Is it safe to have sex during pregnancy?

We spoke to two gynecologists to settle the matter

By Kaukab Tahir

KARACHI: While the birth of a child is possibly the happiest time for the parents, the nine-month pregnancy period comes with its fair share of ambiguities. During this time, people around you offer a lot of great-but-at-times-unsolicited advice. However, the one thing they don’t tell and you don’t ask is whether or not you can have sex with your partner if you’re pregnant.

We spoke to two gynecologists to settle the matter: Is it safe to have sex during pregnancy?

The answer is yes, as confirmed by Dr Huriyah Muffedi and Dr Nasreen Shalwani. Both doctors, however, agreed that under exceptional circumstances, doctors may advise the patient against it.

“In some families, elders suggest that couples who are expecting should not have sex but there is no such prohibition unless the doctor says so,” Dr Muffedi says.

Doctors will advise against sex during pregnancy for the following reasons:

Low lying placenta

Also known as placenta praevia is a complication during pregnancy whereby the placenta (the source of the fetus or the baby’s nourishment) is attached to the lower part of the womb, explains Dr Shalwani.

“In some families elders suggest that you should not have sex during pregnancy but there is no such prohibition unless the doctors say so”

Usually, low lying placenta is identified within the first trimester. This may result in bleeding during early days of pregnancy. In this situation, doctors strongly advise the couple to avoid having sex.

“Generally, the first trimester is very sensitive,” adds Dr Shalwani. About three to four per cent women have a low lying placenta, shares Dr Muffedi.

Obstetric complications

As the term denotes, such complications include ectopic pregnancy, chances of prolonged and obstructed labour, ruptured uterus, says Dr Muffedi. These findings can be revealed during ultrasounds and regular checkups. If everything is found normal, doctors don’t advise against physical contact.

Concurrent or threatened abortion

Threatened abortion, also known as miscarriage, and concurrent abortions may lead to doctors advising against sex. This is because some patients have a history of undergoing multiple miscarriages or abortions. Therefore, some women experience high-risk pregnancy.

Precious baby

Women with a history of having difficulty conceiving a baby are cases of precious pregnancy. Such patients are advised to completely avoid any sort of physical contact with their partners, shares Dr Shalwani. Patients with cases of high-risk and precious pregnancies are often times counseled to take extra caution. Avoiding sex, therefore, is key.


This is part of a series in which we plan on asking question many of you might be unable to or uncomfortable to ask. If you have any questions, drop us an email on





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