If your ob/gyn gives the okay, it’s safe to have sex during pregnancy. However, you might notice a little bleeding after sex. This is a natural part of the process and doesn’t hurt the baby.
Your enlarged uterus might make some positions uncomfortable, but you can always try something different or use additional lubrication. It’s also important to communicate with your partner about any discomfort during sex, so that you can find a comfortable position.
During pregnancy, many women find their sexual desire decreases because of symptoms like morning sickness, tiredness and the pressure on their pelvic area. However, a boost in hormones and extra blood flow to the genitals can increase a woman’s interest during the second trimester. Having strong orgasms can also release feel-good chemicals that can help to reduce stress and pain levels.
Generally, men’s and women’s levels of solitary and dyadic sexual desire decrease during pregnancy. But, it is still normal to continue to have sex if your partner gives you the go ahead, unless your doctor has otherwise advised you against it.
Even if you do have sex, it is important to maintain closeness with your partner by engaging in non-penetrative activity such as massage, kissing and cuddling. Keeping the touch element alive will help to keep your partner interested and can also aid in digestion and sleep.
It is important to remember that you cannot have an unprotected sex because it can cause a sexually transmitted disease (STD) such as herpes, genital warts or chlamydia. These can be passed to your baby and lead to serious health problems for both of you. You should use barrier contraception with new partners until you are no longer pregnant and after your doctor has given the go ahead. This includes condoms and dental dams.
At this point in the pregnancy, it is common for a woman to experience discomfort during sexual activity due to changes in hormone levels, increased blood flow to the pelvic area, and pressure on the cervix. This can make sex uncomfortable and painful, but it is not usually a reason to stop sexual activity. Experimenting with different positions, using lubrication, and avoiding the “missionary position” (lying flat on your back) can help reduce discomfort. It is also important to use a water-based lubricant, as oil-based lubricants may weaken latex condoms and cause a false positive for sexually transmitted infections such as herpes, genital warts, and chlamydia.
Some women experience a drop in their sex drive at this time. This is normal, and it’s a good idea to talk about your feelings with your partner. You may find that you and your partner can still enjoy intimacy in other ways, such as cuddling, kissing, and massage.
It’s important to remember that a baby’s health is the primary concern during sexual activity in pregnancy. If you are experiencing signs of premature labor, such as contractions or leaking fluid, it is a good idea to stop sex until the contractions subside. You should also continue to use barrier contraception (such as a condom) with new partners, as unprotected sex can increase the risk of an infection that could harm both you and your baby.
As pregnancy progresses, some sexual positions may become uncomfortable or painful. It’s important to communicate with your partner about this and experiment with other ways to have sexual pleasure, even without penetration.
Side-lying positions (front-to-front or front-to-back) are good options as they don’t put pressure on your low back, especially later in the pregnancy. Having your partner on top is also comfortable for many people and allows them to control penetration depth and clitoral stimulation, as well.
Standing during sex — or “frisky business” as O’Reilly puts it — is another position that’s safe and can be pleasurable in any trimester, though you’ll need to adjust the height of the woman’s head with the size of her belly. Rear-entry positions are a great option for the end of the pregnancy, as your growing bump can get in the way of forward-facing positions and can be a bit uncomfortable for partners.
Oral sex can also be enjoyable for couples in any trimester, although the increased weight of a pregnant belly can make it more difficult to perform and may require more foreplay. For some couples, non-penetrative sexual activities like kissing, cuddling, and massage can be just as pleasurable and can boost sexual drive. Some couples decide to abstain from intercourse as they approach the end of their pregnancy, but this is entirely optional and completely normal.
During the second trimester, you may find that your sex drive increases, due to a boost of hormones and increased blood flow to the genitals. In the third trimester, however, many women experience a decrease in their libido because of hormonal changes, pelvic pain and discomfort and other physical issues. This is totally normal and is not a reason to stop having sex or seeking pleasure from other forms of intimacy with your partner.
If you have had a history of premature labour in the past or have the condition placenta previa, your doctor will probably advise against sexual activity in the final trimester as it can trigger contractions and lead to a preterm delivery. Additionally, the cervix may also be weakened by the pregnancy hormones and the mucus plug that normally protects it from infection could become dislodged, exposing you and your baby to infections.
If you do choose to have sex during your pregnancy, open communication with your partner is important to ensure that you are both happy and comfortable. It is a good idea to try different positions and use lubrication to reduce any discomfort. You should also make sure that you and your sexual partners are both up to date on their STI testing, as this will protect you and your unborn baby against diseases such as herpes, chlamydia or gonorrhea.