Can you have sex when you’re pregnant?

by Kaiser Permanente |
2 pairs of feet sticking out below bedsheets.

During pregnancy, you can most likely keep up your sex life as usual. However, your interest in having sex could change. For example, it’s normal to lose interest if you’re dealing with nausea or fatigue. On the other hand, you may have an increased desire for intimacy with your partner. As long as you and your baby are healthy, there’s really no reason to worry.

Having sex, orgasming, or masturbating during pregnancy are usually very safe. There’s no chance that sex will cause miscarriage. Your baby will be protected by the fluid surrounding them.

Later on in pregnancy, you might have to experiment with different positions to find one that’s comfortable for you. You could try lying side by side, or you might prefer to be on top.

It’s normal to have a small amount of bloody vaginal discharge after intercourse or orgasm. Mild contractions are also common. Let a clinician know immediately if there is persistent bleeding or discharge or if contractions get worse or don’t go away.

What to know about STIs

It’s possible to get a sexually transmitted infection (STI) while you’re pregnant. This can be dangerous to both you and your baby. Practicing safe sex is always the best plan, even if you’ve been with your partner for a while. Be sure to use condoms to keep you and your baby healthy.

When not to have sex

Your clinician may tell you to avoid having sex if you are at risk for or have:

  • Preterm labor, since your baby could be born too soon.
  • Problems with your placenta.
  • Ruptured bag of waters. Once your waters break, you shouldn’t put anything inside your vagina.

This article has been created by a national group of Kaiser Permanente ob-gyns, certified nurse-midwives, pediatricians, lactation consultants and other specialists who came together to provide you with the best pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and newborn information.

Some of the content is used and adapted with permission of The Permanente Medical Group.