Is Rough Sex Safe During Pregnancy? Vanilla Sex Isn't Your Only Option
Being pregnant isn't always easy, especially when you have to give up some of your favorite things to make sure both you and your baby are safe (goodbye sushi and beer), but luckily, sex is one of those interests you don't have to wait nine months to see again. Whether you puked through your entire first trimester or have been horny since that test turned pink, sex during pregnancy has probably been on your mind. You most likely know it's safe, but to what extent? Is rough sex safe during pregnancy, too, or should you stick to your basic missionary style fun?
Dr. Stephen Weiss, OB-GYN and Assistant Professor of General Obstetrics and Gynecology at Emory University, tells Romper that if you're worried about rough sex, there's really no need to be. "It is a fallacy that any shaking of the uterus from activities like sex, a bumpy car ride, or high impact aerobics, is a cause of miscarriage or other pregnancy complications," he says. In fact, the only time you really need to slow down your sex life is if your body says to.
"Rough sex, in terms of thrusting harder, is no problem, nor is mutually agreed upon spanking," Weiss says. "But punching the belly and the use of non-penis vaginal implements should be avoided."
If you want your rough sex to include anal or oral sex, that's safe, too, as long as you take a couple of precautions. According to Weiss, if you're receiving oral sex, make sure your partner isn't blowing air directly into your vagina. "Active blowing of air into the vagina has had complications of air embolism, but oral sex without forced air is safe," he says. And if you're attempting anal sex, be mindful of a specific pregnancy symptom — hemorrhoids. Weiss notes that swelling and hemorrhoids can make anal sex much more difficult and painful, especially in late pregnancy.
If your idea of rough sex is purely enjoying all that comes with vaginal sex, you're most likely safe there, too, unless your doctor has otherwise told you to abstain. However, be mindful that you could experience spotting or bleeding after intercourse. "Vaginal sex is safe, but for some women, the cervix has more gland tissue and will spot or bleed, causing a miscarriage scare," Weiss says. But he notes that sex is not a cause of miscarriage. If you're concerned about your spotting or bleeding, you should reach out to your healthcare provider.
In short, rough sex is totally fine, as long as you make note of your own issues as your pregnancy progresses (like hemorrhoids or nausea). According to Parents, you should also be careful of any bondage as your joints are looser during pregnancy and could be accidentally injured if you aren't paying attention.
According to Weiss, if you aren't practicing monogamy with a safe and trusted partner, you should also make sure you're using condoms. "Any transmission of STIs is potentially more harmful during pregnancy and, depending on the organism, can increase the risk of miscarriage, preterm labor, and/or infection in the baby," he says. "STIs like syphilis and HIV can cause long-term consequences for your baby."
Bottom line? Listen to your body. If hard, rough thrusting leaves you spotting or feeling uncomfortable, give it a rest. If the bondage you used to love now hurts your wrists or makes you feel dizzy, put it away, too. You can enjoy your favorite parts of rough sex, just be sure you hear what your body is telling you about it.