Sex During Pregnancy

OK, Let's Talk About Swallowing & Oral Sex During Pregnancy

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Major bonus: it's a little easier to get around the bump when you have sex this way.

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Sex during pregnancy can be a dreaded affair for a variety of reasons. A giant, bowling ball-shaped belly can make it hard to find a comfortable position, and a bout of morning sickness can certainly ruin a romp. Thankfully, oral sex during pregnancy is usually a more comfortable and well-tolerated way to get it on when you’re expecting. But if this is your first time with a baby bump, you may have some questions about certain safety aspects of the act like swallowing semen while pregnant, and just how safe oral sex is during pregnancy.

Provided your doctor has given you the green light, you can typically continue having sex with penetration well into your third trimester. And you may want to, given that a woman’s sex drive can increase drastically during pregnancy, according to The Bump. But not everyone is so keen on the idea of getting down with a burgeoning baby bump. Be it fears, insecurities, or medical issues, penetration is not always an option during those nine months. Oral sex, however, allows you to satisfy your sexual desires without worries.

But as with so many things during pregnancy, you probably have a question or two about giving and receiving oral sex while pregnant. If you’re considering going down on a partner during your pregnancy (or making them go down on you because d*mn it, you have needs too), here are five things to know about oral sex during pregnancy.

1

Beware Of Infections

“The risks of giving or receiving oral sex while pregnant doesn't differ much from the risks you have while not pregnant,” board-certified OB-GYN Dr. Paula Anderson tells Romper. “The main difference is that if you contract an STI or STD, it will be transmitted to the baby.”

Just like engaging in sex with penetration, being aware of whether or not your partner has active sexually transmitted infections or diseases is of the utmost importance when engaging in oral sex during pregnancy.

“When it comes to sex during pregnancy, the most important point is to avoid any type of infections — especially STDs. So women during that time should avoid any sexual contact with partners who have lesions or STDs,” Anderson explains. “Pregnant women should avoid receiving oral sex if she isn't sure her partner is free from oral herpes.”

2

Yes, You Can Swallow Semen While Pregnant

“Swallowed semen is safe in most cases, and it gets digested as normal food. It mainly consists of water and a very small amount of sugars, sodium, potassium, zinc, and other nutrients,” Anderson says.

As long as you’re not allergic — which Anderson notes is rare — it’s OK to go ahead and swallow your partner’s semen during oral sex while pregnant.

3

Swallowing Semen May Have Some Benefits

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Several studies have been published in the National Library of Medicine linking continued exposure of paternal seminal fluid orally and/or vaginally to minimizing some of the negative experiences of pregnancy including morning sickness and preeclampsia,” sexual health and wellness specialist, Dr. Monica Grover, a gynecologist at VSPOT Medi Spa tells Romper.

“Preeclampsia is a prepartum condition where significant research has shown that paternal immune incompatibility can be a significant cause,” Grover explains. “Ingesting paternal semen has shown to reduce this incompatibility by increasing the maternal tolerance to the foreign genetic material resulting in a reduced risk to prepartum complications.”

When it comes to morning sickness, Grover tells Romper that one study by clinical psychologist Gordon Gallup “hypothesized that morning sickness is due to the mother's body recognizing paternal genetic material as foreign,” so consuming semen (vaginally or orally) may ward off these symptoms. However, Grover notes that these findings have “not been replicated in further studies, so substantiated clinical based evidence has not been found.”

4

Some Precautions May Be Necessary

Dainis Graveris, a certified sex educator and relationship expert at SexualAlpha, tells Romper that while oral sex during pregnancy can be done safely, both partners should be aware of potential risks. “Pregnant partners who receive oral sex, for instance, can suffer from an air embolism when air is blown into their vaginas because these blood vessels are dilated when women are pregnant,” Graveris says. “The air that enters into the blood vessels can either block a blood vessel, negatively impacting the woman’s cardiovascular system, or go straight into the placenta and affect the developing fetus.

Graveris says that these instances are “rare occurrences” and that “not blowing any air into the vagina while performing oral sex” is the best precaution to take.

Experts say that the potential for ruptured blood vessels is also something to be aware of when engaging in oral sex during pregnancy. “Vaginal capillaries become much more sensitive during pregnancy because of the increased volume of blood among women in preparation for giving birth,” Graveris explains. “This means that these blood vessels can rupture at any time even with light friction. While seeing a bit of blood coming out of your pregnant partner’s vagina may be scary, it will not harm her or your baby.”

5

Things May Get Messy

As levels of progesterone and estrogen continue to climb during pregnancy, Parents noted that a woman’s overall fluid volume increases by 50 percent. Since the extra fluid your body produces during pregnancy can mean that your lower regions may become extra wet when you’re aroused, it’s a good idea to give your partner a heads up before they head down south.

There is nothing inherently dangerous or worrying about the extra fluid, so if you or your partner are enjoying oral sex, don’t stop on the account of some extra flow down below.

Experts:

Paula Anderson, M.D., board-certified OB-GYN

Dr. Monica Grover, sexual health and wellness specialist, gynecologist at VSPOT Medi Spa

Dainis Graveris, certified sex educator, relationship expert at SexualAlpha

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