Becoming a mother, while remaining a woman… Most expectant mothers aspire to this! As you may already know, sexual behavior and activity tends to change during pregnancy, and this is totally normal!
Very often, even if your practitioner gives you the green light for penetration and orgasm while you're expecting, you may still have reservations and wonder if sex during pregnancy is REALLY safe, especially as you near the due date.
In reality, there is no reason for abstinence during a low-risk pregnancy (unless contraindicated by your Doctor) and pursuing an active sex life during this special time can even strengthen the relationship and lay the groundwork for a balanced family!
This being said, you’ll quickly notice that as your belly gets more round, some sex positions while pregnant will become impossible or uncomfortable. When it comes to pregnancy sex positions, it’s more about comfort than safety.
This special time is the perfect opportunity to get creative, and your sex life doesn’t have to take a backseat during these few months! We’ll see bellow that there are plenty of sex positions during pregnancy that can feel comfortable and offer a great time to the both of you!
Pregnant sex - Libido and pregnancy stages
You may notice that your libido may decrease or increase according to the pregnancy stage you’re in.
· Pregnant sex and first trimester :
Fatigue and nausea don’t really promote sexual interest… or any other kind of first trimester exercises! As you may have guessed, desire often decreases during the first trimester of pregnancy. Beside, you may live intensly this new presence inside yourself and the fear of miscarriage may also influence your desire during this period. Rest assured that this fear is unfounded.
At this stage, pregnancy and sex don’t require many adaptations due to the minimal physical changes, but hormones have started to flood the system and your breasts may already feel very tender.
Many women feel the need to wrap themselves up in cotton-wool during the first trimester and enjoy cuddling and snuggling more than penetrative sex. In reality, it’s common to have low or no libido at all.
This can trigger anxiety in your relationship, so it may be a good idea to be upfront about your feelings with your partner.
· Pregnant sex and second trimester :
During the second trimester, desire varies from one expecting mother to another. The “crapy-trimester” should be behind and this is what I called my “golden trimester”! You should start being able to enjoy a normal pregnancy diet, start feeling better and having more energy. This is definitely in favor of libido.
However, the physical changes, weight gain, and the new status of “women-mother” and “partner-dad” can inhibit sexual desire…Plus, hormones may not play in your favor, as vaginal dryness can be observed, leading to less pleasant intercourse.
On a more positive note, some pregnant women having sex claim greater desire and sexual activity than pre-pregnancy. Believe it or not, but orgasms can be twice as powerful as pre-pregnancy and multiple big “O’s” are reportedly more common! So once you get past the continuous nauseous feelings, you may realize that not only is pregnant sex possible, but it may even be better than it was before!
· Pregnant sex and third trimester :
Very often, the last trimester is associated with sexual disinterest. Physical changes can make you uncomfortable, and pregnant sex positions definitely become challenging! Note that an orgasm can trigger uterine contractions, leading some women to avoid repeating this experience for fear of inducing childbirth… In reality, most couples can continue their sex life without risk until the last days of pregnancy. Starting regular perineal massage together could inspire you….
Another thing, the now very noticeable presence of the baby inside you can sometimes frighten you or your partner! We’ll cover these concerns in detail below.
Can having sex hurt my baby?
You can’t hurt the baby, or “touch” him during the intercourse, regardless of the sex positions during pregnancy! Remember that your little one is nestled and cushioned safely in the amniotic sac and uterus.
However, he’ll feel “something” because some information is transmitted. Vibrations and hormonal flows can reach him. Just as he can perceive your negative emotions and stress when you are tensed or angry, he can feel joy and well-being. Besides, the baby might like the gentle rocking of the uterus that happens during orgasm!
Can sex make me go into labor prematurely?
During orgasm, the hormone oxytocin is released and can cause your uterus to contract, sometimes powerfully and for an extended period! You must have heard tales of women being told to have sex near their due dates to bring on baby. Well, these contractions won’t trigger labor unless your body is ready to give birth. In short, uterine contractions caused by orgasm are actually entirely normal and won’t lead to preterm labor if you are experiencing a healthy and low-risk pregnancy.
When is pregnant sex NOT safe?
Your practitioner will probably advise completely against having sex if you experience the following (and possibly other) circumstances:
· If you have a history of preterm labor or premature birth, or are experiencing symptoms,
· If you're experiencing vaginal bleeding or are leaking amniotic fluid,
· If you’ve been diagnosed with placenta previa or an incompetent cervix,
· If you are carrying multiple babies.
To stay on the safe side, always ask your doctor or midwife for the green light for penetration and orgasm.
What are the best sex positions when pregnant?
· The classic position
The "missionary" is totally fine as long as your partner can avoid weighing on your belly by supporting his body with his hands. Kneeling may be a solution for him. It also allows you not to take it easy and relax! However, after a few months, you may not be able to lay on your back without becoming very dizzy or nauseous.
· You on top
The dominant female position, astride, can become one of the favorite positions! You can have control of the depth of penetration allowing you to avoid pain and making you feel more secure and comfortable.
The lateral sex positions during pregnancycould possibly be the ideal positions throughout the whole 9 months, especially through the end of the pregnancy. Your pelvic floor is unweighted, caresses are possible and the penetration isn’t too deep, which is good news for your cervix if it's sensitive.
· Use the edge of the bed!
You can opt for being face to face, making this position feel more intimate because you and your partner can look into each other’s eyes. You may also try facing the bed, allowing you to support your weight on the bed and move your hips more freely to target what feels right for you. The edge of the bed offers great sex positions during pregnancy!
· On all fours
This position prevents pressure on your bladder and uterus. Just encourage your partner to take it slow. This position opens you up to deep penetration and your cervix may be especially sensitive if he goes too deep. So make sure to communicate.
· Against the wall
This allows you to mix it up a little while using the wall as a support!
· Sex without penetration
Non-penetrative sex positions during pregnancy are also great options. Caresses, masturbation or oral sex... can always be an alternative, maintaining intimacy and a balanced relationship.
To sum up, remember that with some common sense and a little creativity, you’ll be able to find comfortable and enjoyable sex positions during pregnancy for the both of you! Don’t overthink it though, you don’t want to ruin the romance that got you pregnant in the first place.