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Sex During Pregnancy Deemed Safe

MONDAY, Jan. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Having sex while you're pregnant is generally safe, a new review finds.

"Sex in pregnancy is normal," wrote the review authors. "There are very few proven contraindications and risks to intercourse in low-risk pregnancies, and therefore these patients should be reassured."

The primer, based on a review of current evidence, is published Jan. 31 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Some potential, but uncommon, risks of having sex while pregnant include premature labor, pelvic inflammatory disease, hemorrhage in placenta previa (when the placenta covers part of the cervix) and blood clots, said Dr. Clair Jones, of the department of obstetrics at Mount Sinai Hospital and the University of Toronto.

While it's recommended that women at risk of premature labor restrict the frequency of intercourse, the evidence is contradictory and limited, the authors wrote in a news release from the journal's publisher.

In low-risk women, frequent intercourse is associated with an increased chance of premature labor only in those with lower genital tract infections. There is limited evidence to guide recommendations for higher-risk women -- those who have cervical incompetence, are carrying more than one baby or have a history of early labor.

Comfort levels and readiness to have sex should guide women's decisions about having sex during pregnancy and shortly after they give birth, the authors concluded.

More information

The Nemours Foundation has more about sex during pregnancy.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Canadian Medical Association Journal, news release, Jan. 31, 2011

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