Sex During Pregnancy in Each Trimester

Pregnant couple in bed

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Pregnant sex is something you may have questions about. The body undergoes so many changes during pregnancy, and sexuality is no different. There are times you may want sex in pregnancy and times you may not want sex at all. The key is communication about what you need and what your partner needs. The vast majority of pregnant women and their partners report that sex in pregnancy is great.

Here is a look at the physical and emotional changes that might occur in each trimester. These may affect your sex life (although everyone is different).

Sex in the First Trimester

Your breasts may be sensitive, causing either increased pleasure or pain. The first trimester is when breasts undergo the most changes in terms of sensitivity and even size increases. You may also notice that your areolas widen and darken, along with your nipples.

It's also possible that nausea and fatigue may diminish your sexual appetite during the first trimester. Threatened miscarriage may limit the amount of intercourse or orgasms you may have. Your midwife or doctor will tell you if this is the case.

Orgasms may seem to linger, causing a feeling of tension in your vagina and clitoris. Some moms-to-be describe this as a feeling of unresolved orgasm. One mom called it the true definition of "hurt so good."

You and your partner may find your desire for sex increased because you do not have to think about birth control (or trying to conceive). This doesn't mean you're not at risk for sexually transmitted diseases: You are. If there's any question of an STD, take steps to protect yourself.

Some women find themselves preoccupied with the thought of sex, including dreams and strange fantasies. Sometimes these dreams are troublesome, like dreams of a cheating partner. Other times women describe it as having an adult movie theater in their heads. These are all normal experiences.

Sex in the Second Trimester

The vagina is more lubricated and the clitoris and vagina are more engorged. Many women will become orgasmic or multi-orgasmic for the first time during pregnancy because of this added engorgement.

Many women feel sexy with their new figures, particularly if they are feeling less sick than in the first trimester.​ Your partner is likely to be grateful you're feeling well again, and happy to have anything going on in the bedroom besides sleep.

Depending on what kind of sexual activity you and your partner engage in, they may worry about hurting the baby, or of the baby "knowing" what is going on. There's very little chance of your partner hurting the baby during sex, but if you have concerns, talk to your doctor.

Obviously, this is not the time to be shy; if your usual sexual activity is non-traditional or involves practices outside the mainstream, your doctor can tell you if you need to curb it during pregnancy. But only if you're completely honest! The only thing that should absolutely be avoided for pregnant women is a partner blowing air into the vagina. This could cause a placental air embolism.

Sex in the Third Trimester

Your uterus will occasionally have spasms lasting upwards of one minute during orgasms. This is different from contractions. But near your due date, contractions may occur after sex, sometimes for up to a half-hour. Sex will not start labor if your cervix is not ripe, so the average woman does not have to worry about preterm labor.

If the baby's head is deep in the pelvis, you may have pain or spotting during or after sex. This is normal. But if there are positions that are giving you pain, or make you uncomfortable, avoid them at this stage. And any bleeding, however trivial it seems, should be mentioned to your doctor.

Because of all the engorgement in the vagina and clitoris, orgasm may not relieve the sexual tension you feel. You will become more fatigued in the third trimester, which can make timing difficult. And positioning at this stage may be a challenge, so prepare to be creative. Every pregnant woman has a different belly, so try different positions until you find one that works for you both. Avoid lying on your back.

At this stage of the game, you may be feeling self-conscious about your size, and worrying whether you're still desirable to your partner. This is the time for your partner to step up and make sure you knows you're as beautiful as ever.

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