Which Condoms are Safe during Pregnancy?

Many of us only focus on the negative sides of pregnancy. We complain about the backaches, the lack of caffeine, and the swollen ankles more than we take the time to appreciate the good things about gestation. You might find that one more positive aspect of your pregnancy is that, assuming you have one consistent sexual partner, you won’t have to wear condoms for the duration of your baby’s development.

Obviously, this does not apply to women who do not know their partner’s sexual past or to women who are sleeping with multiple people. Pregnancy is a natural birth control, but it will not protect you against sexually transmitted diseases. Many women find this nine months of unprotected sex a great way to enjoy intimacy with their partner more and to save money on the usual expenses of contraception.

For women who need to use condoms during pregnancy, there are a few health concerns you should be aware of. Whether your condom use is a result of protection against STD’s or it is simply a matter of personal preference, you should make sure there are as few chemicals as possible in the latex.

Many studies, both new and old, point to the potential harmful effects of spermicides on fetal development. Additionally, few studies explore the harmful effects of heavy lubes and latex alternatives, so you should avoid them to play it safe. If you must use condoms during pregnancy, have your doctor research your brand of choice to make sure there are no dangerous chemicals. Many brand name condoms contain a range of chemicals, but there are natural brands you can buy that only contain organic materials.

Using condoms during pregnancy is definitely not necessary to prevent pregnancy, but if you need to use them for other reasons you should make sure the brand you choose is safe and approved by your doctor. In the same way you’re careful about what you consume during your pregnancy, you should also be careful about what you put in your body otherwise. Though your baby is not anywhere near your vaginal opening through your entire pregnancy, chemicals can still make their way up into your uterus if they are highly concentrated.

Sexual intercourse during pregnancy is safe and even encouraged. It will keep you and your partner feeling close and might also improve your self-esteem when you’re feeling low, with condoms or without.  

Source: BC Schmid et al: Condom Use During Pregnancy. American Journal of Public Health Volume 81 Issue 6 pp. 805 June 1991