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Is sex in pregnancy safe?

In pregnancies considered high-risk, or with some other complications, you may be advised to abstain from sex

Posted: 22 November 2010
by ThinkBaby

With a normal, healthy pregnancy there's no physical reason why you shouldn't enjoy an active sex life from conception through to when your waters break and your baby is no longer protected by the sac of amniotic fluid. However, there are several circumstances where your doctor may advise against intercourse for part or all of the pregnancy, such as when your pregnancy is considered to be high-risk.

  • A history of miscarriage - If you have a history of miscarriages your doctor may suggest that you avoid sex for the first three months of pregnancy, until after your first scan shows that the pregnancy has established successfully. Find out more aboutmiscarriage.

  • Incompetent cervix - If you have been diagnosed with incompetent cervix (usually after the condition has caused a previous miscarriage), where the cervix is weakened and opens prematurely, you will probably be advised to abstain from sex for the duration of your pregnancy. Find out more about an incompetent cervix.

  • High risk of premature delivery - If you've had a premature delivery in the past, or if you begin to experience premature uterine contractions in this pregnancy, you will probably be advised not to have sex for the later stages of your pregnancy.

  • Unexplained vaginal bleeding, discharge and/or cramping - If you have vaginal bleeding, discharge and cramping and doctors can't be sure what is causing it you are likely to be advised against having sex. Find out more about bleeding in pregnancy.

  • Placenta Praevia - If you re diagnosed with placenta praevia, where the placenta grows over the neck of the womb you will probably be advised against sex to lower the risk of placental bleeding. You might also be advised against sex if the placenta is low-lying - growing near, but not over, the cervix. Find out more about placenta praevia.

  • Leaking of amniotic fluid- As with your waters breaking, a leaking of amniotic fluid indicates that your baby is no longer protected from infection by an intact amniotic sac, so you should refrain from sex for the rest of your pregnancy.
If you do have to avoid having sex, make sure you stay intimite in other ways with your partner.

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