sex during pregnancy guide

Sex When Pregnant Guide – Keeping It Safe & Fun

Reading Time: 8 minutes

After months of trying to conceive, we felt an overwhelming sense of relief. The monthly sex schedule was a thing of the past (thank god!). We didn’t have to worry about which was the best position to conceive. There wasn’t the need to have sex at regular intervals, we could go back to just having fun.

Except, we haven’t!

I think we have both been so exhausted from the whole process that sex is the furthest thing from our thoughts. We both know it is important but neither of us have the energy. Can you really blame us?

Plus, there are a heap of questions we had about sex when pregnant. Are there certain positions that are dangerous for the baby? How do you overcome the tiredness? Is the advice different depending how far along you are? Will it feel different?

We have tried to answer each of these questions. Both from our experience to date and from our research.

How Will Your Sex Drive Change?

sexual desire graph
Sex drive for both men and women can vary greatly during pregnancy

From the research, the 2nd trimester is when your sex drive will see a spike. The woman has the relief of a positive first scan, the end of morning sickness and the easing of boob soreness. From the guy’s side, he has limited sex in the first trimester and the woman’s boobs are even more appealing than normal. There are a number of other reasons that your sex drive can fluctuate during pregnancy.

As a result, don’t be surprised if you start having a lot more sex in the 2nd trimester, after a drop during the first trimester.

However, for every woman that sees a spike in their sex drive, there is another that has no interest throughout their pregnancy. From Hollywood and TV, the ‘horny’ phase is often depicted. The ‘boring’ asexual feeling doesn’t get quite the same attention but is just as likely.

sexual cycle during pregnancy

During the third trimester, the fatigue is likely to return and the bump will becoming increasingly large. This combination of factors can mean that sex drive returns to the levels of the first trimester. However, again, it does vary from couple to couple. Both in terms of the man and the woman. Some men will find the motherly glow attractive while others will be deterred by the bump.

The overall advice is to just go with what your body feels. If you feel horny then go for it. If you don’t, then don’t force it. This is a stressful enough time for your body as it is.

Communication Is Key

It is important that you continue to communicate as a couple. If one of you is feeling a heightened sexual appetite while the other isn’t, that can cause unwanted conflict. While stress harmed your chances of your conceiving, it also isn’t healthy when you’re pregnant.

There are a number of alternatives to penetrative sex, if you’re not feeling up to it. An increase in bloodflow to your private area can mean that oral, finger and toy stimulation are all even more fun than normal. A word of warning, don’t blow air into the woman during oral sex. This can lead to major complications and should be avoided at all costs.

What’s more, the adrenaline rush caused by an orgasm can see all of your worries melt away. The release of oxytocin will also bring you closer together as a couple, which is key during pregnancy.

stress free zone

Can Sex During Pregnancy Harm The Baby?

The short answer is that if you’re doing the right positions, you can safely have sex throughout your pregnancy. A mucus plug at the neck of the womb means that the ejaculate will never reach the baby.

For some, pregnancy will mean a more active sex life, for others it will cause a notable drop. Everyone is different.

This is the big question and the one that everyone wants to know. Chris is still reluctant because of the visions of his penis prodding the baby. While this is a physical impossibility, the idea of sex during pregnancy can still feel a bit ‘weird’.

During sex, you may even feel the baby move more. This isn’t because the baby is in distress. This is a response to the increased bloodflow, the increase in your heart rate and the rocking motion. It isn’t the baby desperating trying to get you to stop!

Does Sex Feel Different When You’re Pregnant?

Again, the short answer is yes. Sex could feel very different when you’re pregnant and this is for a couple of different reasons. Firstly, you will probably have to try a couple of new positions. These new positions will naturally feel different and might cause different stimulation.

Secondly, it is not unusual for you to feel much closer to your partner during pregnancy, particularly during the 2nd trimester. The heightened sense of closeness can make sex much more enjoyable.

Finally, increase estrogen levels and bloodflow can massively increase sensitivity. Many women report that sex is never as good as during their pregnancy. At the moment, sex is far from my thoughts but perhaps this will change during the 2nd trimester, as is reported.

The Best Sex Positions During Pregnancy

As the weeks advance, it is increasingly dangerous for the woman to lay flat on her back. The growing uterus can mean that major blood vessels are compressed when she’s lying flat on her back.

