Many pregnant women worry if it is safe to have sex or experience an orgasm when pregnant. Partners may be concerned about harming the pregnant woman or her unborn child. However, sex and orgasm are safe during pregnancy for most people, even in the third trimester through to your due date. Furthermore, sexual intimacy and release provide beneficial ways to relieve stress, connect with a partner, and enhance emotional well-being during a time when things can feel and seem a bit uncertain.

Orgasm does not enhance the risk of miscarriage or preterm labor in a normal and healthy pregnancy. Sexual activity may even help the pregnancy’s health and wellness by raising blood flow, and thus oxygen, to the uterus and boosting feel-good hormones like oxytocin.

Meet the Expert: Dr. Diana Rangaves writes for 21Ninety’s as a health and wellness expert. She is a pharmacist, philanthropist, and ethics professor turned writer, holding a Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of California. She also serves as the Executive Editor and Chief Content Officer for Healthcare Worldwide Central and has published several works in medical and pharmaceutical publications, academic books, as well as, scholarly articles.

Orgasming When Pregnant

While sex and orgasm might be pleasurable when pregnant, and perhaps even heightened due to various hormone activity, other pregnancy discomforts may still interfere. Don’t be surprised if you feel both turned on and off simultaneously.

The First Trimester

Morning sickness and exhaustion during the first trimester can limit sexual activity. But that does not imply you will not want to have sex. Both your pelvis and breasts will feel more sensitive due to increased blood flow, swelling of these areas and the beginning of shifting hormones.

The Second Trimester

Pregnancy sex is most likely at its optimum during the second trimester. This may be because morning sickness and exhaustion are most prevalent in the first trimester, and it is not until the third trimester that the baby’s size begins to interfere with sex and cause physical discomfort.

The Third Trimester

People frequently wonder whether it is safe to have an orgasm during the third trimester. Fortunately, it is entirely safe for your infant in most circumstances. However, your larger abdomen and regular pregnancy aches and pains might interfere with sexual intercourse, and the hard work of growing a baby can deplete your energy and, in turn, your sexual drive. It is, nonetheless, possible to have and enjoy sex during this time. However, you may need to get creative with sexual positions to find ones that work for you.

When Is Pregnancy Intercourse Dangerous?

There are various circumstances in which sexual intercourse or orgasm may be dangerous during pregnancy. Your doctor may counsel you not to have sex if:

You are having odd bleeding: Spotting during pregnancy is common, and some mild spotting after sex is also common. This might happen if the cervix is struck while deep thrusting. However, bleeding during pregnancy can be concerning. Bleeding may indicate the start of a miscarriage in early pregnancy. Your doctor may advise you to refrain from sexual activity for a brief time.

The placenta has developed on the incorrect side of the uterine wall: When the placenta fixes itself low on the uterine wall and entirely or partially covers the cervix, this is known as placenta previa. Sex could be dangerous in this situation.

Your cervix has been identified as “incompetent”: An incompetent cervix (the recognized medical terminology for this condition) fails to remain strong and closed as it should. The pressure exerted by the baby’s head on the cervix leads it to open early, which can result in second-trimester pregnancy loss. To keep the cervix closed, a cerclage procedure may be performed. Most doctors recommend no or extremely limited sex.

Your water has broken: Sexual activity following your water breaking may raise the risk of infection. This can make childbirth more difficult, if not hazardous.

You have triplets or a high-order pregnancy: Orgasm may raise the chance of premature labor when the uterus is stretched beyond normal limits, as with triplets.

You are predisposed to premature labor for various reasons: Just because you have had a previous preterm delivery does not imply you will have another, and it does not mean you should avoid sex “just in case.” However, there are some situations in which some sexual restrictions may be prudent.

Intercourse Alternatives

You can find different forms of intercourse and sexual activity if vaginal intercourse is prohibited. Orgasm, for instance, can be acceptable if there is no vaginal penetration.

Masturbation: It is quite safe to masturbate during a healthy pregnancy. Your doctor may occasionally permit masturbation while limiting vaginal sex in certain circumstances.

Sex toys: Pregnancy is safe when using these. Regardless of whether you are pregnant or not, using sex toys safely requires utilizing the proper technique, hygiene, and lubrication.

Physical intimacy: If limitations are advised, remember that you can experiment with non-sexual touch, such as snuggling, embracing, massage, mild kissing, and light caressing.

Why You Should Discuss Orgasming When Pregnant With Your OB/GYN

Even though everyone knows that most pregnancies result from sex, many individuals still find it unpleasant to discuss sex and pregnancy. You might want to ask your midwife or doctor questions but feel too self-conscious. Additionally, your doctor might be reluctant to broach the matter. However, remember that OBs have heard it all and you should not feel awkward about asking. No topic should be off-limits.

If pregnancy has your hormones raging and your libido through the roof, there is good news for you: Having an orgasm during a low-risk pregnancy is safe. As always, please consult your doctor as every pregnancy is individual and has its own specific needs.