Sex While Pregnant: All The Questions You're Too Nervous To Ask

So you’ve been trying and trying and finally, it’s happened: you’re pregnant and expecting. Two pink lines on a plastic stick have started to change your body, and well, just about everything in your life. But you probably have one small question that feels a little weird to ask—can you still have sex while pregnant? What are the limits?

We’re here to answer all you’re wondering: is sex safe during pregnancy, do you need to use protection, and can it trigger labor? Don’t worry, these aren’t necessarily common knowledge and we totally understand why you’re curious. So, let’s get to it (that pun was kind of intended). 

 

Can sex hurt my pregnancy or my baby? 

The short answer here is, go crazy! Well, not like honeymoon phase crazy, because we all know how those positions can land you upside down in no time. But yes, if you have a normal pregnancy, there is little to no risk in having sex, as long as you’re checking in with your practitioner and staying on top of your checkups. Most women can actually have sex (if they’re feeling up to it) all the way up until their water breaks. Be sure to ask your practitioner about any risks, because every pregnancy is different. Practitioners may not recommend sex if you have a history of miscarriages, preterm labor, abnormal vaginal bleeding, amniotic sac leakage, or other complications. 

 

Can you hit the baby if you go deep enough? 

Don’t worry, your little one won’t be a spectator in the activities you have going on between the sheets. In fact, no matter how blessed your partner is, he still won’t be able to reach the baby; the baby is not growing in your vagina. Your baby is actually very well protected by your uterus and a layer of muscle - cocooned by amniotic fluid. That amniotic sac will keep your baby warm and protected, in the strong walls of your uterus and behind your cervix. And if you feel some movement- that’s just a coincidence, or maybe because your little one likes the soothing, rocking motion.

 

Still unsure about how to connect with your partner in the bedroom? Don’t worry. We spoke with a licensed midwife, Leopi Sanderson-Edmunds, about navigating sex from a more experiential perspective. Read more in our article here!

 

Do I have to use protection? 

Many people don’t wear condoms during pregnancy because, obviously, you’re already pregnant. However, a large risk that you may not be thinking about is Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s). Infections such as Chlamydia, Syphilis, Herpes, Hepatitis B, Gonorrhea, and others can be dangerous for your baby, and affect your delivery. During your first appointments during pregnancy, you’ll be tested for STI’s, but what is still a possibility is contracting it later in the pregnancy. Just make sure to consult with your doctor before going unprotected. 

 

Will it feel good? Can I orgasm? 

Okay, hear us out first trimester warriors- it is totally normal not to feel in the mood right now. Your first trimester is a plethora of change, plus it’s oftentimes filled with nausea, tiredness, and mood swings, so don’t feel the need to push yourself! You’re going through a lot, and your partner will understand. 

Once your symptoms from the first trimester start to fade (or maybe you were still feeling frisky anyways), sex during pregnancy could be some of the best sex of your life. Yep, you heard us right! Many women have said sex during pregnancy was way better than sex before- and there’s a reason for this. During pregnancy, there’s actually an increase in blood flow to your pelvic area, so it actually makes orgasms more powerful. On the other hand, you also may never want to have sex again, and literally want to strangle your partner for even asking. And that’s okay too. One day at a time, one day at a time. Just know you’re not alone- having lower libido levels is totally normal, too.

 

What are other ways to stay connected to my partner if I don’t want to have sex? 

Try keeping up that physical touch in other ways! Cuddling, making out, giving massages, or even oral sex will keep that love alive. Just because you’re not inside each other doesn’t mean you have to lose your passion. 

 

What are the best positions to try during pregnancy? 

The quick answer here is you’re going to have to test it out. Just like pre-pregnancy, some positions feel better than others. Most women find that positions with little to no pressure on their abdomen are best, so give these a try: 

Go on top! If you have the energy, going on top can be comfortable since there isn’t any pressure on your abdomen. 

On a chair - Try having your partner sit on a chair and climb on top. Try facing the same way, and the opposite way and see if either one feels good.

The edge of the bed - Similar to a chair, this will have low impact and be an easy position for you. Try sitting on your partner.

From little spoon position - Lie down with your partner facing your back and entering from behind. This position tends to be a little more shallow, which won’t push on your abdominal wall.

Missionary - If you want to do missionary (or get in a quickie), wedge a pillow under your pelvis so you’re tilted upwards, and make sure your partner doesn’t have any weight on your belly. 

 

Can sex trigger labor? 

By your third trimester, you could be experiencing some mild contractions. This could be triggered by so many things, but it’s also worth noting you may feel them after an orgasm- but not to worry! Generally speaking, if you have a normal, low-risk pregnancy, an orgasm can’t trigger early labor. Of course, make sure to check with your practitioner to make sure you’re not at high risk, but sexual stimulation itself cannot push your baby out. In your final weeks, it could create the activity needed to start labor, but that won’t happen unless you’re ready. 

 

Are there benefits to having sex during pregnancy? 

Ab-so-lutely. Let’s start by saying that if you can’t have sex during pregnancy, it’s not a world ender- but if you can muster the energy and willpower, it’s really healthy to do. Here’s why:

It’s a good form of exercise - Yep! Get that heart rate up! 

You can have better orgasms - As mentioned above, the increased circulation can make for killer orgasms.

Better sleep - releasing that energy will help you relax and will release good hormones.

It can help with discomfort - Orgasms release oxytocin, a hormone that increases your pain tolerance!

Develop a closer bond with your partner - Partners can sometimes feel like all the attention is on baby, and they want some of it too! Navigating through this time together and exploring the changes in your body will bring you closer.