Is It Safe To Have Sex During Pregnancy?

This is a question many pregnant women ask themselves. The answer can be different depending on the stage of your pregnancy and if you are carrying multiples. 

The hormones present in your body will also determine how you feel about intimacy with your partner, so make sure to ask yourself this question before having sex again. 

You should not engage in intercourse until after week 12 of gestation or when the fetal pole has descended into the pelvic canal, whichever comes first. If you’re worried about what’s going on inside of you, talk to a doctor! 

Is It Safe To Have Sex While Pregnant?

The amniotic fluid protects your developing baby in your uterus, as well as by the strong muscles of the uterus itself. 

Sexual activity won’t affect your baby if you have complications such as preterm labour or placenta problems. 

However, pregnancy can cause changes in your level of comfort and sexual desire.

Sex will not harm the baby at any stage during a typical, uncomplicated pregnancy. The baby is protected by solid uterus muscles, amniotic fluid, and a mucus plug that develops around the cervix.

Some people believe that sexual activity or orgasms might damage the baby, increase the chances of a miscarriage, or induce early labour. However, in a healthy pregnancy, none of these is true.

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Can Sex During Pregnancy Cause A Miscarriage?

Having sex during pregnancy won’t provoke a miscarriage. Most miscarriages occur because the fetus isn’t developing typically.

Can Sex Trigger Labor?

Vaginal sex during pregnancy has no links to an increased risk of premature birth.

Many studies have concluded that vaginal sex during pregnancy has no links to an increased risk of preterm labour or premature birth. 

However, if a doctor considers someone at high risk, they may recommend avoiding sexual intercourse during the pregnancy or in the later stages.

It is possible that an orgasm or sexual penetration could induce Braxton Hicks contractions late in pregnancy.

Braxton Hicks are mild contractions that some women experience towards the end of their pregnancy. However, these contractions do not indicate or induce labour, so they should not be a cause for concern.

Are Condoms Necessary?

Having a sexually transmitted infection during pregnancy can cause serious health problems for you and your baby. 

Avoid all forms of sex — vaginal, oral and anal — if your partner has an active or recently diagnosed sexually transmitted infection.

Use a condom if:

  • You’re not in a mutually monogamous relationship
  • You choose to have sex with a new partner during pregnancy

When To Avoid Sex

A midwife or doctor may advise a woman to avoid sexual intercourse during her pregnancy if she has experienced the following:

  • problems with the cervix that could increase the likelihood of miscarriage or go into early labour
  • pregnancy with twins
  • placenta previa, where the placenta partially or entirely covers the entrance to the cervix
  • cervical incompetence, where the cervix opens prematurely
  • a history of going into premature labour
  • substantial blood loss or unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • leaking amniotic fluid
  • the waters have broken, which may increase the risk of infection

A pregnant woman must protect herself and her baby from sexually transmitted infections (STIs). This means using barrier contraception, such as condoms or dental dams, during all sexual activity with new sexual partners.

Effects Of Pregnancy On Sex Drive

A boost of hormones may increase a person’s sex drive, particularly in the second trimester.

Pregnancy affects people’s sex drives in different ways, and there is no typical response.

A boost of hormones and increased blood flow to the genitals may increase a person’s sex drive, particularly in the second trimester.

Other people may experience a decrease in their sex drive caused by fluctuating hormones, feeling less comfortable in their body, decreased energy levels, or physical pains.

Pregnancy can also affect the sex drive of a pregnant person’s partner. For example, some people may experience an increased attraction to their pregnant partner due to the changes in their body shape, such as an increase in breast size.

In some cases, the worries and strains felt by both partners can make them less interested in sex. Therefore, it is essential to be open about sex to make sure both partners are comfortable.

As Long As It’s Comfortable, Go For It!

If you have sex, will your growing baby be able to eavesdrop by the third trimester?

Well, sure. But the good news? All sounds are well-muffled, and your baby can’t understand dirty talk in any language.

Then again, what if you don’t want anything to do with sex? That’s normal. It could be anything from your hormones to getting used to your new body.

Typically, the second trimester is the golden spot, a clinical sex therapist and licensed marriage and family therapist. 

The worst of morning sickness (if you were blessed with any) is over, and you’re just coming into your curves. In the third trimester, a growing belly can start making sex more awkward.

But here’s the foundation of everything you’ll learn when it comes to pregnancy sex: All sex is good sex as long as it’s pleasurable and consensual, says Richmond.

During pregnancy, you might feel anything from erotic to sensual or far removed from wanting to have sex. But don’t fall into the trap of thinking it’s not possible to be pregnant and sexually active.

Learn exactly what it means to have pregnancy sex, from how it feels to how it affects the baby.


How Safe Is Pregnancy Sex?

Unless your doctor or midwife has strict, specific reasons for you not to have intercourse, it’s safe — for you, your partner, and your developing baby. 

(If your doctor or midwife says “sex,” don’t be afraid to clarify if they mean penetration only or all sexual stimulation.)

