Sex During Pregnancy: Here is all you need to know!
Updated: Nov 16, 2022
Let's talk about sex...during pregnancy. Some experience an increased sex drive during pregnancy, some have little desire for sex, and others fluctuate. Whichever way you are feeling, it is completely normal. For most people, it is completely safe to have sex during pregnancy. This includes sexual intercourse or penetration with fingers or sex toys. We will cover the essentials you need to know about having sex while pregnant including sex drive, safety, and positions.
Sex drive during pregnancy
During the first trimester, it is normal to have regular nausea and fatigue. This may lead to a decreased sex drive. You may notice that your sex drive increases in your second trimester. Your sex drive desire may wane again in the third trimester. Fluctuations are normal and you need to listen to your body. Talk with your partner about how you are feeling. Communication is key. The hormonal changes during pregnancy affect everyone differently. Whether you are totally turned or completely turned off, all of this is normal.
Positions that you were used to pre-pregnancy might not feel the same. In your second and third trimesters, your belly will have grown and you will likely adjust to positions that feel more comfortable and do not put pressure on your belly. Make sure to communicate how things are feeling with your partner and make adjustments.
Is it safe to have sex during pregnancy?
If you have a healthy pregnancy it is completely safe to have sex during pregnancy. The amniotic fluid surrounding your baby protects them completely. It is safe to have sex as little as much as you want.
If you are experiencing any of the following, discuss your options regarding sex with your healthcare provider:
You have had a preterm baby in the past and have signs of preterm labor in this pregnancy.
You have placenta previa. This is when your placenta is sitting low in your uterus.
If your waters have broken already, having sex may increase the risk of infection.
It is normal to experience cramping and a little spotting after penetrative sex. Orgasm can cause contractions due to the release of oxytocin. If these are minor, you should have nothing to worry about. If you have severe cramps or heavy bleeding call your doctor.
The 5 best pregnancy sex positions
To keep it simple, whatever feels comfortable for you is likely a good position for sex. If anything is feeling uncomfortable, change to something that feels better. Oral sex is also a safe option. If you are looking to have penetrative sex with a partner with a penis or a strap-on, here are some positions that will keep things safe (and steamy).
Pregnant Partner On Top
This position is great because you can control the pace and can move to the angles that feel best for you. Resting your hands on a headboard, the back of a couch or a wall can help give you some additional support.
Lie comfortably on your side. Putting a pillow between your legs or under your belly can help support your back. Your partner can spoon you from behind and enter from behind. This position avoids any pressure on your belly.
Against the Wall
Stand facing a wall with your legs spread apart. You can rest your hands or forearms on the wall to support your upper body. This position allows your partner to enter you from behind and for you to avoid any pressure on your stomach.
Side By Side
Lie next to your partner in a V shape with your heads farther apart. Have one of your legs over your partner's leg. This position is great in all stages of pregnancy and doesn't require a lot of energy to feel great.
Use pillows to help you prop up on all fours in a way that is comfortable for you. Have your partner enter behind you. Since this position allows for deeper penetration it is possible that you have some spotting after sex. Light spotting after penetration is quite common in the third trimester. If you are concerned you can always reach out to your healthcare provider.
Listen to Your Body
Whatever you are feeling about sex during pregnancy is OKAY! Be gentle with yourself and communicate your needs with your partner. This may be a time when you decide to explore other forms of intimacy that bring you and your partner closer together. Expand your capacity for sensation with sensory play or focus on activities that foster intimacy without sex. Expanding your view of sexuality can be an amazing way to prepare for birth.
Disclaimer: This information does not substitute for a care provider-patient relationship and should not be relied on as personal medical advice.
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Meet the Author
Clara O'Rourke (she hers),
Holistic Doula & Childbirth Educator.
I am a researcher turned total birth nerd with a passion for supporting people birth in their full power! I guide people through their pregnancy, labor, and postpartum journey by helping them overcome fear or anxiety about birth, providing evidence-based information so they can make informed decisions, and making sure they have everything they need to birth with confidence. Birth is sacred and it should be treated that way. I am committed to providing support for birth and beyond, regardless of a person's background, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or relationship status. También ofrezco mis servicios en español. I wish you and your growing family the brightest of beginnings!