Pregnancy Sex Positions to Try

As your belly gets bigger, you may need to experiment with new ways to have sex

A couple embracing

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During pregnancy, sex positions are just one of many adaptations you might need to make to accommodate a changing belly (and body). Some people really enjoy sex during pregnancy, some enjoy it less, and for some it's just different. But unless a healthcare provider has specifically told you to avoid sex, it is perfectly safe and does not hurt the baby.

Just as when you are not pregnant, the most enjoyable and comfortable sex positions will be different for everyone. But during pregnancy, you may not want to lie on your back, or have your partner on top. Some pregnant people also prefer to avoid deep penetration.

As you experiment with what works best for you, try these pregnancy sex positions that take the pressure off the back and belly. If you're nervous about trying all new positions, focus on trying one at a time until you find one that works.

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Missionary

Early in pregnancy, most people find that the sex positions they enjoyed previously still work fine. The missionary position, where one partner is on top, is safe in pregnancy.

However, as the pregnancy progresses, if you are not able to lay on your back or withstand pressure on top of your abdomen, the position may no longer be comfortable. In this case, you can try using pillows to support your back. Your partner can help by extending their arms to hold more of their own weight further away from your body.

Many couples love the missionary position because of the face-to-face interaction it allows. As your belly grows and the position becomes more challenging, you can maintain this aspect of the position by rolling onto your side.

In the late stages of pregnancy, the size of your belly may prevent the missionary position from being tolerable, even with support from pillows.

A benefit of using missionary late in pregnancy is that it makes it more difficult to achieve deep penetration. This may be helpful if you are feeling sore.

Pregnant Partner on Top

Many couples prefer this position during the third trimester. As your belly gets bigger, you may find being on top preferable, as this arrangement allows you to control the depth and speed of penetration. The position also allows for manual stimulation to help you reach orgasm.

Rear Entry

Rear-entry positions (also called "doggie style") can be used in any trimester, but are particularly good for the end of pregnancy when your belly is large enough to get in the way in forward-facing positions. In a rear-entry position, you can be on your hands and knees or kneeling, or you and your partner can lay side by side (spooning). You can also use rear-entry positions while standing.

Penetration is more shallow in rear-entry positions, which may be more comfortable. If your partner feels nervous about intercourse as your pregnancy is progressing, positions such as rear entry can ease their fears.

If you find it difficult to reach orgasm in this position, try adding manual stimulation.

Standing

You can think about having sex standing up as an adjustment to any position you use. Standing sex while pregnant, especially when using rear entry, takes the pressure off of your back and avoids your belly. You can use this position at any point during your pregnancy as long as it is comfortable.

You can also perform standing sex while leaning. Try using a wall, bed, table, or whatever happens to be nearby to brace yourself. Many people like standing sex positions during pregnancy because they allow for shallow penetration and tend to slow sex down.

Seated

You can also try using a chair during sex while you are pregnant to help you get more comfortable. Have your partner sit down on a sturdy, armless chair (you can also use a table or other sturdy surface to rest on). From there, you can straddle them and, depending on the height of the chair, place your feet on the ground.

This pregnancy sex position is great for controlling speed and depth of penetration, and it can be used during any trimester of pregnancy.

2 Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Lee JT, Lin CL, Wan GH, Liang CC. Sexual positions and sexual satisfaction of pregnant women. J Sex Marital Ther. 2010;36(5):408-420. doi:10.1080/0092623X.2010.510776

  2. Jones C, Chan C, Farine D. Sex in pregnancyCMAJ. 2011;183(7):815-818. doi:10.1503/cmaj.091580

By Robin Elise Weiss, PhD, MPH
Robin Elise Weiss, PhD, MPH is a professor, author, childbirth and postpartum educator, certified doula, and lactation counselor.