Tips and Precautions for Sex in Each Stage of Pregnancy

Updated June 15, 2018
Husband lying down on bed with pregnant wife

Sex during pregnancy can be fun and relaxing. Experts agree that sex during pregnancy is safe for women with low-risk, uncomplicated pregnancies. How far along you are in your pregnancy can potentially impact your comfort and your sex drive. There are some tips and tricks to keep in mind as your pregnancy progresses and your body changes.

Sex During the First Trimester

During the first trimester, your hormones are changing drastically. This helps support your pregnancy and the physical changes your body will need to go through to care for your growing baby. These hormone shifts can impact your sex drive by increasing it or decreasing it.

Potential Concerns in the First Trimester

During the first trimester you may be feeling nauseous, exhausted, and generally out of sorts. Your vaginal discharge is also likely to increase, which can increase sexual pleasure, but can also make you feel less than sexy if you're soaking through your underwear. If you do feel up to it, there are generally no concerns in terms of sex positions you can do during this early stage of pregnancy, so go for it! These may be the last few weeks of you being able to bend and move the way you'd like to.

Sex During the Second Trimester

Many women experience some reprieve during the second trimester. Your nausea may have dissipated and you may even enjoy an energy boost. Explore different positions with your partner as your growing belly may start to impede your usual moves. Entry from behind, and positions where you are laying on your side may feel especially good as your bump continues to grow. If you do choose to lay on your back, use a pillow to prop up your legs or hips so you are not placing as much pressure on your uterus and back.

Second Trimester Tips

The only thing to keep in mind is to start avoiding positions where you are laying flat on your back. Around 20 weeks, doctors generally recommend that you begin sleeping on your left side. This provides the best blood circulation to your growing baby. As your belly and breasts continue to grow, you may be feeling even sexier than usual. Your partner will also probably enjoy your new curves. If you're not into your changing body, keep in mind that these changes are temporary and your body will return to its pre-pregnancy shape after you deliver.

Sex During the Third Trimester

During your last trimester, sex can become a bit tricky. Positions where your partner is on top may become impossible as your belly may now be in the way. Try positions where you're laying on your side, standing, or are on top to see which ones feel the most comfortable to you.

What You Should Be Aware Of

Check in with your doctor before having sex as your due date gets close, as semen contains prostaglandins which may stimulate contractions and induce labor. Orgasms can also cause contractions. Similar to the second trimester, avoid sex positions where you are laying completely flat on your back. With your fully blossomed belly, you and your partner may feel weary about getting a little too close to your growing little one during sex. Don't worry; there is no way you can come into contact with your little nugget. Your mucus plug keeps your baby totally sealed off and protected. Your baby may even find the rhythmic movements of sex soothing.

General Safety Tips

Throughout your pregnancy, always talk to your doctor if you feel off, experience new and uncomfortable symptoms, or are experiencing any pain. Reach out immediately if:

Another safety precaution is that if your partner performs oral sex, he or she should never blow air into your vagina, as this could cause a potentially life threatening embolism.

Happy couple talking to doctor

Special Circumstances

Women who experience complications or have a high-risk pregnancy may be advised to avoid sex during pregnancy. Make sure you are following the advice of your healthcare provider specific to your situation to keep you and your baby safe.

Keeping Your Sex Life Fun

Sex during pregnancy can be a great way to stay connected to your partner while enjoying all the relaxing benefits that sex and orgasm can provide. If you ever experience any pain, spotting, or discomfort, be sure to check in with your doctor before getting intimate with your partner again.

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Tips and Precautions for Sex in Each Stage of Pregnancy