Sex During Pregnancy

Will pregnancy change my interest in sex?

It’s normal for the feelings you and your partner have about sex to change during your pregnancy. At times your desire for sex may increase. You may find that pregnancy makes you feel closer to your partner and more interested in sex. At other times changes in your body and life as a result of the pregnancy may decrease your interest in sex. Your ability to have an orgasm may change.

During the first 3 months of pregnancy, you may feel very tired, and have tender breasts, nausea, vomiting, and fears of miscarriage. These things may lessen your interest in sex.

In the second trimester, you may be more interested in sex. Nausea, tiredness, and fears of miscarriage are usually over. The increased blood supply to the pelvic area may make you feel more sexually aroused.

During the last 3 months, you or your partner may feel awkward about your larger belly. You may feel unattractive or worry that sex will harm the baby. Your partner may resent all the attention you give to preparing for the birth. Any of these things may decrease your interest in sex.

Make sure that you and your partner share your feelings with each other. You may need more affection, closeness, and tenderness during pregnancy. Having sex is not the only way you can have physical closeness. Touching, kissing, and holding can be satisfying ways to show love and affection.

What should we do if sex is uncomfortable?

As your belly gets bigger, sex may become uncomfortable. During the last few months, it’s best to avoid having a lot of pressure on your belly. Also, deep penetration of the penis during sex may be painful. Try the following positions for greater comfort:

  • Woman on top
  • The man facing the woman’s back
  • Lying side by side

Are there times we should avoid sex?

In some cases your healthcare provider may advise you to limit or avoid sex during pregnancy. For example, you may be advised to avoid sex if you have:

  • A history or threat of miscarriage, premature labor, or premature delivery (before 37 weeks)
  • Cramps or vaginal bleeding
  • Infection
  • Pain with intercourse
  • Leaking fluid or breaking of the bag of water
  • Problems such as the placenta covering the opening to your uterus or pulling away from the inside wall of the uterus

Are there any problems that sex during pregnancy can cause?

In a normal pregnancy, having sex is usually safe for you and your baby. It’s very rare for sex to cause problems, such as a miscarriage (loss of a baby). If you do not have a history or signs of miscarriage or premature labor, it’s usually fine to have sex.

You may feel some brief cramping after sex. You may also have some light bleeding or spotting. Cramping or spotting should stop after you have rested for awhile. Call your healthcare provider if:

  • Cramps or bleeding get worse or do not stop.
  • Your bag of waters breaks.

In these cases, do not have sex again until you have seen your healthcare provider. When you reach your 9th month of pregnancy, ask your healthcare provider if it’s still OK to have sex.

It’s important to have just 1 sexual partner who is not sexually active with anyone else. If you have more than 1 sexual partner, you have a greater risk of getting an infection. Sexually transmitted infections are dangerous for both you and your baby.

Developed by RelayHealth.
Adult Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2014-05-08
Last reviewed: 2014-09-21
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright ©1986-2015 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All rights reserved.

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