advertisement
01 February 2011

Sex during pregnancy is safe

Sex in pregnancy is generally safe, with few complications, states a new primer for physicians to counsel patients wondering about sex in pregnancy.

0

Sex in pregnancy is generally safe, with few complications, states a new primer for physicians to counsel patients wondering about sex in pregnancy, published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). The primer is based on current evidence.

Potential, although uncommon, risks of sex in pregnancy include premature labour, pelvic inflammatory disease, haemorrhage in placenta previa (when the placenta covers part of the cervix) and blood clots.

While restriction of intercourse is recommended for women at risk of premature labour, the evidence is contradictory and limited.

In low-risk women, frequent intercourse was associated with an increased risk of premature labour only in women with lower genital tract infections. In higher risk women — carrying more than one baby, with cervical incompetence or a history of early labour — there is limited evidence to guide recommendations.

Increased risk for pre-term labour

"In populations at increased risk for pre-term labour, there is no evidence to suggest a clear benefit from restricted sexual activity; however, this is a simple intervention that causes no harm and may be a reasonable recommendation until better evidence emerges," writes Dr Clair Jones, Department of Obstetrics, Mount Sinai Hospital and University of Toronto with coauthors.

In rare cases, some types of sexual activity that push air into the vagina may result in a uterine blood clot that is usually fatal.

"Sex in pregnancy is normal," write the authors. "There are very few proven contraindications and risks to intercourse in low-risk pregnancies, and therefore these patients should be reassured. In pregnancies complicated by placenta previa or an increased risk of pre-term labour, the evidence to support abstinence is lacking, but it is a reasonable benign recommendation given the theoretical catastrophic consequences."

They state that there is no evidence to the theory that sex at term can induce labour, but that there are no known negative outcomes for women with low-risk pregnancies.

The authors conclude comfort level and readiness to engage in sexual activity should guide both sex during pregnancy as well as in the postpartum period. (EurekAlert/ January 2011)

Read more:
Sex during pregnancy
Having sex during pregnancy
 

 
NEXT ON HEALTH24X
advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

The debate continues »

Working out in the concrete jungle 7 top butt exercises for guys 10 things pole dancing can do for you

The running vs. walking debate

There are many different theories when it comes to the running vs. walking for health and weight loss.

Veganism a crime? »

Running the Comrades Marathon on a vegan diet Are vegans unnatural beasts? Can a vegan be really healthy?

Should it be a crime to raise a baby on vegan food?

After a number of cases of malnourishment in Italy, it may become a crime to feed children under 16 a vegan diet.