Sex

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So Where Does Sperm Go During Pregnancy, Anyway?

We asked doctors so you don’t have to.

Pregnancy can make you ask questions about sex you never before imagined. For instance, where does the sperm go during pregnancy? Will it get to the baby? Here’s how OB/GYNs answered these (not uncommon) questions about your sex life during pregnancy.

What Happens To Sperm When You’re Pregnant?

If your partner has a penis, then you may wonder what exactly the sperm does during intercourse right now. “The sperm that reaches the vagina during vaginal sex will not affect the baby,” Alexandra Bausic MD, Board Certified OB/GYN with Let's Talk Sex , tells Romper in an email. “Most of the sperm will simply be released from your vaginal area in 1-2 days.” There’s a lot to know about sex during pregnancy, such as how to make sure it’s enjoyable and safe. But as long as you and your partner are already fluid bonded (AKA having sex without a condom or other barrier), the sperm isn’t going to do a whole lot of anything when you’re already pregnant. People who are non-monogamous or potentially at risk for STI transmission, however, may want to continue using condoms during pregnancy sex. Talk to your doctor if you have questions or concerns about maintaining a safe and healthy sex life for the duration of your pregnancy.

Can Sperm Reach The Baby?

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In a word, no. “The amniotic sac and the baby are protected during pregnancy by a lot of physiological mechanisms, including hormonal changes and the mucus plug covering the cervix, that won’t let anything get inside,” says Dr. Bausic. And for that matter, nothing else will reach the baby during sex, either. “The fetus is protected by the amniotic sac (a fluid filled sac) that is within the uterus, and the penis cannot harm the baby,” Dr. Temeka Zore, Reproductive Endocrinologist of Infertility and OB/GYN at Spring Fertility, and Modern Fertility Medical Advisor, tells Romper. “The vagina is separated from the uterus by the cervix and the penis is not able to penetrate through the cervix. Thus, the baby cannot see or come into contact with the penis.” Your baby won’t know what’s going on, to be honest.

Could You Get Pregnant If You’re Already Pregnant?

“It is highly unlikely to get pregnant while you are already pregnant,” says Dr. Bausic. “The condition is called ‘superfetation’ and there are 10-12 cases reported all over the world. Due to normal hormonal mechanisms that shut down the ovulation, pregnant women won’t be able to release another egg that can be fertilized by the sperm. Thanks to the cervical protection (mucus plug), the sperm won’t be able to reach the egg.” The chances of this happening are incredibly small, so it shouldn’t be a huge worry.

Is There A Danger To Having Sex While Pregnant?

“Having sex during pregnancy is safe as long as you have not been told otherwise by your OB/GYN,” says Dr. Zore. For the most part, pregnancy sex can be fun and rewarding, and there’s no real concern about sperm from sex doing much of anything when you’re already pregnant.

Experts:

Alexandra Bausic MD, Board Certified OB/GYN with Let's Talk Sex

Dr. Temeka Zore, Reproductive Endocrinologist of Infertility and OB/GYN at Spring Fertility, and Modern Fertility Medical Advisor