sex during pregnancy

Everything you need to know about sex during pregnancy

Congratulations! You're embarking on a 9-month journey filled with its share of ups and downs, but it doesn't have to signal the end of your intimate moments. Throughout pregnancy, sex may either be the last thing on your mind, or it might be the primary focus.

Engaging in sexual activity during pregnancy is generally healthy and enjoyable, unless your OB/GYN has advised otherwise. However, it might necessitate a few adjustments to your usual routine. Read below for useful information and tips on the intimate experiences you can anticipate while expecting.

Will i be in the mood for sex during pregnancy?

During the initial stages of the first trimester (which spans one of the three 13-week periods of your pregnancy), many women may not feel inclined towards intimacy due to factors like fatigue, nausea, and the adjustments accompanying early bodily changes. While some women choose to continue having sex throughout this period, others may not feel up to it—essentially, the decision is entirely yours.

As you progress into the second and third trimesters, hormonal changes tend to stabilize, and many women find a resurgence in their sex drive. This period is often referred to as the 'Honeymoon Period of Pregnancy' by some.

Does sex during pregnancy feel different physically?

Due to the necessary changes in your body when nurturing new life, sexual experiences during pregnancy can indeed feel different. This is often attributed to increased blood flow to the pelvis and alterations in breast and nipple sensitivity. While some women find these changes pleasurable, others may not. Additionally, some women report an increased libido, particularly during the second trimester, while others may experience a decrease in interest due to hormonal fluctuations.

During this time, it's crucial to maintain open communication about your needs and comfort levels, as they may change throughout pregnancy. Your partner may not be able to anticipate your evolving desires, so keeping the lines of communication open is essential.

Will my partner still want sex while i'm pregnant?

Initiate a conversation with your partner about sex before noticeable changes occur in your body. As your stomach undergoes transformations, some men may express concerns about 'hurting the baby' or feel uneasy about engaging in certain types of sexual activities with an expectant mother. You can reassure him that there's absolutely no way he could harm the baby during sex, as the cervix is blocked until labor begins, and the uterus is naturally designed to protect the fetus.

Most expectant fathers are often anxious about ensuring their partner's happiness and health during pregnancy. It's an opportune time to emphasize that sex (and orgasms) contribute not only to your well-being but also to the overall health of your relationship. Regular affection and intimacy help strengthen the bond between partners, fostering a healthy and robust connection.

Is it advisable to discuss this with my doctor?

Considering that your physician will become a regular presence in your life for the foreseeable future, it's a good idea to consult with them before resuming your intimate activities. There's no need to feel awkward about bringing it up—they understand that this is a common topic and part of your overall health and well-being.

Does sex need to be adjusted during pregnancy?

It's essential to note that vibrators, both internal and external, are generally safe to use at every stage of pregnancy. However, safety is crucial during this time, emphasizing the importance of using 100% body-safe sex toys. For more detailed information on using a vibrator during pregnancy, you can refer to a dedicated article on the topic.

As your body undergoes changes, your comfort levels and preferences, particularly regarding sex positions, may evolve. A consistent consideration for all pregnant individuals is to reduce pressure on the midsection and minimize contact with sensitive nipples as the pregnancy progresses.

Here are some general sex positions recommended by trimester, provided they feel entirely comfortable for you:

First and Second Trimesters:

  • T-square sex position: Lie on your back while your partner lies horizontally on the edge of the bed, entering you while on his side.
  • Cowgirl sex position: Straddle your partner while he lies on his back or sits, alleviating pressure on your stomach.
  • Downward-facing doggystyle sex position: Similar to the yoga position of the same name, with your knees and ankles horizontal on the mattress, allowing your belly to rest on your thighs.

Third Trimester:

  • Spooning sex position: Your partner enters from behind while both of you lie on your sides, or a variation of the T-square where you can relax on your side for a non-strenuous lovemaking session.
  • Adjusted missionary sex position: Lie on your back at the edge of the bed while your partner stands.

Regardless of the position, honest and immediate communication about comfort is crucial. Chairs can be used for seated sex, and pillows can provide back support. For more tips and recommended sex positions during pregnancy, additional resources are available.

Is oral sex safe during pregnancy?

It's important to note that if your partner is performing oral sex, there's a small chance that any forced air could lead to dangerous blood vessel blockage. It's advisable to discuss these potential risks with your OB/GYN and inform them of any instances of spotting or discomfort during intercourse.

Is anal sex safe during pregnancy?

Engaging in anal sex should generally be safe during pregnancy, although many women may experience hemorrhoids during this time, making it advisable to avoid anal intercourse. The use of plenty of water-based personal moisturizer is essential, and maintaining cleanliness is of utmost importance, as bacteria entering the vagina can pose risks to your pregnancy.

Always use a new condom when transitioning from anal sex to other forms of penetration, or ensure that your partner has thoroughly washed between activities—good hygiene practices that are important whether you are pregnant or not.

What about engaging in kinky sex during pregnancy?

Providing advice on this topic is challenging, as 'kinky' can encompass a wide range of activities, from light spanking and silk scarves to more intense forms of play involving paddles. Comfort remains the primary consideration, especially since sustaining one position for an extended period may be challenging during pregnancy. If you're comfortable with being tied up, it's generally acceptable, but restraints should be kept looser and adjusted for any swelling associated with pregnancy.

For those in a Dominant role, adjustments may be necessary in play to avoid overexertion. It's crucial to prioritize your health, and if fatigue or an elevated heart rate becomes a concern, it's advisable to take a break.

On the receiving end, activities like light spanking or the use of a flogger on the buttocks are generally acceptable, with the condition that no impact lands on the stomach. Practices involving breath play or any form of oxygen deprivation should be strictly avoided.

This overview doesn't cover the full spectrum of kinky play that individuals may enjoy. While it may seem uncomfortable, the best course of action is to consult with your doctor about the acceptability of a specific act. They possess the most knowledge about how your body is changing and what might impact it, and they are familiar with a wide range of inquiries.

Given the frequency of doctor visits during pregnancy, it's essential to be transparent about any bruising. This is particularly crucial since bruising during pregnancy can indicate gestational thrombocytopenia (low platelet count), and providing accurate information about the causes of any bruising is vital.

Conclusion

Unless your physician advises otherwise, there's typically no reason to cease sexual activity, and you can continue enjoying your sex life right up until your due date. The key factor here is your own comfort and enjoyment. Given the likelihood of upcoming sleepless nights, why not allocate some time now for activities that bring you pleasure?

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