Sexual activity during and following a pregnancy does not need to cease. However, there are physical, emotional and behavioral issues that might need to be considered.
Sexual intercourse, female orgasm and male ejaculation in a normal pregnancy will not harm the baby or the mother up until the time the membranes or "bag of waters" has broken. After that, to avoid infection, nothing should be put into the vagina.
If a woman has or has had a high-risk pregnancy, she should consult her physician about safe acceptable forms of sexual expression. The physician might not be as creative as the woman and her partner, but at least she might find out what not to do.
If during a pregnancy a woman notices any bleeding from her vagina, she should stop all sexual activity until she is able to consult her physician.
Sexual intercourse with a new partner, or more than one partner during pregnancy increases the chances of a woman acquiring a vaginal infection or a sexually transmitted disease which could put her pregnancy at risk.
A partner blowing air into a pregnant woman's vagina could create an air embolism, harmful to the woman's health. This must be avoided.
A woman's orgasm during pregnancy might be accompanied by uterine cramps or may last longer than before pregnancy. Because the uterus contracts during orgasm, a pregnant woman might experience a difference in her orgasmic sensations.
After sexual activity, a pregnant woman's pelvic and genital areas might stay congested (swollen) longer than before the pregnancy. This is normal and should not cause concern.
After delivery, sexual intercourse may be resumed once the episiotomy is healed and the scar area is no longer painful when pressure is applied, this is usually between 3 and 6 weeks. A woman should consult her doctor if there is lingering pain or with any concerns she might have about resuming sexual activity.
In the postpartum period, women who nurse might notice physical arousal and even orgasm during nursing. This should not cause concern or feelings of guilt. While this response might not be typical, it is certainly normal.
Postpartum, a nursing mother might experience a release of breast milk during arousal and orgasm. This is a natural occurrence caused by the release of oxytocin, a hormone that is released during arousal that is also released when a mother's milk comes down. Frequently, the nursing mother will experience a decrease in her natural vaginal lubrication during arousal. An artificial water-based, water-soluble lubricant, such as Astroglide or KY Jelly, is recommended. Petroleum-base products, like Vaseline, should not be used.