Pregnancy means thinking twice about everything from the sushi bar to the amusement park. In some cases, this sense of caution affects what happens in the bedroom as well. With this in mind, you might wonder whether or not it’s OK for your partner to finger you during pregnancy. It seems like a safe enough activity, but the answer depends on your particular pregnancy's development.
For most pregnant people, continuing this sexual activity is not a problem. “In general, there are no restrictions on sexual activity during pregnancy,” Ana G. Cepin, MD, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, and Medical Director of the Family Planning Clinic at Columbia University Irving Medical Center/NY-Presbyterian Hospital, tells Romper via email. This goes for oral, digital, or anal sex, Dr. Cepin further explains, so you have the green light for most all of your favorite activities.
Dr. Giuseppe Aragona, Family Medicine Doctor at Prescription Doctor, echoes this sentiment. “Fingering is perfectly safe,” she tells Romper in an email. “The finger won’t reach the baby and they won’t know what’s going on.” So as long as you’re up for some sexual play, and your pregnancy is progressing without complications, then fingering is fine. Even if it isn’t usually your thing, there’s a whole art to stimulating the vagina with a finger that you might find very pleasant.
With that said, there are ways to make sure this particular activity is safe and healthy, and they should be practiced whether or not you’re expecting. “I would advise the partner doing the fingering to wash their hands to reduce the chance of infection and trim their nails,” says Dr. Aragona. Other experts agree that trimmed nails are the way to go. “Digital penetration (fingering) can be problematic if fingernails are long or dirty or if fingers have been exposed to STIs [such as] herpes or even HPV,” Dr. Drai, board-certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist, tells Romper. If you want to be extra cautious, you can even use latex gloves when taking part in this activity, he says.
If you have a high risk pregnancy, or you’re experiencing any complications, then have a discussion with your doctor about what sorts of sexual activities can be safe at this time. So in what instances is this activity discouraged? A ban on digital sex will only apply to pregnancies with specific concerns. “This would only be in cases where there has been damage to the entrance of your womb, or if you experience heavy bleeding during later stages of pregnancy, or if your waters have already broken as this may increase the risk of infection,” explains Dr. Aragona. If you have other known conditions during pregnancy, such as placenta previa, then talk to your doctor about which (if any) sexual acts are safe at this time, as advised by the Mayo Clinic. (Actually, feel free to have this discussion if your pregnancy is progressing without any complications, too, because there’s no substitute for firsthand advice from your doc.) But for the most part, pregnant people can enjoy fingering as a safe and enjoyable part of their sex life.
Ana G. Cepin, MD, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Medical Director, Family Planning Clinic, Division of Family Planning & Preventive Services, Columbia University Irving Medical Center/NY-Presbyterian Hospital
Dr. Drai, board-certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist
Dr. Giuseppe Aragona, Family Medicine Doctor at Prescription Doctor
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