As a result, a number of the most popular sex positions are out of the window. Instead, you will need to consider positions from behind or on your side. The best approach is to experiment and find what works best for both of you. Finding the right position can take away some of the impulsiveness at first!

In the first trimester, all positions will still be open to you, depending on how you feel. During the second trimester, most are still safe but you should avoid lying on your back. Finally, in the third trimester, you may need to tread carefully and choose positions that work for both of you.

Below are some of the best sex positions for when you are pregnant:

#1 – Cowgirl

cowgirl sex position

This position puts the woman in complete control. You can go at the pace and depth that works perfectly for you. This is a great option when you’re first trying sex after falling pregnant. Find what works best for you.

#2 – Reverse Cowgirl

reverse cowgirl

This is a much less personal option but again puts you in complete control. Go at the tempo and depth that works best for you.

#3 – Doggy Style

Doggy style

This position feels like it isn’t really romantic enough. I feel like pregnant sex should be even more romantic than normal. Despite my reservations, this position proves very popular on MumsNet, receiving rave reviews.

As demonstrated in the image above, if you are going to be doing this position regularly, don’t arch your back!

#4 – Spooning

Spooning

This is probably the most romantic position in the collection but can be the most awkward. I was never really a fan of this position before pregnancy and consequently, we’ve not tried it out yet. I think this will be a fallback option for us. It does receive positive reviews on the various pregnancy forums.

#5 – The Edge of The Bed

the butterfly sex position

It is important that you guide him during this position. This choice is great for allowing extra penetration but it could become a bit too much for you. Start off slow, there is no need to rush straight in. If this is still too much then try one of the previous positions. Remember, don’t try to force sex during your pregnancy. If you’re both in the mood then great, if not, give yourselves a break. That applies to both the man and the woman.

Sex Might Get Seriously Good!

During pregnancy, there is a massive increase in the bloodflow to your genitals. The bloodflow can increase by as much as 40%, increasing sensitivity in each of the erogenous zones. This increased bloodflow equals a greater chance of stimulation. While your libido might be down, if you do have sex, it will potentially be much more enjoyable.

Plus, during pregnancy, your estrogen levels will sky-rocket. This heightened hormone level can mean that you have sex on the brain, more sexual fantasies and increased sensitivity.

When Sex Should Be Avoided During Pregnancy

While sex is generally safe during pregnancy, there are groups that should avoid penetrative sex. For those that have a history of miscarriages and preterm labour, sex can be dangerous to the baby and mother, and should be avoided. You should also seek the advice of a medical professional, if you think there is a reason for concern.

The midwives are always super helpful and knowledgable. I must’ve asked over 100 questions in my first appointment.

If there is an unusual smelling discharge or blood after penetrative sex then tell your doctor immediately. It is always worth getting it checked out by an expert, even if it turns out to be nothing.

Will My Breasts Leak & Why?

It is completely normal for the woman’s breasts to leak a little bit from the 2nd trimester onwards. Breast stimulation is one of the main ways that women can be aroused. Yet, a leaking boob can kill the mood if you’re not expecting it.

The key to avoiding this mood killer is to just be prepared for it. The boob leaking is completely natural and is just one of those natural things that can happen during pregnant sex. The boob leaking can happen from 14 weeks onwards and you can get pads to protect against clothing damage!

Can I Use Sex Toys When Pregnant?

If you want to use sex toys then you can still use sex toys. Sex toys are an important part of foreplay and shouldn’t be neglected during pregnancy. That goes for vibrators too.

Obviously, you will need to make sure that you are a little bit careful and share any discomfort. As long as you communicate and ‘don’t go mad’, sex toys are fine during pregnancy.

Will Having Sex Cause Labour?

Much of the research seems to suggest that this is another old wives tale. Nonetheless, like most of these stories, there is some basis for it. Having an orgasm will lead to the release of prostaglandins which can cause contractions. However, unless you are known to have a weak cervix, having sex will not induce labour.

Other Sex Pregnancy Resources

We have collated answers to each of the most popular questions but there are other great resources available. If you want to find out more then each of the sites below have great answers to each of the major questions.

NCT.org – Sex during pregnancy

WebMD – Is sex during pregnancy safe?

Parents.com – Sex drive by trimester

Babycentre – Sex position illustrations

…and thanks for stopping by. I thought I would introduce us; myself (Jo) and my boyfriend Chris. We’ll both be uploading our innermost thoughts and musings over the next phase of our lives which we hope is a very happy one. Welcome to our world x

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