10 Reasons to Keep Having Sex While You're Pregnant

With many physical and mental benefits, sex during pregnancy is not only safe, it's often recommended.

Couple expecting a baby lying in bed
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A positive pregnancy test can signify big changes for your sex life over the next nine months. From figuring out which sex positions feel comfortable with a growing belly, to navigating symptoms like nausea and breast tenderness, sex during pregnancy can definitely seem different than before you were expecting. But that doesn't mean your love-making sessions need to be put on hold!

In fact, pregnancy sex has lots of physical and mental health benefits, ranging from stress relief to relationship building. Plus, it's usually safe during all trimesters, as long as you don't have any pregnancy complications. Here, we'll fill you in on all the reasons to keep having sex during pregnancy.

Is It Good to Have Sex While Pregnant?

Doctors usually give the green light for sex during pregnancy, as long as you and your partner are both feeling up to it. That's because the amniotic sac and strong uterine muscles protect the fetus from damage, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

That said, there are a few instances when sex during pregnancy should be avoided: If you think your water may have broken, you should not have intercourse, and you should contact your doctor right away. Once your water breaks, anything inserted into the vagina can introduce potentially harmful bacteria. Signs your water has broken include a leak (large or small) of colorless and odorless fluid that doesn't stop no matter what you do, and the presence of fluid that's thin, watery, and doesn't smell like urine.

Another time pregnancy sex might be unsafe is when your doctor has advised pelvic rest for any reason. This happens in some high-risk pregnancies, or if your cervix is dilating too early.

Reasons Why a Pregnant Person Should Make Love Everyday

There are numerous wonderful reasons for pregnant women to make love every day—either with a partner or on their own. Some of the great benefits of sex during pregnancy include:

  • Increased intimacy
  • Discovering new sex positions
  • Enhanced pleasure
  • Stress relief
  • Body awareness
  • Improved health
  • Better sleep
  • Enhanced mental health
  • Strengthened pelvic muscles
  • Preparing for (or inducing) labor

The Benefits of Sex During Pregnancy

Sex is a healthy activity that can safely be enjoyed by most people throughout pregnancy. Pregnancy sex is important for lots of couples and offers both physical and emotional benefits. Below are seven reasons to consider getting intimate with your partner during all nine months.

Sex during pregnancy cultivates intimacy

Many people become intensely focused on their pregnancies, which can make their partners feel left out, says Pepper Schwartz, Ph.D., professor of sociology at the University of Washington in Seattle. Physical affection can be a way of strengthening your bond and helping your partner feel like part of the equation. Another benefit of sex during pregnancy? In the later months, post-intercourse cuddle sessions are the perfect time for your partner to feel the baby kick.

You'll discover new sex positions

In general, you can try any position that feels right during pregnancy. But it's a good idea to avoid positions that put too much pressure on your belly (good-bye for now, missionary position!) or that require you to lay flat on your back for too long during your second and third trimesters (this causes the baby to press on your vena cava, which can restrict blood flow).

Looking for some good positions for sex during pregnancy? Try sitting at the edge of your bed while your partner kneels or stands and enters you from the front, or the spoon position, with both of you lying on your sides as he enters you from behind.

Pregnant sex can feel even better

Pregnancy increases blood flow to your pubic area, which heightens sensitivity, so some people experience enhanced orgasms, says Claire Jones, M.D., an OB-GYN at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. This makes sense, considering that pregnancy increases the blood volume in your body by as much as 40%. Your vagina is also more lubricated because of increased estrogen levels, and your breasts can be more sensitive too.

For many people, these body changes come together as a recipe for amazing sex. But for others, this isn't the case. It's about figuring out what works and feels right for both you and your partner during pregnant sex.

Orgasms are a natural stress reliever

Orgasms flood your body with oxytocin, a hormone that produces endorphins, which leave you feeling calm and happy. When you find yourself stressed out, consider that sex releases endorphin that can make you feel more secure and even alleviate pain, says Dr. Schwartz. What's more, the distraction of sex can take your mind off all those pregnancy worries!

Sex helps you tune into your body

Taking time for sexual pleasure and intimacy, either with a partner or solo, lets you slow down and tune into your body. Notice and appreciate all the wondrous physical changes happening as your pregnancy progresses. What better way to enjoy this stage than sensual touch? Love your body and be in awe of the beauty—and power—of growing a baby.

Sex boosts immune and overall health

According to the Cleveland Clinic, sex has some physical benefits as well, including an improved immune system, which is important during pregnancy. Studies have also linked frequent sex to a reduced risk of heart problems.

Sex can help you sleep

Sleep can be difficult during pregnancy. Luckily, there's a fun way to induce slumber—sex. Research shows that having orgasms before bed can promote better quality sleep. Interestingly, the reverse is also true. Better sleep is thought to increase sexual desire.

Sex improves your mental health

Of course, sex makes you feel good in the moment, but research shows that a satisfying sex life offers a lasting boost to your mental health as well. In fact, regular sex is known to improve your mood as well as your overall quality of life.

Sex can help make delivery and recovery easier

Having an orgasm causes your pelvic muscles to contract, which can strengthen them. This helps to ease labor pains, improves bladder control, and potentially leads to a quicker recovery after giving birth. Of course, you can always do Kegels between sex sessions too!

Sex during pregnancy can help induce labor

It's a common misconception that having sex during pregnancy can cause preterm labor. In reality, you don't need to worry about that. But having sex when your body is already approaching labor might help speed things along.

Research suggests those orgasms you're feeling promote uterine contractions, which may kickstart the real thing. What's more, some theories indicate that the prostaglandins in semen can help ripen the cervix. (Just remember that you shouldn't have sex after your water breaks.)

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