pregnant:

  • Stress relief
  • Stronger bond with your partner
  • More intense orgasms

Now, let’s tackle some of the misconceptions and explain what’s accurate.

You Shouldn’t Have Sex While Pregnant

After you become pregnant, you do not have to wait any length of time to start having sex. As long as you’re comfortable, it is safe up until you’ve given birth.

There are a few exceptions. If your doctor has told you that you have placenta previa, when your placenta is covering your cervix, sex is not recommended. It’s also possible to have what’s called partial placenta previa where only part of the placenta covers the cervix. You should also avoid sex in this case.

Sex Will Harm the Baby

Wrong. The baby is protected and cushioned by many layers in your body, including the amniotic fluid. Sex would not be felt by the baby. Only a massive impact, such as a hard blow to the stomach, could affect the pregnancy.

Sex Can Cause a Miscarriage

This is false. It’s common for pregnant women to notice spotting after sex and fear a miscarriage. Sex can’t cause a miscarriage, and a small amount spotting after sex is normal. The uterus is engorged with blood when you’re pregnant, so it’s natural that light spotting happens after intercourse. However, if for any reason during pregnancy, you’re bleeding so much that you would need to use and change pads, it’s time to see your OB-GYN.

Sex Might Induce Labor

The answer: Maybe, and only in the third trimester. Sex would not cause your water to break. However, during the third trimester, your cervix is receptive to a substance in semen called prostaglandins, which can induce labor. Sex also causes a softening of the cervix, which helps start the labor process, getting you ready to head to your hospital. The third trimester starts at 27 weeks.

You Don’t Need To Use Protection

If you’re not in a monogamous relationship, you should practice safe sex, because STD infections can be transmitted to the baby. Condoms are safe to use and do not harm your pregnancy.

Pregnancy Kills Your Sex Drive

There is no evidence that pregnancy affects sex drive in one way or the other. You may just as easily have an increase in sex drive as a decrease. Either is normal.

You Must Be Careful Which Positions You Choose

All sex positions are safe for the baby, so it’s more a matter of what is most comfortable for you. In the third trimester, your baby bump may make some positions more challenging. Your center of gravity changes when you are pregnant. Because of this, you may want to avoid any position that requires you to balance yourself.

You Could Become Pregnant with Another Child

This scenario is possible, but largely improbable. If by chance there were two eggs present at the moment of conception, it’s possible that the initial sex that led to pregnancy didn’t result in the fertilization of both eggs. However, ovulation is possible only within a three-day window, so there is a chance for that second egg to become fertilized if you have sex again within that time span.

You Shouldn’t Have Sex in a Hot Tub

This is true. Generally, it’s suggested that pregnant women avoid hot tubs as the temperature might be too extreme. Hot tubs present further risk because it’s possible to contract a vaginal infection, which could hurt your baby.

You Shouldn’t Talk To Your OB-GYN About Sex

Don't be afraid to ask your doctor any questions you have about sex and pregnancy. Your OB-GYN is the best person to ask and most likely has heard any question or scenario before. Some doctors will even bring up the topic to make it easy for you to ask questions. Sex is normal and healthy, and you have every right to ask your OB-GYN whatever is on your mind.

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