If you broadly assumed that penetrative sex, whether with a penis or toy, is safe while pregnant - you’d be right...ish. The simple answer is yes, but there are certain caveats, hows and whys that are important to know before you risk putting your health - or your baby's - in danger.
If you’re having penetrative sex while a fetus is growing inside you, there are natural questions and concerns that can arise. Hey, phalluses can be large, and sex can be aggressive - how can that tiny little lifeform really be safe and protected in there?
It comes down to the engineering of the human body. We are designed in such a way that prevents anything entering the vagina to make contact with the fetus, no matter how you’re having sex. The baby is also protected by a walled, liquid filled reinforcement called the amniotic sac, there is a membrane that covers the fetal side of the placenta, and a mucus plug sealing the cervix.
In saying that, when having sex during pregnancy, it’s important to remember a few things:
- Keep your toys clean. While the baby inside you is likely safe from contact from a penis or toy, you are not immune to infection. Keep it clean to keep it safe.
- Notice discomfort or bleeding. Your body is going through a lot of changes, and you may need to adjust your typical sex routine accordingly. If it’s not feeling good, or something’s not feeling right, stop.
- Check in with your doctor. If, for whatever reason your doctor has suggested to abstain from sex for a period of time, you might be having a slightly atypical or higher risk pregnancy. Naturally, the best advice is a specialist’s advice. Don’t be afraid to get your doctor’s okay on appropriate sexual activities. We promise, they’ve heard it all before.
- You can still get STIs. While pregnancy is great protection against, well, getting pregnant, you can still very much get STIs if you don’t use protection with a partner - some of which can hurt the baby.
- Go with your body’s changes. As your body grows and changes, you may want to shift your sex positions with it. Having sex on your back around the four month mark for example can put pressure on some major blood vessels, so you may want to experiment with some other positions.
Sex and masturbation can be excellent methods of stress relief while pregnant, and a great way to stay in touch with your body as it grows and changes. For most low-risk pregnancies, sex is completely safe, and using a vibrator internally or externally in most cases is fine. Our suggestions to play it safe? Listen to your body, check in with your doctor, stay protected and keep it clean.