Last updated: March 9, 2020
Candice Fraser M.D.
Obstetrics & Gynaecology
View Full Profile
Not only is sex safe during pregnancy, it can also offer several health benefits for you and your baby-to-be.
While some women may feel less than amorous while rocking a bump, for others pregnancy can have the opposite effect.
But with that baby bump, it is hard to find the right sex positions during pregnancy. Finding the right sex positions during pregnancy that are comfortable for you lets you enjoy the many health benefits of making love.
Is Sex Safe During Pregnancy?
Sex is a great way to stay connected to your partner, release stress and resolve insomnia during pregnancy. While many new parents may feel apprehensive about pregnancy sex. In a normal pregnancy, sex is completely safe. That is because your body is designed to protect your growing fetus.
Not only is your baby protected by your abdominal and uterine walls, but it also has an amniotic sac of fluid to cushion and provide protection. Your cervix also has a thick mucus plug to protect against infection.
While many say that sex is a great way to induce labor, sex will not induce labor before your baby is ready in a healthy pregnancy.
Sharing this information with your partner could put a positive spin on your sex life during pregnancy. One study found that 80 percent of men worried about hurting the baby during the third trimester. The study suggested that this fear could impact not only the frequency of sexual activity as well as sexual satisfaction.
When to Avoid Sex During Pregnancy
Sex during pregnancy may offer health and relationship benefits, but pregnancy symptoms can also cause a decline in libido. Nausea, exhaustion, back pain and a changing body may mean that you want to abstain from sexual activity. Just because sex can be beneficial during pregnancy does not mean it is mandatory.
There are certain situations where your doctor or midwife may ask you to abstain from sexual activity. In these instances, it is important to clarify if penetration is to be avoided or all sexual activity.
You may be asked to abstain for several different reasons such as:
- History of preterm labor
- Previous miscarriage
- Unexplained bleeding or cramping
- Cervical weakness
- Previous heavy bleeding or vaginal infection
- Low lying placenta (placenta praevia)
Does Pregnancy Sex Feel Different?
Just like every pregnancy is different, so can be the experience of pregnancy sex. For some women they may think that their vaginal muscles feel ‘looser’ during pregnancy. This can be due to pregnancy hormones or increased lubrication.
Other women may experience discomfort during penetration. This could be due to increased sensitivity or could be a sign of another health issue. While it is important to include lots of foreplay to make sure your body is ready for intercourse, you also need to listen to your body. Make sure your healthcare provider is aware of any pain you are experiencing so you can be cleared of any possible medical conditions.
The Benefits of Sex During Pregnancy
Many people may joke that parenthood signals the end of your sex life. While pregnancy may have been the goal of your previous love making, it is also a great reason to have sex regularly.
- Burning calories. Sex is actually one of the most exhilarating ways to get fit. You can burn 50 or more calories during a 30-minute session between the sheets.
- Improved orgasms. Can you believe some women experience their first ever, real orgasm during pregnant sex? This is due to increased blood flow to the vaginal area.
- Improves sleep. Sex can be relaxing for moms-to-be, making them sleep like a baby.
- Immunity boost. Sex has been found to boost IgA, the antibody that fights colds and infection.
- Makes you happier. Orgasms release happy endorphins that will surely improve mood.
With so many health benefits of sex, so what are you waiting for? Practice finding comfortable sex positions during pregnancy today.
Finding Sex Positions During Pregnancy is Fun and Versatile
Here are a few sex positions during pregnancy to give a whirl. They can help you keep intimacy in the bedroom, and possibly be more comfortable for you and your baby.
Missionary is certainly the most common of all sex positions during pregnancy. However, it can get challenging after your first trimester. Put a pillow under you for tilt, and ensure your partner’s weight is not on your baby bump. Missionary position can be a great position for reconnecting with your partner because it allows for great eye contact, the ability to kiss and cuddle and great skin to skin contact.
Cowgirl is simply you on top. And it is one of the best sex positions during pregnancy. There is no weight on your belly and you can control the depth and movement for maximum comfort. This position can be difficult late in pregnancy.
Some sex positions during pregnancy offer extreme comfort. Just like you cuddle, your partner will be facing your back in a spooning position. In your late second trimester and third trimester, keep pillow handy for belly support.
This position also offers more comfort, since penetration is shallower in this position. This will be good in your third trimester if sex becomes uncomfortable in other positions.
4. Doggy Style
Doggy style is one of the preferred sex positions during pregnancy. While on your knees, your partner will enter from behind. It is important to have a few pillows handy for baby bump support in your second and third trimester.
This position can be intense for those experiencing heightened sensitivity.
5. Side-By-Side Angled
Lie on your side facing your partner and make a V-shape with your bodies. You can rest your legs on his hip for support. These V-shaped sex positions during pregnancy take the weight off your belly.
This position also offers comfort, eye contact and easy access for lots of kisses and cuddles. A great opportunity to add lots of intimacy and affection during sex.
6. Chair Straddle
Like many sex positions during pregnancy, it is important to protect your belly bump while also finding a pleasurable position. For this position, straddle your partner while he sits on a chair.
It is important that the chair is sturdy. And you may want to have another chair handy to help you dismount safely after sex.
This position may be perfect for the ‘sweet spot’ of the second trimester when many women get a burst of energy. The second trimester is also often accompanied by a small bump that needs to be accommodated but is often not too big to make positions like this difficult.
7. The Bed’s Edge
This position takes advantage of the furniture around you to make intercourse easier as your pregnancy progresses.
Move your bottom to the bed’s edge and lie on your back, knees up. Your partner will be able to stand or slightly bend to make the magic happen. After the first trimester, have a pillow slightly tilting your back, so you are not completely flat.
This is a slight variation of the missionary position that takes your partner’s weight off of your stomach and leaves his hands free for lots of loving touches.
8. No Penetration
If finding the right sex positions during pregnancy gets more challenging, as you get closer to your big day, there are other options. You and your partner can certainly keep the intimacy alive without penetration.
This is also a great way to find other ways to stay physically close without sex as giving birth also means taking a break from sex to allow your body to heal. With intercourse off the table, it is important to find other ways to physically connect with your partner. Hugs, massages, cuddles, kisses and eye contact will all go a long way to keep your connection alive.
Do you Have Sex Questions you Don’t Want to Ask Your Doctor?
Take advantage of all the health benefits having sex while pregnant have to offer. You and your partner can certainly find the perfect sex positions during pregnancy with a bit of practice. If you have questions along the way, don’t wait for your next appointment. Connect easily with Your Doctors 24 hours a day for a no need to blush online chat. Get answers within minutes without the embarrassing eye contact. Download our free app today.
Disclaimer: This article provides general information and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or medical condition. If you require specific advice, please consult one of our medical professionals through the app. However, in case of an emergency, please call 911.
About Candice Fraser M.D.
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