Sex During Pregnancy - Is It Safe To Have Sex When Pregnant?

Author :- Sophia Anthony March 19, 2021, 3:35 p.m.
Sex During Pregnancy - Is It Safe To Have Sex When Pregnant?

Introduction to pregnancy sex

Pregnancy may lead to various changes in your life, but you’ll be happy to know that for the most part, you can keep having sex frequently if you desire. Many couples can continue throughout the term of the pregnancy, although you may have to vary your positions as the pregnancy moves along. 

Intercourse sometimes drops off towards the end of a pregnancy, according to the Canadian Medical Association Journal. This may be due to fear of damaging the baby, nausea, discomfort, lowered self-esteem, and body perception or decreased interest. If this does occur, it’s nothing to worry about. It’s completely normal and should have no impact on your after-baby sex life.

Is pregnancy sex harmful?

Both pregnancy and menopause affect your sex life, but not in a way that could hurt you. Generally speaking, sex during pregnancy is not harmful to either partner or the baby. The uterus and amniotic fluid provide a strong barrier for the fetus, and there’s no chance of doing it damage through intercourse. You will not lose the baby having sex while you’re pregnant.

There are points during the pregnancy where women may experience vaginal dryness due to low levels of progesterone, which could lead to painful or uncomfortable intercourse. If this occurs, you’re advised to use lubricants or avoid sex until this changes.

There are some potential complications of sex during pregnancy, although they aren’t overly common and mostly occur in high-risk pregnancies. These include pelvic inflammatory disease, preterm labor, antepartum hemorrhage in the placenta, and venous air embolism.  

How does sex during pregnancy vary from non-pregnancy sex?

A woman’s body goes through numerous changes and ups and downs during pregnancy. There are times when the hormones cause your sexual desire to go through the roof, and you’ll want to have sex a lot. However, low sex drive in women is also common during points in the pregnancy.

A study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health discovered that during the first trimester couples are less likely to have sex due to nausea and breast sensitivity. The second trimester is the most active in terms of frequency and satisfaction. During the third trimester, pain during intercourse for some women causes a big decline in having sex. 

When it comes to sexual satisfaction, there are differences throughout the pregnancy. Some women report that, at times, they experience more pleasure and better orgasms during sex than previously. There are also times when it brings little pleasure and may even be painful.

A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that sexual satisfaction was no different during pregnancy, despite the decline in activity during the third trimester.

When to avoid sex during pregnancy?

Source: Pexels

There are times during a pregnancy where sex can be painful, especially during the third trimester. This may be due to vaginal dryness, or some other physical issue, but if it happens, you should take a break.

Besides, the Mayo Clinic warns that, on a rare occasion, you can have uterine contractions due to orgasms, breast stimulation, or hormones in the semen. If you experience symptoms like vaginal bleeding, leaking fluid, the placenta covering the uterine opening, or a dilated cervix, see a doctor. They may suggest that you stay away from sex for some time.

Can pregnancy sex cause you to go into labor?

A common symptom during the third trimester is low sex drive in women due to discomfort and back pain. However, some physicians will recommend having sex around the time or before the due date to speed up the process of going into labor. 

They assume this may help cause uterine contractions due to breast stimulation, orgasm, and hormones in the semen. There are a variety of different opinions as to whether this is effective or not. A study published in the Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal concluded that sexual activity in the last week of labor correlates with labor onset.

The chances that you’ll go into early labor due to sex during pregnancy are not high. Generally, women go into labor when their bodies are ready despite having sex. 

What are some ideal pregnancy sex positions? 

As pregnancy progresses and the belly gets bigger, positions like missionary are no longer comfortable. Women often feel bloated, and the size of the belly can certainly get in the way of certain sex moves. However, there are some ideal positions you can try, especially in the later stages of the pregnancy.

  • Doggie Style – This position is useful because your belly is tucked out of the way. However, you have to make sure you lie down on the bed with your head and arms resting, so you don’t have to carry the weight of your belly during sex.
  • Side by Side – This is a comfortable position because the weight is off both your belly and your back. You also have a lot of control over the depth of penetration. This is important because, at this stage, some women feel pain with deep intercourse.
  • Woman on Top – This is a great sex position for pregnancy because it doesn’t put pressure on the belly. It also allows the woman control over the depth of penetration. However, it may not be ideal later in the pregnancy when you feel heavy and have a sore back.

Final words

Pregnancy and menopause affect your sex life with their shifting hormones and, sometimes, unpleasant symptoms. They are both associated with low libido at certain stages, as well as mood swings. In particular, pregnancy brings with it physical changes that pose challenges, like a growing belly and back pain.

Being able to bar a few challenges, however, most couples find they get a lot of enjoyment out of sex during pregnancy. There are times when women feel a huge amount of sexual desire and maybe more sexually sensitive than usual. Also, the freedom of not having to use birth control adds to the pleasure for some people.

Sex during pregnancy is perfectly safe. You are certainly not going to hurt the baby and will only enhance your relationship.


  1. Canadian Medical Association Journal
  2. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
  3. Mayo Clinic

Cover photo by Pexels