Coitus during pregnancy: Is it safe

Mark A. Klebanoff, Robert P. Nugent, George G. Rhoads

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effect of coitus on pregnancy outcome has been a subject of debate for more than 30 years. Previous studies, which purport to show an association between coitus and adverse outcome, have been based on inadequate data. The present authors have investigated the effect of coitus on outcome by means of prospectively collected data from 39,217 women in the Collaborative Perinatal Project. The proportion of women reporting coitus during the previous month declined with advancing gestation. Several factors were associated with coital frequency at different times of gestation. White women were more likely than black women to have coitus at all times up to 37 weeks, after which the reverse was true. Greater maternal and paternal age had significant and independent negative effects on coital frequency at all times of gestation. The cumulative life-table probability of delivery for women reporting different coital frequencies at 28 29 weeks is shown in Figure 1. There was no association between coitus and early delivery (P < 0.001). The same negative association was seen when women were stratified by coitus at 32 to 33 weeks. Women who had any historical or pregnancy-related complication were eliminated. Fig. 1. Cumulative probability of delivery by gestational age for women with different coital frequencies at 28 29 weeks. Overall probability of equality of the curves 0.001. This study in addition to revealing no relationship of coital frequency to premature delivery, or abortion, shows no increased perinatal mortality that could be correlated with coital frequency during pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-352
Number of pages2
JournalObstetrical and Gynecological Survey
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1985
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


Dive into the research topics of 'Coitus during pregnancy: Is it safe'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this