Sex is not going to cause a miscarriage, says Leah Millheiser, M.D., ob-gyn, director of the female sexual medicine program at Stanford. Even during the first trimester, when the risk for a miscarriage is higher, you've got the green light to get it on as much as you want.
But, there’s a caveat! If you’re having what docs call “a threatened miscarriage,” meaning you’re spotting and your doctor doesn’t know whether that bleeding is a sign of a future miscarriage, you should avoid sexual activity, says Millheiser. Similarly, if you’re experiencing any bleeding, premature labor, or placenta previa (your placenta is unusually low in the cervix), then you should not have sex. But if you’re symptom-free and your ob-gyn doesn’t tell you otherwise, doing the deed during any trimester won’t lead to miscarriage.
Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this one. Pregnancy libido varies person to person and depends on what term you’re in. “In the first trimester, lot of women are feeling nausea, fatigue, and they aren't really in the mood,” Dweck says. But, in the second trimester, which Dweck calls “the holiday trimester,” you may see your libido soar. After those less-than-fun months of morning sickness, fatigue, and increased hormones, you may finally start to get into a rhythm and feel more energized—and ready to get busy.
In the final trimester some might be eager to get your freak on, but others might feel less sexual as a result of weight gain, back pain, and fatigue. At the end of the day, every woman experiences pregnancy differently, and you might not feel any change in your libido at all.
Odds are that your partner’s penis isn’t big enough to reach the placenta. Plus, there’s plenty of protection between the foetus and your vagina, including the cervix, the amniotic sac, and the uterus. Even during the third trimester, when your cervix might be a little bit dilated, the answer remains the same, Millheiser says.
Typically no. “The chance of orgasm causing pre-term labour would be extremely small and rare,” Millheiser says. When you orgasm, your body releases the hormone oxytocix, which causes your uterus to contract, so it’s common for a woman to experience cramping after climaxing. Unless these contractions are happening for one to two hours and are getting closer together, they’re probably not labor contractions.
That being said, an orgasm could make you go into labour if you're 38-weeks or more pregnant, says Millheiser. If you're close to the end of your term and the post-orgasm contractions happen frequently for a long duration post-O, you might be in labour.
On the other hand, if you've had pre-term contractions or pre-term labour, orgasming could bring on a “spell of contractions,” which might falsely appear to be labour contractions, Millheiser says. You might also experience something like a “practice cramp,” which is just mild cramping post-orgasm. But, again, these do not turn into labour.
Positions that take pressure off your uterus (woman on top, cowgirl, doggy style) are great for pregnancy sex. "Lying on your back can cause your blood pressure to decrease because your uterus is getting bigger and heavier,” Dweck says. “So it weighs down on the vein that is behind the uterus called the vena cava.” Millheiser adds that by lying on your back you can also temporarily compress the vessels that delivering blood to the baby in the uterus. Though it’s not harmful to try this position for a short period of time, it definitely runs the risk of being uncomfy. Instead, try other feel-good options like side-by-side or any kind of rear entry.
As long as your partner’s not blowing air up there, receiving oral sex while pregnant is a-okay—and should feel damn good. Umm, air? "There is a very rare event called an air embolism, where air enters the blood stream and blocks a blood vessel," says Millheiser. "That can happen if you blow air into the vagina of a pregnant woman." While very rare, the risk of air embolism is higher in pregnant women because the blood vessels in their pelvis are dilated. So blowing air into the vagina could "traumatize" the vessel wall and cause air to pass through, Millheiser says. Otherwise, you're free to enjoy as much oral action as you want.
This article originally appeared on Womenshealthmag.com.