Can Sex Cause a Miscarriage?

There is a lot of information about sex before pregnancy and after child birth. However, pregnant women or those planning a pregnancy will realize that there is little information on sex during pregnancy. This may be due to cultural tendencies that do not recognize the association between pregnant women and sexuality. Like many expectant mothers, you probably have many questions regarding sex during pregnancy such as “Can sex cause a miscarriage?” Here, we shed light on this important topic.

Can Sex Cause a Miscarriage?

This is a common question among parents-to-be. There is no evidence that miscarriages can be caused by sex during pregnancy. Miscarriages that occur during the first few weeks of pregnancy are mostly associated to chromosomal abnormalities. Usually, they cannot be prevented.

Prostaglandins found in semen and other body tissues are responsible for uterine contractions experienced by women during orgasm. These contractions are more intense in pregnant women because the uterus is swollen and has an increased blood flow. If your pregnancy is normal, these contractions cannot lead to the loss of your baby. Strong uterine muscles and the fluid-filled uterine sac protect the body from vigorous sexual activities. Plus, the cervix is also sealed by a thick mucus plug that protects the fetus from infection.

Nevertheless, some doctors advice women to avoid rough sex during pregnancy. Hemorrhoids, which are very common in pregnant women, may be aggravated by having anal sex.

When Is Sex Ok?

If your pregnancy is normal, you can have sex safely at all stages. So how do you define normal pregnancy? This is a pregnancy that is less likely to develop complications like miscarriages or preterm labor. Consult your doctor, nurse or any other healthcare professional to determine whether you have a normal pregnancy.

As much as sex is safe during pregnancy, it is not a guarantee that you will feel like it. Many pregnant women experience fluctuations in their desire for sex at different stages of their pregnancy. Other women find it difficult and uncomfortable to have sex especially towards the end of their pregnancy period. It is either due to their increased size, being preoccupied by the delivery in waiting or they are simply excited by the fact that they will soon have a baby.

Partners should be open to discuss their sexual relationship during this special period. Discuss the possibility of exploring other ways to get intimate including caressing, kissing and holding each other. It is also advisable to experiment with different sex positions and establish which ones are the most comfortable at this time.

When Sex Should Be Avoided

Despite the negative answer to the question “Can sex cause a miscarriage?” there are a number of situations where caution is advised. These include when your amniotic fluid is leaking, you are carrying multiple babies or you are experiencing unexplained vaginal bleeding. Be careful if your cervix starts to open prematurely or you have experienced premature death or preterm labor previously. Finally, take care if your cervical opening is partially or completely covered by the placenta.

On the other hand, there are a few sexual behaviors that are not safe for any pregnant woman:

  • It is advisable to avoid having sex with someone who may have a sexually transmitted disease like genital warts, herpes, HIV, and chlamydia; or whose sexual history you do not know. You may get infected and pass on the disease to the baby, leading to potentially dangerous consequences.
  • Your partner should not blow air into your vagina during oral sex. This may cause an air bubble to block a blood vessel, causing a condition called air embolism. This can be fatal for both the mother and the child.

What Can Cause a Miscarriage?

Though the answer to “Can sex cause a miscarriage?” is no under normal circumstances, miscarriage is indeed the most common type of pregnancy loss. Studies have shown that miscarriages occur in 10-25% of clinically recognized pregnancies. Of all miscarriages, 50-75% of them occur due to chemical pregnancies. Chemical miscarriages are those that occur shortly after implantation. This is followed by bleeding which occurs around the time of the mother’s expected period. In case of a chemical pregnancy, the women may not even realize she conceived in the first place. Most miscarriages will occur within the first 13 weeks of pregnancy.

There are conditions required for a pregnancy to succeed. The mother’s body must be in a position to supply the baby with the right amounts of hormones and nutrients. The fetus must also develop correctly from conception to delivery. Failure to meet these two important conditions may lead to the pregnancy ending early. Common causes of miscarriage are listed below:

  • Trauma
  • Diabetes
  • The age of the expectant mother
  • Thyroid disease
  • Infections
  • Chromosomal problems
  • Unhealthy lifestyle like alcoholism, obesity and use of drugs

When to Call Your Doctor

Contact a medical facility or healthcare provider immediately if you experience the following symptoms:

  • White-pink mucus
  • Tissue with clots passing from the vagina
  • Painful contractions that take place every 5 to 20 minutes
  • Back pain that is more severe than menstrual cramps
  • Bright red or brown bleeding
  • Pregnancy signs decrease suddenly

How to Prevent Miscarriages

There is not much that can be done to prevent miscarriages caused by chromosomal abnormalities: the most common cause of miscarriages. However, something can still be done to protect the unborn baby. First-time mothers should prioritize their general health to prevent miscarriages. Limit your caffeine consumption; avoid drugs, alcohol and smoking. Take prenatal vitamins to supplement your diet and ensure you get all the nutrients necessary for a healthy baby. Fetal health can also be improved by light exercise. Remember to consult your doctor first any time you want to start on a new regimen.

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