When you think of the sexiest times in life, pregnancy might not immediately jump to mind. But doing the deed while you’re knocked up can be a sweet adventure. It’s a chance for you and your partner to bond in ways (and positions!) you never have before.
As your hormones shift and your body changes, you may find that your desire comes and goes. Or goes and comes. Expect the unexpected, because there is no one kind of normal. Early in pregnancy, some women feel so crummy they can barely drag themselves through the days — forget about romance. Others find they are suddenly insatiable. The second trimester, meanwhile, often brings amazing energy … at work, for workouts and even beneath the duvet. By the third trimester, having to work around that belly can inspire couples to find new ways to get hands-on.
Here is everything you need to know about sex during all three trimesters of pregnancy so you feel safe, secure and most definitely sexy.
Sex during the first trimester of pregnancy
What if I’m too nauseous to feel like having sex?
So you’re feeling too queasy to get busy now that you’re pregnant? You’re not alone. This an incredibly common complaint, particularly in the first trimester, when a full three-fourths of women get so-called morning sickness (which should really be called most-of-the-day sickness). It may be due, in part, to your body reacting to the pregnancy hormone hCG. Estrogen and progesterone also may play a role, by slowing down the digestive process.
Add in the exhaustion most women feel out of the gate, and it’s no wonder you’re not up for knocking boots. If you want a work-around, try rearranging the romance to a different time, such as before bed if you feel lousy in the a.m.
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The good news? Morning sickness usually ends by weeks 12 to 14. So if you’re feeling more tired than turned on, hang in there and try to be patient with yourself. You will feel more like yourself again soon — in the bedroom and out.
Is it normal if my sex drive has increased?
Yes. The many changes of pregnancy tend to have a powerful effect on a woman’s libido. Some women develop a supersized sex drive, while others find that their libido is lagging a little (or a lot).
It sounds like you’re one of the lucky ones with extra oomph in the bedroom. You can thank pregnancy hormones, plus the additional blood flow to the labia, clitoris and vagina, which makes you feel extra tingly down below and can lead to more frequent or more intense orgasms.
Not to mention that many women find pregnancy itself sexually freeing. You may feel excited about the changes in your body and uninhibited because you no longer have to worry about birth control — there’s nothing like having to search for condoms or a diaphragm to kill the mood!
Can sex early in pregnancy cause a miscarriage?
You can breathe easy: It is safe to have sex throughout your pregnancy, including those first 12 weeks after conception. There’s also no need to worry if you were taking birth control pills before you realized you were pregnant — this isn’t linked to pregnancy loss either.
Is your partner freaked out that your roll in the hay may harm the baby? This is a worry many fathers-to-be share. Reassure him that the baby is safe and snug up in your uterus, well out of reach of his penis. As long as he takes his cues from you, and your doctor has given you the green light to enjoy intercourse, you two can go for it without a worry.
Sex during the second trimester of pregnancy
What sex positions are safe now?
As long as your doctor has given you the green light, there are many positions that are safe to try. Throughout the three trimesters, sex is all about trial and error. What feels amazing one week may be awkward the next. And what works for one woman may be downright uncomfortable for another. Here are some pregnancy sex positions that are safe and steamy:
- Side positions: Whether you’re face-to-face or spooning, side poses work well because your belly is comfortably supported and you’re off your back. Also, penetration tends to be less deep from this angle.
- Missionary position: If you prefer man on top, just make sure he supports his full weight with his arms and doesn’t rest any of it on you. And make it a quickie; after the fourth month, you shouldn’t spend much time on your back.
- Woman on top: Cowgirl may not be doable later in pregnancy, but it works well in the first and second trimesters. What’s good about this pose is that you control the action.
In case you were wondering about anal sex: While it is probably safe, you do need to take some precautions to prevent an infection. Your partner should never go from the back door to front without showering first — otherwise, he could transfer bacteria into the vagina.
Is oral sex safe?
Yes, oral sex is safe when you’re expecting. Just make sure that during oral sex your partner doesn’t forcibly blow air into your vagina, because in rare cases this could cause an air embolism to block a blood vessel, a life-threatening scenario. There are no precautions if you’re the one giving rather than receiving. And if you were wondering: Swallowing semen is permitted during pregnancy.
Is it normal to get cramps during or after orgasm or sex?
No worries: Feeling a little crampy when you climax is not a sign anything is amiss. This harmless discomfort is caused by the increased blood flow to the pelvic area during pregnancy, combined with the usual congestion of the sexual organs during sex, and the normal contractions of the uterus after sex. The uterine contractions can last for up to a half hour after intercourse.
Anxiety can also contribute to your post-passion pain. Worried that you might hurt the baby by having sex? That stress can trigger your body to tense up. Keep in mind that unless your OB has instructed you otherwise, it is completely safe to enjoy sex during these nine months.
Staying calm through deep breathing can help your whole body relax, which should ease your post-coital cramping. Why not tap your partner for a gentle lower back massage? Relaxing your muscles will get you feeling more pleasure, no pain.
Sex during the third trimester of pregnancy
Why are my breasts leaking during sex?
What you’re noticing is colostrum, a premilk that some women start to produce in the third trimester. Sexual stimulation can sometimes prompt the breasts to release it. The drip may surprise you the first time, but it’s just a normal part of your body preparing for baby (smart body!). Grab a towel if you feel more comfortable, then get right back to enjoying every sensuous moment with your partner.
Is it a bad sign if I bleed a little after sex?
Don’t panic. The cervix — the mouth of the uterus — is soft and engorged during pregnancy. So it’s not uncommon to notice a little spotting after sex late in pregnancy, particularly with deep penetration. Plus, you can also have post-sex spotting earlier in pregnancy. This bleeding is generally harmless, but it’s a good idea to let your doctor know so he or she can reassure you.
Is it safe to have keep getting it on during the third trimester, or will sex close to my due date induce labor?
Don’t believe the myths: Late-in-pregnancy sex does not bring on baby. While some research suggests that semen, which contains prostaglandins, and oxytocin — the hormone released by a woman’s body during orgasm — could possibly speed things along, there’s no good scientific evidence that this is true.
Okay, what about all those women who are past their due dates, mess around and, poof, go into labor? Chances are, that’s because their cervix and uterus were ready to get down to business, without the nookie. Even so, if you are past your due date and your practitioner prescribes sex, it’s safe to give it a try. At very least, it will take your mind off the waiting.
No matter what trimester you’re in, rest assured that sex is a healthy — and happy! — part of pregnancy. As long as your doctor gives the all-clear, you’re free to do what feels good, whether that’s a romp or a cuddle. Who needs Bermuda when you can have a babymoon right in your own bedroom?
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