Pregnancy — that beautiful, life-giving journey — can be a beautiful thing, but it can also be a total bummer. No one wants to be the only sober person at their partner’s birthday dinner and few find it easy to give up their second cup of coffee, but some sacrifices have to be made during pregnancy. One hobby you can hold on to? Sex. As long as your pregnancy is healthy and free of complications, sex is totally fine. But is it safe to have rough intercourse during pregnancy? Are you allowed to indulge in a Fifty Shades of Grey kind of romp, or will the bedroom action be a bit vanilla over the next few months?
I spoke with Dr. Stephen Weiss, assistant professor of OB-GYN at Emory University in Atlanta to find out what goes and what doesn’t when it comes to rough pregnancy sex. If you’re nervous about pregnancy sex in general, don’t be. “It is a fallacy that the shaking of the uterus is a cause of miscarriage or pregnancy complications,” Weiss says. So embrace those hormones and all of that increased sensitivity. Here are seven things you need to know about embracing the rougher side of sex during pregnancy.
1. Thrust With Caution
Weiss notes that hard thrusting is OK, but you should proceed with caution. “Vaginal sex is safe, but for some women, the cervix has more gland tissue and will spot or bleed,” Weiss says. If a bout of rough sex leaves a little blood on the sheets, keep an eye on it. If it doesn’t become a heavier flow and stops on its own, your cervix may have just been a little sensitive to all of the extra thrusting.
2. Spank As Much As You Want
As long as it’s consensual, Weiss adds that there is no problem with enjoying some spanking while pregnant. For some women, doggie style is a better position for pregnancy sex, so adding in a few little spanks may make it all the more pleasurable.
3. Anal May Be Limited
“Rectal intercourse is safe, but may be limited in late pregnancy due to swelling and hemorrhoids,” Weiss says. Being as hemorrhoids plague a lot of pregnant ladies and can bleed after a bowel movement, be aware that anal sex may be painful or sore.
4. Give The Toys A Break
“The use of non-penis vaginal implements should be avoided,” Weiss says, as they are a breeding ground for bacteria and can put you at a risk for infection. If you’re not willing to scrub those toys clean before and after every use, try using something that doesn’t have to be inserted into your vagina, like a vibrator.
5. Keep Bondage Light
What To Expect recommends keeping bondage play light, and make sure you’re able to freely move within your binds and you should be good to go. Cutting off your circulation is definitely not recommended, and with swelling a big symptom of pregnancy, you don’t want to put too much pressure on your skin by being tied up. You’ll also want to avoid anything that can cause you to lose your breath or bondage around your belly.
6. Use Protection
If you’re in a trusting, monogamous relationship, condoms may not be necessary for you, but if you’re unsure of your partner or sleeping with other people, you’ll want to use protection. “Any transmission of STDs is potentially more harmful during pregnancy,” Weiss says. “Depending on the organism, STDs can increase the risk of miscarriage, preterm labor, and/or infection in the baby.” So insist on protection if you’re at all concerned about your sexual partner’s health.
7. Avoid The Belly Area
For some couples, rough consensual sex can include hitting, slapping, or punching. Weiss notes that these practices should not be anywhere near the belly while pregnant.