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Is It Safe to Have an Orgasm during Pregnancy?

By Valerie Goldberg
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Pregnant women, especially first-time mothers, may be concerned about having sex during pregnancy. An even bigger concern for some woman is having an orgasm during pregnancy, because many people are under the false impression that an orgasm can cause premature labor. As long as a woman is having a healthy pregnancy, it is perfectly safe for a woman to have both sexual intercourse and an orgasm. Unless a pregnancy has complications, a woman will not hurt her baby or induce labor by doing either.

When a woman orgasms, her body will sweat, her heart rate will increase and her vagina and uterus will relax and contract. This happens in both pregnant women and non-pregnant women. The contractions of the uterus and vagina during orgasm leave some moms concerned about orgasming during pregnancy. The type of muscle contractions that happen during an orgasm are the same for all women, including those who are not pregnant, and this type of contraction does not trigger labor. An orgasm during pregnancy does not cause a healthy woman's cervix to dilate, making it safe for both mom and baby.

Some women — even those who are not pregnant — find that muscle cramping in the abdominal area is rather common after an orgasm. Many women may ignore these cramps when they are not pregnant. During pregnancy, though, the same cramps may frighten a woman. As long as the cramps clear up with in an hour after sexual activity is finished, they are likely nothing to worry about.

Another concern for some expectant mothers is that their child will know sexual intercourse is taking place. There is no way for a baby to know his or her mother is having sexual intercourse. The only thing a baby may experience when a mother has an orgasm during pregnancy is a euphoric feeling from the resulting release of endorphins. This is not dangerous for a baby, who might experience some of the same euphoria when his or her mother exercises or enjoys a chocolate dessert.

Sex and orgasms during pregnancy are natural and healthy for most women. Some women may be advised by their doctors to avoid sexual activity during pregnancy. These may include women who have vaginal bleeding, diagnosed cervical issues, high risk for preterm labor or leaking amniotic fluid. All of these issues can be spotted during a routine pregnancy checkup. A woman who is unsure if she should be having sex or an orgasm during pregnancy should always check with a doctor for an evaluation of her individual situation.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By MissDaphne — On May 03, 2012

@ElizaBennett - I like that qualifier: "all the sex she feels like." For a lot of women, that may be *none* once you reach that "house" stage. But I say get creative and go for it!

I aso had a complication and was put on pelvic rest (no sex or orgasms); I had a subchorionic hemorrhage in my first trimester. (A little spotting during pregnancy is normal, but this was a noticeable flow, so I went to the ER.) My doctor told me to hold off on any sexual activity, or lifting anything heavy, until I had my twenty-week ultrasound and they could confirm it had cleared up. It worked out OK because I wasn't exactly in the mood early on anyway, but by week 20 I was ready to go again! Of course, I was also starting to get kind of big, but we managed.

By ElizaBennett — On May 02, 2012

I had to avoid sex and orgasms during my first pregnancy. What started as a little bleeding during my pregnancy turned out to be complete placenta previa - my placenta was covering my cervix. This is a potentially very serious complication. My baby had to be delivered by caesarean section, and in the "old days," I would almost certainly have hemorrhaged during delivery and we both would have died.

Placenta previa is one of the complications that make sex and orgasms (plus exercise) a very bad idea. But during my second pregnancy, I had no such issues. My doula advised me that once I was full-term, sex and orgasms could help encourage labor to start; the prostaglandins in semen ripen the cervix, and the contractions from orgasm might help get the real thing going. But before you are ready, they won't do a darn thing, so it's quite safe for most women to have all the sex they feel like.

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