Expert advice on whether having pregnant sex and uterine contractions during an orgasm has the potential to cause a miscarriage during pregnancy.

By Holly Robinson

So you and your partner are still enjoying an active sex life now that you're pregnant, but feeling your uterus contract during an orgasm is a little, um, unnerving. Can sex lead to miscarriage?

The answer is 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.

When it comes to orgasms, all women experience uterine contractions. 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.

American Baby
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