Right now, revel in the knowledge that pregnancy sex isn’t just safe. It’s probably good for you, too.

Women who have orgasms during pregnancy benefit from calming hormones and increased cardiovascular blood flow and those benefits get passed down to the baby.

Now You Know It’s Safe And Healthy — So What Does It Feel Like?

Due to hormones, some may feel their vagina is less “tight.” A combination of factors can cause this, like increased lubrication and a shift in hormones.

Others may find their pelvic floor muscles too tight (as genitalia can also become more sensitive), making penetrative sex downright uncomfortable.

For this, you are taking more time to warm up with foreplay or kissing before going in. You also could engage in mindful sex and skip penetration altogether.

Don’t be afraid to get a second opinion. Many sexual health challenges during pregnancy can and are addressed by providers every day.

You May Also Experience Easier Orgasms

Some women may even have orgasms for the first time during pregnancy because of blood flow and hormones.

Sounds amazing.

But that’s not the whole picture. During pregnancy, your body changes, and each day, week, and month can feel different from the last.

Your Genitalia May Be A Lot More Sensitive

Due to hormonal changes, some women find their sexual appetites turn voracious. They just can’t get enough from the sex buffet. What stimulates that need?

The 50 per cent increased blood flow that happens during pregnancy. That blood also goes to the vulva, vagina, clitoris, and pelvis, engorging the tissues. 

Depending on the person, it can feel either pleasurable, irritating, or somewhere in between.

Men may say they feel more fullness in the vagina, even during the first trimester,

You Might Feel A Little Extra Wet

And if you feel a little extra wet — well, you are.

It’s common for increased secretions and lubrication to occur, mainly to fight bacteria (and bacterial infection). So you’re not just like a regular self-cleaning oven anymore. “You’re an extra self-cleaning oven.

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The Rest Of Your Body May Be More Sensitive, Too

In preparation for milk production, your breast shape and size may change and increase by up to a cup size or two.

Sexy Time For Pregnant Parents Q&A

Will Penetration Hurt The Pregnancy?

Put, no.

During penetration, the uterus may move a little bit, and you feel it. People have freaked out because something is happening to the baby.” The uterus is just more movable during pregnancy—a mobile home of sorts.

The baby is super protected and has a selective filter system about what goes in and comes out. So unless you’ve been instructed to have pelvic rest, sex is OK.

Pelvic rest can be prescribed for issues such as an incompetent cervix or placenta previa.

However, one study found up to 80 per cent of men worry about “hurting the baby.” So, if necessary, bring your partner with you to your next OB appointment. They can hear an expert’s reassurance that their penis isn’t touching the baby.

Will Pregnancy Sex Cause Miscarriage?

Sex won’t cause a miscarriage. Miscarriages are often a result of a fetus not developing typically. A study also concluded sex doesn’t induce early labour in low-risk pregnancies.

Sex may even help with labour. Some couples have sex up until the woman goes into labour. Then, teams can do as they please unless there is a medical reason or one or both partners are uninterested.

However, if you’re having sex with new or multiple partners, wear a condom until you’re sure of their STI status. Sexually transmitted infections can result in potential pelvic inflammatory disease, leading to early labour, miscarriage, and other serious health complications.

Is Bleeding After Sex Something I Should Worry About?

It’s always best to talk with one’s physician regarding any concerns. But don’t fully freak out quite yet.

Due to pregnancy changes, your cervix is sensitive and can get irritated quickly, leading to bleeding. You’ll notice spotting after sex, when you wipe, and possibly the next day.

When to see a doctor, The spotting shouldn’t come and go, especially over days or weeks. If that happens, it may be a sign of placenta previa. On the other hand, it could be an ectopic pregnancy if you have other symptoms, like sharp waves of pain, rectal pressure, or irregular bleeding. Sex doesn’t cause this.

Chat with your healthcare provider for ideas on how to minimise any irritation (such as controlling depth of penetration) if you’re not enjoying the anxiety ride.

Is It Normal For Sex To Hurt During Pregnancy?

Sensitive breasts and nipples can be sexy. But for some, the sensitivity can make interactions painful.

Blood flow and hormones can also make the clitoris very sensitive. As a result, pelvic floor issues can be a challenge.

If you’re tempted to power through” such moments? Don’t. Sex shouldn’t feel like a marathon or endurance sport.

Sex should never hurt, and it’s best to talk openly. There are lots of ways to be intimate. Couples need to find the ones that work for them during the pregnancy.

Is It Normal To Have Orgasmic Dreams At Night During Pregnancy?

Yes. Many women have amazing “wet dreams” or sleep orgasms when pregnant.

Another bonus is due to higher estrogen levels and increased blood flow. It’s normal and will most likely subside after they give birth, so enjoy it!

Can Different Positions Influence The Sex Of My Baby?

There are all sorts of common pregnancy myths about sex and gender. However, she confirms there’s no science at all behind such tales, including conception position, sexual positions during pregnancy, conception date, or time.

