Sex Work & Pregnancy | Respect QLD

When sex workers become pregnant they have the choice of keep working or stop working. It’s important to know the choice is up to the person who is pregnant. It is their body, their baby and their decision. Either way, they should be supported and their decision should be respected. This information sheet will provide information on issues to consider if working while pregnant.

How you became pregnant

This may be a planned pregnancy.  Some sex workers become pregnant by a client from a broken condom, condom slippage, having sex without a condom, through rape or just because condoms are not effective 100% of the time.

This may bring up certain feelings or issues.  In this situation it can also be difficult to discuss the pregnancy with other sex workers or friends because people may fear being judged or having the validity of the pregnancy questioned.

Becoming pregnant to a client can be scary because you don’t know the clients, their medical history, or if they have an STI.  

The most important thing to know is you are not alone.

Unexpected pregnancy

Regardless of how you became pregnant, the pregnancy may be unexpected.  This can create issues with your sex working career, your other career and any study you may be doing.

Some sex workers are concerned they won’t be able to keep working as a sex worker when pregnant and worry about how they are going to manage to go back to work once they have had the baby.  There are choices to help deal with any unexpected pregnancy.

“The most important thing to know is you are not alone.”

Other options

There are of alternative options to having or keeping a baby. Some of these options include terminating the pregnancy, adoption, fostering and giving guardianship to an extended family member.  These are all completely valid and no-one should tell you which option you should choose.

Having sex while pregnant

If you have a healthy pregnancy, it is safe to have sex throughout your pregnancy.  What a ‘healthy pregnancy’ is and if your pregnancy is at any risk, is important to discuss with your clinician.  

Your baby is protected by the amniotic sac and the strong muscles of the uterus and pelvis, and a penis does not come into contact with the baby while having sex.

In healthy pregnancies having an orgasm cannot harm your baby; however, if you get cum inside you, remember that semen contains a chemical that can bring on contractions in the later stages of pregnancy, which is something to be aware of.

An ultrasound in the 1st trimester will give you a good idea of how your pregnancy is progressing.

Things that make it unsafe to have sex are:

  • having unprotected sex, because STIs can harm you and your baby
  • allowing a client to blow air into your vagina because it can cause an air embolism that can be fatal for mum and baby (insufflations)
  • vaginal bleeding, cramping or discharge, in which case you should discuss this with your doctor before having any more sex
  • swimming in spas over 36 degrees – only go in up to your thighs

(These points were referred by Sexual Health Services Townsville)


All material in this information sheet is provided for your information only and may not be construed as legal, medical or health advice or instruction.

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