'Will it make me go into labour?': Eight sex questions every pregnant person has asked, answered

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"It's not harmful at all. It might even feel like a little massage!"
"It's not harmful at all. It might even feel like a little massage!"

Any person who has ever carried a baby has asked themselves an endless number of questions regarding the safety of their baby when engaging in sexual intercourse.

With the help of obstetrician and gynaecologist, Dr Bronwyn Moore, and Cape Town-based psychologist and sex therapist, Dr Marelize Swart, we have been able to answer these eight questions every pregnant person has asked. 

Also see: 'This is the primary rule of parenting': 30 things a new dad needs to know about pregnancy and labour

1. Will the baby feel it? 

Yes, but not in a sexual way, says obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Bronwyn Moore.

"Movement will be transmitted to the uterine cavity, but this isn't really any different to the type of movement from, for example, running," explains Dr Bronwyn Moore.

2. Will it make me go into labour? 

Maybe, but only if you're very close to term (in low-risk or 'normal' pregnancies), says Dr Moore. 

"A man's semen contains prostaglandins, a common group of substances used to induce labour. Orgasm also causes uterine contraction. The combination may trigger labour in a patient who is nearing delivery day," Dr Moore says.

3. Is it safe for me to receive oral sex? 

Yes, but only if your partner doesn't blow air into your vagina. 

"Rarely, a burst of air might block a blood vessel, and this air embolism could be a life-threatening condition for you and the baby," says Dr Marelize Swart.

4. Is anal sex safe? 

It's generally not recommended. 

"Anal sex might be uncomfortable if you have pregnancy-related haemorrhoids," Dr Swart explains. "More concerning, anal sex might allow infection-causing bacteria to spread from the rectum to the vagina."

Also read: Has your sex drive disappeared along with your bump? Here's some help

5. Why do my orgasms feel more intense?

Because your genital and pelvic region is more sensitive due to being engorged with blood. 

Pregnant women and people should remember that you may experience a Braxton Hicks contraction (hardening of your bump) during orgasm. 

"Don't panic, this is perfectly normal," Dr Swart reassures. 

And yes, the baby will feel the contracting of your uterus during orgasm but nothing else. 

"It's not harmful at all. It might even feel like a little massage!" Adds Swart.

6. Can my orgasms become less intense? 

Yes, this may happen in the later stages. 

"In the third trimester, your uterus can't fully contract during an orgasm because of the size of the baby. You may be extremely stimulated but unable to have a full-on climax," Dr Swart explains.

7. Do we have to use condoms – it's not like I can get pregnant again? 

It is still advisable to use condoms, especially if there's any risk of getting a sexually transmitted infection (STI) from your partner. 

However, if you're 100% sure there's zero risk of getting an STI, then there may not be a need for a condom. 

"If you're not in a mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner, you should abstain from intercourse or at least use latex condoms every time you have sex," Dr Swart advises. 

"If latex isn't a good option for you, use polyurethane male or female condoms. Doing so will decrease the chance of getting infected and the risk of any complications from infection during your pregnancy."

Must see: 'It's normal': This study finds having less sex postpartum is a sign of a great relationship

8. Why do I feel more aroused than usual? 

A rush of all sorts of hormones as well as psychological factors coupled with the increased blood flow to your pelvic area can make some women more easily sexually aroused. 

This will usually happen during the second trimester when there are lots of hormones raging, few or no pregnancy symptoms, and a boost of energy levels. Make the most of it while it lasts, as it may change towards the end.

Did we satisfy your curiosity? Let us know if you have any unanswered questions that we can help you with! 


Share your stories and questions with us via email at Anonymous contributions are welcome.

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