Sex while pregnant can be wonderful. Having cramps after sex while pregnant? Not so much.
So is it normal to cramp after sex? Let’s be honest, “normal” and “sex” are two words that have a more-than-interesting relationship with one another.
What we can tell you is that it’s common for sex to feel different during pregnancy—and yes sometimes this may mean mild cramps. The lower half of your body has a pretty busy schedule these days, what with making a baby and all, and it can sometimes get a bit overwhelmed, which may lead to some post-sex cramping.
Painful sex during pregnancy
Painful sex during pregnancy can leave you with a flurry of feelings, from worry about the fetus inside you to a weird detachment from your body. It’s a lot to cope with.
So here’s something to take off your list of things to worry about: sex while pregnant is safe for your baby. They’ve got their amniotic sac to protect them from the outside world.
When it comes to all things sex, the bottom line is: don’t do it if it doesn’t feel good/right to you. Sex is not an obligation. You don’t have to do it. Ever.
If on the other hand you are loving sex during pregnancy, go for it. Be gentle with yourself, but go for it.
Cramping after orgasm during pregnancy
Cramping after orgasm is common—and generally safe. You may be spotting a bit, too. If you’re at all worried about any of these symptoms, check in with your doctor.
If you experience some pain and what feels like mild contractions after orgasm, it may just be a result of the muscles in your uterus contracting while you are having sex. Mild cramps are usually fine and can be managed with some TLC. (Warm baths do wonders.) If you’re at all concerned, chat with your healthcare provider.
Cramping after sex in early pregnancy can be a result of implantation—that’s the process when the zygote attaches itself to the uterine wall. Implantation happens really early on (as in a week or 2 after conception) so you may not even know that you’re pregnant at this point. Implantation cramps may be accompanied by implantation bleeding, both of which are usually harmless.
When should you worry about cramping after sex while pregnant?
If cramps after sex while pregnant are accompanied by other symptoms, it may mean that something else is up.
If you experience any of the following symptoms during or after sex, check in with your doctor as soon as you can:
- The pain is excruciating. If the ache you are feeling gets progressively stronger, or it feels like a sharp pain in your abdomen, get to your doctor. You don’t have to tough it out. Really painful sex during pregnancy could be a sign that something is up. Some possibilities are ectopic pregnancy, where the fertilized egg implants itself outside the uterus, or placental abruption, when the placenta separates from the uterine wall. Serious pain can also be a sign of early labor.
- Flu-like symptoms. Fever, chills, or just feeling generally unwell? Better check in with your doctor.
- Bleeding. While some spotting is usually okay, heavy bleeding requires medical attention. If heavy bleeding occurs in the second or third trimester, there is a possibility that this could be a result of placenta previa, where the placenta is covering your cervix.
Can sex cause a miscarriage?
No. Sex does not cause miscarriage. Painful sex during pregnancy can signal that something is up (see above), but it’s not because you did something wrong.
Miscarriage is way more common than we talk about. As in 1 in 8 pregnancies end this way—and it’s seriously time we normalized this conversation.
So if you’re worried that having sex will cause a miscarriage, or if you had a miscarriage and think sex was the cause, that is definitely a weight you can take off your shoulders. If you miscarry, it is not your fault.