When it comes to pregnancy sex, sometimes things can get awkward. This is especially true later in pregnancy when your giant belly starts to complicate things. Not to mention, you've got a mucus plug to worry about. (I know, ew.) But can you have sex after losing your mucus plug, or is this possibly the point in pregnancy where sexy time must cease?
Pregnancy is the one time in my life where I’m unconcerned with how my body looks — my boobs are bigger, my round belly is smooth and well-moisturized, and my husband doesn’t care that I can’t safely work a razor down below. Feeling more desirable can make pregnancy sex flat out awesome, but when you’re growing a tiny human inside of you, safety must come first.
The Safety Of Having Sex After Losing Your Mucus Plug
Board-certified OB-GYN Paula Anderson tells Romper that a woman’s ability to safely have sex after the loss of a mucus plug “depends on which week of pregnancy she is in.”
The mucus plug is essentially the glue that keeps your womb where it's meant to be. It's that last line of defense between the foreign invaders and your baby outside of their placental cocoon, according to The Mayo Clinic. It gets loose in the end of your pregnancy, and things like coughing or contractions send it on its merry way, complete sometimes with what is called the "bloody show."
Most women don't lose their mucus plug until after week 37 of their pregnancy. Since the last few weeks of pregnancy can be a really emotional, tiring, weird time in your gestation, you may not even be up for sex at that point. But having sex after you lose your mucus plug really does depend on when and how it happens.
“For instance, if this happens before the 36th week, the woman should see her doctor for immediate evaluation first,” Anderson tells Romper. “If it happens after the 37th week and she starts having any symptoms of delivery, then sex won't be allowed, but practically speaking, women won't be feeling like having sex at that stage anyway.”
After you lose your mucus plug, Anderson says to check with your doctor before having sex “to evaluate whether the cervix has been softened and dilated at that stage, because if it is dilated, then sex won't be allowed.”
When To Avoid Sex After Losing Your Mucus Plug
When you do lose your mucus plug, if the loss leads to heavier bleeding than a few tablespoons worth of blood, or if it's tinged with green, smells off, or it is accompanied by strong contractions, you should call your doctor immediately, according to Healthline.
“Make sure to inform your doctor about the appearance of your mucus plug, particularly the color and size. If you notice that your mucus plug discharge is bright red in color and excessive in amount, it could indicate a pregnancy complication like placental abruption or placenta previa,” Dainis Graveris, sex educator, tells Romper.
Mostly, losing a mucus plug is just seeing some mucus and blood inside of a pair of now-ruined underwear. But if there is a problem, I guarantee you won't be thinking about whether or not you can have sex, but how you can get assistance — but that's rare. Sex isn't.
Can Sex Make You Lose Your Mucus Plug?
One important thing to note is that sex and orgasms can be the impetus of the loss of the mucus plug late in pregnancy. It's even possible to lose your mucus plug while you're having sex. (Although that personally sounds a bit horrifying, TBH.)
“As a women is preparing for childbirth, her cervix begins to soften and dilate. As a result, the mucous plug can become dislodged,” Dr. Monica Grover, gynecologist at VSPOT Medi Spa, tells Romper. “This can also occur during intercourse due to the relaxation of the uterus after an orgasm, or the release of hormones such as oxytocin, or the release of prostaglandins.”
I can only imagine how shocking it would be to lose your mucus plug during sex. Personally, I would be mortified, but there is definitely a case to be made here about not being ashamed of what the human body can do when it’s growing a baby. As long as your healthcare provider gives you the OK, go ahead and embrace pregnancy sex and all that comes with it — even if that’s your mucus plug.
Dainis Graveris, certified sex educator, relationship expert at SexualAlpha
Dr. Monica Grover, sexual health and wellness specialist, gynecologist at VSPOT Medi Spa
Paula Anderson, M.D., board-certified OB-GYN
This article was originally published on