SPECIAL OFFER: - Limited Time Only!
(The ad below will not display on your printed page)

Say YES to your FREE SUBSCRIPTION today! Simply fill in the form below and click "Subscribe". You'll receive American Baby® magazine ABSOLUTELY FREE! (U.S. requests only)

Email:

First Name:

Last Name:

Address:

City:

State:

Zip:

Mother's Birth State: 
Is this your first child?
Yes
No
Due date or child's birthdate:
Your first FREE issue of American Baby® Magazine packed with great tips and expert advice will arrive within 4 to 6 weeks. In the meantime, your e-mail address is required to access your account and member benefits online, but rest assured that we will not share your e-mail address with anyone. Free subscription is subject to publisher's qualifications. Publisher bases number of issues served on birth and due dates provided. Click here to view our privacy policy.

Can Pregnancy Sex Cause a Miscarriage?

husband giving romantic kiss to wife

Q. My husband and I are still enjoying an active sex life now that I'm pregnant, but I'm afraid to have orgasms because of the way they make my uterus contract. Can this lead to miscarriage?

A. Not usually. Enjoying sex while you're pregnant is a safe and healthy thing to do, says Elizabeth Stewart, MD, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Harvard Medical School. The only exceptions are if you've had a threat of miscarriage, a prior preterm birth, if your cervix is incompetent or dilated, or if you're experiencing unexplained vaginal bleeding or discharge. In those situations, certainly discuss your concerns with your doctor.

All women experience uterine contractions during orgasm. They're caused by prostaglandins, substances found in semen and some bodily tissues, explains Dr. Stewart. You just feel these contractions more intensely now because your uterus is swollen and your blood flow is increased. But in a normal pregnancy these contractions won't cause you to lose the baby. Your unborn child is well padded against any sexual acrobatics by the fluid-filled amniotic sac and strong uterine muscles, and he's guarded from infection by a thick mucus plug that seals the cervix.

Holly Robinson is a writer who lives with her husband and their five children north of Boston.

Originally published in American Baby magazine, September 2004.