Will having sex during pregnancy harm my baby?

There's no medical evidence to suggest that sex during pregnancy does any harm to the baby. Your baby is well cushioned by a sac of fluid well beyond the neck of the womb (cervix).  

A loving physical relationship is important for your wellbeing during pregnancy. Sexual intercourse can actually help your body to prepare for labour.

You may be advised not to have sex at certain stages of pregnancy if you have a history of miscarriage or premature labour, or if you have a low-lying placenta. You should speak to your doctor or midwife if any of these situations apply to you or if you have any worries.

You may notice mild contractions during and after sex but they are not powerful enough to start labour if your body is not ready. If it is ready, sex may help to start labour – substances called prostaglandins are contained in semen and can help to soften the cervix. Hormones released by nipple stimulation also encourage the womb to contract.

Many couples find that pregnancy improves their sex life and presents an opportunity to find new ways of making love by trying different positions to find one that's comfortable.

Further information:

Page last reviewed: 27/03/2013

Next review due: 26/03/2015