Why Don’t I Feel Sexy?

“Pregnancy is such a unique experience for all women. She points out in Western cultures; we’re often told we’ll feel one of two extremes. “You’ll feel wonderful or horrible; you’re either growing or throwing up.”

With ever-shifting hormones and getting used to a new body, many changes can complicate desire. 

According to several studies, many women note a decrease in interest, comfort, and desire in the third trimester. And while fatigue and morning sickness may pass, some of the roadblocks may be related to your mindset.

We still have old notions that a mother is prim and proper, and associating sexuality with pregnancy is a hush-hush topic. If [your partner] doesn’t feel sexy, have them. Look at their ideas about being a mother. It is possible to be a mom and remain a sexual being before, during, and after pregnancy.

She adds that pregnancy may also be a time of psychological and sexual exploration for the pregnant person and their partner.

You may be finding what used to turn you on doesn’t anymore. That may be a matter of different tastes like temporary food cravings and experimenting to see what works.

Is There Anything I Can Do To Reconnect With My Sexual Self?

While each person, pregnancy, and trimester is different, there are a few things you could try to calm the anxieties around your changing body:

Offer yourself positive self-talk, saying statements like “I’m beautiful” or “I’m growing as a human being.

Notice how often you caress your belly. Due to pregnancy, you have increased nerve sensitivity along with increased blood flow. So caress your skin and enjoy the boosted sensations.

If your G-string no longer fits, keep looking for something that makes you feel pretty and sexy and that perhaps helps display your growing rack. There are plenty of maternity lingerie options out there.

Head in for a pregnancy boudoir shoot of your own. Whether you want to go lacy lingerie or pregnant pinup, there are options for every body type and trimester. And trust us, when you’re 81, you’ll think you looked AMAZING.

Is There Anything Sexual That’s Unsafe?

If you’re hoping to enact a little 50 Shades of Pregnancy, go ahead — as long as you and your partner already have experience with floggers, rope, and more.

If you’re the recipient of spankings, your partner should avoid the belly and abdomen and any tie that could constrict blood flow. If you’re new to the scene, maybe wait to put on the cuffs until after pregnancy (and a whole night’s sleep).

Create boundaries of what touch is acceptable if you get started, too.

And while sessions of anal and riding on a Hitachi are excellent, don’t allow anyone to blow air into your vagina. Although rare, air blown into the vagina may cause embolisms and even death.

When Can I Start Having Sex After Having My Baby?

As one study noted, the standard recommendation is about six weeks. However, women with few complications often start having sex before that, as long as tearing or infection isn’t present.

Check with your healthcare provider to find out which camp you’re in.


Sex Positions For Couples

When it comes to pregnancy sex, stick to positions that keep the pressure and weight off the belly. These will likely be more comfortable for you and your pregnant partner.

Stick with positions meant to keep you off your back, too. This helps with avoiding potential blood flow compression, which can lead to light-headedness and other issues.

Positions To Try

  • sex from behind (also known as doggy style)
  • you on top (also known as cowgirl)
  • spooning
  • reverse cowgirl
  • standing
  • seated pregnancy sex
  • oral sex
  • anal sex
  • side-by-side sex

For extra comfort, invest in sex pillows (yes, you can even use your pregnancy pillow for support), lube, and sex toys. Sex doesn’t require penetration for maximum pleasure. Instead, focus on stimulating the clit instead of toys or your fingers.

Positions To Avoid

  • A missionary position (with mom on the bottom) isn’t a good idea as it compresses blood flow to the baby, particularly after the 20th week.
  • Some find prone positions (lying flat on the stomach) uncomfortable.
  • Also, as noted by every doctor and pregnancy book you’ll ever read, don’t blow air up there.

No matter where you are in the trimester, figuring out how to work around challenges during pregnancy sex can be a time of experimentation and positions. Think of it as a time to get out of the box.

Sign up for our I’m Expecting newsletter if you’re looking for more pregnancy guidance on sex, relationships, and more.

Focus On Pregnancy Positives

Being pregnant and being sexy aren’t mutually exclusive. Nor is a hot relationship amid pregnancy.

Just before baby arrives, who will zap out a bunch of that erotic energy, you can reinvigorate your sex life.

The experimentation and flexibility you enjoy now can help keep your relationship sexually fulfilling for decades. Reinvigoration can happen “with each pregnancy, with each stage of pregnancy, and every few years to keep the bedroom spicy.

The only constant throughout pregnancy and a relationship are changing. So when something is no longer pleasurable, begin your expedition to find what is now.

When To See A Doctor, If Needed

Visit your doctor or midwife if you’re experiencing:

  • pain
  • bleeding
  • shortness of breath
  • other physical issues

What If I Don’t Want To Have Sex?

That’s OK. There’s more to intimacy than sex. Share your needs and concerns with your partner openly and lovingly. If sex is difficult, unappealing or off-limits, try cuddling, kissing or massage.


We hope you have enjoyed reading this post and feel a bit more informed about safe sex during pregnancy

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