Does Pregnancy Sex Harm the Baby?

Pregnancy sex doesn't harm the baby as long as you have a normal pregnancy and both you and your child are in good health.
Does Pregnancy Sex Harm the Baby?

Last update: 20 March, 2022

When a woman is pregnant for the first time, many questions can overwhelm her: What foods are harmful? Can I play sports? Every precaution is important when it comes to ensuring the well-being of your baby. One of the most frequent questions among new moms is whether pregnancy sex can harm the baby. The answer is no, as long as you have a normal pregnancy and both you and your child are in good health.

However, if you want more information on the subject, continue reading this article. You’ll find interesting and valuable information that will help you clarify your doubts.

Some frequently asked questions about pregnancy sex

At what stages of pregnancy can I have sexual intercourse?

Mom, you can have sexual relations with your partner from the beginning to the end of your pregnancy. Unless your doctor suspends them for one reason or another. If you feel good during intercourse and don’t experience any discomfort, you shouldn’t abandon your sexual life. Keep in mind that sex, rather than causing harm, can do you a lot of good in terms of happiness, relaxation, and emotional well-being.

On the other hand, some women, during certain moments, of their pregnancy are discouraged from having sexual intercourse with penetration. However, if you want to enjoy intimate moments with your partner, you can continue to give and receive pleasure in other ways, such as oral sex.

A partner hugging his partner from behind, making a heart with his hands over her pregnant belly.

When a woman has sex during pregnancy, does her child also feel pleasure?

This frequently heard statement is true, but perhaps not in the way you imagine. Every time a woman has an orgasm, her brain releases a huge amount of endorphins that rush through her bloodstream.

These endorphins are opioid neurotransmitters produced by the central nervous system. Its presence produces sensations of pleasure, well-being, enjoyment… similar to those of opiate analgesics. Therefore, during sexual intercourse, endorphins also reach the placenta. So, immediately after their mother produces them, the fetus receives them, experiencing relaxation and a certain degree of pleasure.

When practicing unprotected sex with penetration, does the semen reach the fetus?

No, the fetus is protected within the amniotic fluid and the placenta, where sperm do not enter. As if that weren’t enough, the cervix is kept closed by a very thick mucous layer known as the mucous plug.

The mucous plug is a gelatinous tissue that seals the cervix and prevents any bacteria or other external agent from entering the interior. This structure forms after the fourth week of gestation and only comes out before the baby is born, making it an extremely effective safeguard.

Can the contractions produced by an orgasm advance labor or cause a miscarriage?

Many women have heard the myth that you should not have sex during pregnancy because orgasm causes contractions in the uterus that could terminate the pregnancy. While it’s true that these contractions do occur, they’re much weaker and more temporary than those of childbirth. Therefore, they don’t represent any danger for the continuation of pregnancy.

If you have a normal pregnancy that’s not considered high-risk and your doctor has never contraindicated pregnancy sex with penetration, there’s nothing to fear. You can continue to have sex knowing that orgasm won’t trigger labor.

A man hugging a woman from behind.

Now, we must bear in mind that, when the pregnancy is full-term, things change. At this time, it’s possible for the contractions caused by the orgasm, together with many other factors, to accelerate the arrival of the baby. That’s why it is some experts recommend that those mothers who have exceeded their due date have intercourse to speed up the process.

Of course, this only happens when the pregnancy has reached term and the baby is fully formed. So, again, there’s no risk to your health or that of your child.

To finish, we insist on the same thing: Sex during pregnancy doesn’t harm the baby. Instead, it can strengthen the bonds of love and attraction between you and your partner. And it can make you feel attractive, sensual, loved, desired, and happy.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • González Labrador, I., & Miyar Pieiga, E. (2001). Sexualidad femenina durante la gestación. Revista cubana de medicina general integral17(5), 497-501.
  • Arbués, E. R., & León, M. R. (2013). Características y evolución del patrón sexual de la mujer embarazada. Enfermería global12(4), 362-370.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.