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Don't Stress: 1st Trimester Orgasms Do Not Cause Miscarriages

by Cat Bowen and Jennifer Parris
Originally Published: 

When you finally find out that you’re pregnant, you’ll do almost anything to protect that little poppy seed growing inside of you. Suddenly, you become super sensitive to anything that has to do with your belly, and you want to ensure that your growing baby stays firmly in place inside of your uterus. And that’s when you might worry that an orgasm in the first trimester can cause a miscarriage.

It’s absolutely understandable why a pregnant woman might have some concerns. After all, orgasms (when done right, that is) are a big emotional and physical event. You shake, you shudder, and you definitely don’t want all of that movement to mess with your fetus. With all of this worry, it can definitely leave you wondering if it is okay to orgasm in early pregnancy — and the answer is a resounding yes, yes, yes.

Here's How An Orgasm Works

Sure, you know how it feels, but it’s important to understand the science behind the big O, particularly if you’re concerned that it could compromise your pregnancy. “In preparation for an orgasm, you will feel some tingly and/or warm sensations in your genital area,” Dr. Lauren Demosthens, M.D., senior medical director with Babyscripts explains to Romper. “This is due to increased blood flow to ‘down there’ and it’s a pleasurable sensation.” You might need some help (vis a vis, some stimulation of your clitoris, vagina, nipples — or all of the above… and below) to get in the mood.

Once your body (and your brain) are totally turned on, an orgasm is most likely bound to happen. And here’s how it works: “Vaginal and uterine muscles contract and your brain releases more oxytocin which can cause a great sense of contentment and pleasure,” says Dr. Demosthens. “Your heart rate and muscles will tense up right before orgasm and then the muscles will relax and your heart rate will return to normal during the post orgasm phase.”

Can Orgasm Cause Miscarriage?

Thankfully, most women can have sex and have as many orgasms as they like, regardless of where they are in pregnancy. Dr. Jeanne S. Sheffield, MD, Division Director of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Johns Hopkins, tells Romper, "There is no data saying that [an orgasm can cause a miscarriage]. We do not advise women to avoid orgasm." Science backs this up — from the day that embryo implants in your uterus until the day you go into labor, orgasms are a safe pregnancy activity so long as your OB-GYN or midwife has given the go ahead, according to The Mayo Clinic.

Here's Why A Miscarriage Can Occur (It Has Nothing To Do With Sex)

It might ease your mind to know that a miscarriage, in a healthy pregnancy, can't be triggered by an orgasm. "Most miscarriages occur because of a developing issue with the fetus," family physician Dr. Danielle DonDiego tells Romper. Dr. Kim Langdon, MD, an OB/GYN agrees, stating: “You are generally safe from miscarriage after 10 weeks, but you do not need to avoid intercourse until then. Unless there are other concerns about the viability of the pregnancy, there is no reason to not have sex or have an orgasm.”

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You May Spot After Sex — And That’s Okay

If you’re already worried about having an orgasm, then seeing some spotting after sex during pregnancy can totally freak you out. “It is sometimes common for women to have some spotting after intercourse and this can cause fear and worry,” says Dr. Demosthens. Typically, bleeding after sex can be caused by the vascularity of the cervix, which is made of both tissue and muscle, What To Expect reported. It’s not entirely uncommon to bleed early in your pregnancy — in fact, a study found that 20% - 40% of pregnant women will have some sort of bleeding or spotting during their first trimester. But if the bleeding is heavy, you should contact your practitioner to ensure that your pregnancy is progressing well — and to ease your mind.

You Might Experience Some Cramping After Sex As Well

As if bleeding after an orgasm during pregnancy weren’t enough to worry you, you might also have some cramping, too. It’s also common, and perfectly normal. "Orgasms can result in mild uterine contractions, but it would not be enough to cause a miscarriage in an otherwise normal pregnancy," Dr. Kate Killoran, MD, an OB-GYN, tells Romper. The prostaglandins released by orgasm, and the prostaglandins that exist in semen (if you're having sex with a male), can both trigger uterine contractions. Provided they're not intense, and they don't last more than a few hours after you've had an orgasm, it's nothing to worry about.

Wanting to keep your baby safe and sound is normal for any mom, even if your baby is the size of a pea. But if you’re worried that an orgasm might make a miscarriage occur, don’t be. There are no scientific studies to prove this, and actually, getting it on might make those first trimester woes (like nausea, fatigue, or overall blahs) feel a whole lot better — and sexier.

Study cited:

Breeze, C. “Early pregnancy bleeding” 2016.


Dr. Jeanne S. Sheffield, Director of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and Professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Johns Hopkins

Dr. Danielle DonDiego, MD, family physician

Dr. Kate Killoran, MD, OB-GYN

Dr. Lauren Demosthens, MD, senior medical director with Babyscripts

Dr. Kim Langdon, MD, OB/GYN

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