anonymous on September 1, 2011

I’m pregnant. Is oral sex safe?

I’ve heard that oral sex can be dangerous during pregnancy. Is that true?

answered by Annette Fuglsang Owens, MD, PhD on September 1, 2011

I’m glad you asked this important question, because it’s a subject that a lot of people are confused about.

The good news is that it’s perfectly safe for a pregnant woman to receive oral sex. In fact, as a pregnancy progresses and your belly gets bigger, it can be more challenging for couples to find positions that are comfortable for intercourse…so oral sex is one way to continue being sexually intimate.

That said, there is one precaution about receiving oral sex during pregnancy…your partner should not blow air into your vagina during oral sex.While that may sound strange and it’s not a common practice,blowing air into a woman’s vagina during pregnancy can cause something called anair embolism, where an air bubble can actually block a blood vessel and cause tissue damage. And, if the embolus is carried into the heart, it can actually cause death.

But, again, this is a rare occurrence and shouldn’t be a concern with standard oral sex.

One last thing…do you know your partner’s STD status? If there’s any chance that your partner could pass herpes or another sexually transmitted disease (STD) to you during oral sex, it’s best to avoid oral sex until your baby is born.You can learn more about the risks of STDs during pregnancy inthis fact sheet from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Related info:

Annette Fuglsang Owens, MD, PhD

Dr. Owens is an AASECT-certified sexuality counselor. Her areas of expertise include the medical aspects of human sexuality and sexual problems, as well as the impact of STDs ⎼ and other diseases, illnesses and disabilities ⎼ on sexuality. Dr. Owens was educated at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

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