At first mention, the idea of bed rest during pregnancy sounds amazing. After all, who wouldn't love a reason to lounge in bed all day, catching up on sleep and relaxing? But for many people, the realities of bed rest are not so luxurious, given the number of everyday tasks that get cut out. For instance, is sex on bed rest really dangerous or can you continue to enjoy a romp from the confines of your mattress?
To start, it's helpful to understand the rationale behind bed rest for a pregnancy. According to the American Pregnancy Association, bed rest is typically a way to let your body get back to its normal state when you have the potential for a high-risk pregnancy. Although this may sound like an extreme response, it's actually a somewhat common way to offer a safeguard against a number of conditions. For instance, anything from vaginal bleeding to signs of preterm labor may cause your doctor to prescribe bed rest, as noted by the Mayo Clinic. It's a catch-all solution to many conditions.
Lastly, the exact rules around bed rest may vary from person to person. For some people it may mean shortened workdays and restriction from exercise, whereas others may be monitored in a hospital and prevented from most activity, as explained in What To Expect. Just as every pregnancy is unique in its own way, every case of bed rest has its own variations and restrictions.
So what about sex? Well, you may not want to get your hopes up. Many of the conditions that require bed rest also put the kibosh on your sex life. For instance, if you're on bed rest for a risk of preterm labor, then you will probably be advised to avoid all sexual activity, as noted in the Mayo Clinic. Although studies are still inconclusive at this time, there may be some link between sexual activity, uterine contractions, and preterm birth, as further explained by the Mayo Clinic. At any rate, it's generally a good idea to be on the safe side and refrain from sexual activity during these cases.
Because there are so many different causes of bed rest and pregnancy care in particular is so individualized, it's helpful to make sure you're crystal clear about what sex is OK with your doctor. As noted in Kids Health, you may want to ask your doctor directly about what kind of sexual activity is safe during your bed rest. Feel free to ask questions about the specifics, too. Maybe penetration is inadvisable, but oral sex is fine. Or maybe you'll need to forego all orgasmic activity altogether for the time being. Whatever the case, remember that this bed rest is not forever. Once your baby is born, you're welcome to resume your normal activities, both in and out of the bedroom.