A majority of pregnant women believe that their partner’s manhood will hit their uterus during sexual intercourse and therefore pose a risk to the developing fetus. But this is not true most of the time.
Sex is safe during pregnancy for both the mother and the unborn baby unless the doctor advises otherwise.
However, some challenges or changes that come with pregnancy can affect your sex drive. The big belly, body aches, pregnancy fatigue, feeling unattractive and difficult arousal can discourage an expectant mother towards sex.
But you can still enjoy sex. Here are some tips:
What you need to know before having sex during pregnancy
Your body undergoes major changes during pregnancy and your sex life and sexual drive aren’t spared. However, this doesn’t mean that all pregnant women have a common view towards sex. Some women will experience increased libido while others may experience a drop in their sexual drive.
Various factors can contribute to the changes in sex drive during pregnancy as discussed below:
Pregnancy symptoms and body insecurities
Morning sicknesses during the first trimester can make a woman lose interest in sex. Fatigue as well during this period will leave you feeling so weary and not strong enough to engage in sex.
As the pregnancy progresses, the size of your belly increases as well. This will make some women feel that they are no longer sexy.
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Your partner being unsure about sex during your pregnancy
The partner of an expectant mother can be unsure about when and how to initiate sex. They could also not be sure of the right sex positions that will be comfortable for the lady. Such partners are afraid of sex thinking that it might hurt the mother or the developing baby.
In the absence of proper communication, an expectant mother may interpret their partner’s fear of sex to mean something else. The mother might think that their partner no longer finds them attractive and therefore suspect him of obtaining sexual satisfaction from somewhere else.
Therefore, as an expectant mother, you will also need to keep your partner’s concerns in check.
Increased blood flow during pregnancy
Pregnancy brings about increased flow of blood in the body. For some women, this increased flow especially around the genitals which leads to increased lubrication will boost their sex drive. These women will say that sex feels better during pregnancy than during any other day.
It is also important to note that not all pregnant women experience increased libido due to the increased blood flow, some will hate sex with all their being.
Think beyond vaginal sex
There are those moments during pregnancy that penetration won’t be appealing. The last trimester in particular might be characterized by lots of fatigue and lack of interest in everything outside of the woman.
This doesn’t mean that you cannot connect with your partner. Sex is not all that there is for sexual life. At such moments you can consider other forms of sexual intimacy such as kissing, caressing, manual stimulation, oral stimulation, massage, or using a vibrator.
Benefits of sex during pregnancy
The benefits of sexual intercourse don’t pause after the egg is fertilized. Sex will also contribute to the health of a pregnancy. However, this doesn’t mean that you make love with just anyone. It is important to stick to one partner to avoid getting infections that might affect both you and your unborn baby.
It is important to note that the more the cervix comes into contact with your partner’s semen, the more it develops tolerance toward it. This in turn will ensure that your sexual desire towards your partner is alive.
Sexual intercourse during pregnancy has loads of benefits to the expectant mother, the fetus as well as the partner as seen below:
Easier labor and recovery
The pelvic floor contracts with every orgasm you achieve. This helps in strengthening the muscles with makes labor easier and fast healing after delivery.
Once the baby is pushed through these muscles, it will be easier for them to strengthen up easily back to their original firm state. In addition to sex, you can also consider adding Kegel exercises to strengthen the muscles even more.
Having sex on your due date or when your due date has passed can’t lead to labor. But the prostaglandins present in semen will help to ripen your cervix thus making it ready for labor.
Reduced bathroom visits
As the baby gets bigger, the pressure on the bladder also increases. This makes you visit the bathroom so often.
There are those awkward moments resulting from the pressed bladder where some urine leaks whenever you lough, walk or stand. Sometimes the urine will not wait for you to get to the bathroom. It leaks when you are on your way.
The same muscles that sex strengthens, making them ready for labor, can also prevent the leaking of urine. These muscles can help to hold the urine for a bit longer or until you get to the bathroom.
Preeclampsia is a complication during pregnancy that is often characterized by high blood pressure.
Medical research has shown that frequent sex can help to prevent preeclampsia to some extent. This is as a result of some proteins found in semen that help to improve the immune system of the body.
However, it’s important to keep the prenatal visits because the causes of preeclampsia remain unknown up to date. Allow your doctor to assess any risks that you could be exposed to.
Pregnancy will make the nerve endings in your body more sensitive. It will also make the clitoris and your nipples engorged and cause more blood loaded with estrogen to flow around the pelvis area.
All these changes will make you achieve a longer and stronger orgasm. It’s during this period where most women who had struggles with orgasm before pregnancy no longer have to struggle to achieve one.
The changes that happen within the body of a pregnant mother can make her lose the sense of who she is. She may feel that she is no longer the person she used to be before pregnancy and neither understand who she currently is.
Sex will help such a mother to retain her identity. It will make her feel accepted even with all the changes happening in her body. This will also help her improve on how she views herself and the self-worth she places on herself.
Life is so full of issues that can leave one anxious or depressed. A pregnant woman could be facing some work-related challenges or some family issues. She could even be anxious about how her life will be after the birth of her child. All these issues can wear the woman down.
There is hope though. You can still have better sleep, thanks to the love hormone referred to as Oxytocin. This hormone is usually released in your body whenever you have an orgasm. It will help you relax and shed off any anxiety or stress.
Better relationship with your partner
The willingness of your partner to make love to you regardless of how you feel unsexy can make you love him even more. You will need this unconditional relationship even after giving birth.
A relationship perfected through discomforts will be a great foundation for your love life.
Sex positions during pregnancy
Most gynecologists/obstetricians say that most sex positions are safe during pregnancy provided there is no discomfort.
This means that you have the go-ahead to be as creative as possible in matters relating to sex positions. Plus, you can maintain the positions you liked before pregnancy as long as the belly is comfortable.
Even though every trimester will be selective of the sex positions it prefers, most limitations might be experienced during the final trimester.
Whichever stage you are at in pregnancy, there are several workable sex positions you can practice with your partner as seen below:
This position is perfect for several women during the first and second trimesters.
This sex position during pregnancy will require you to lie on either your right or left side. Have your upper leg raised while your partner is by your genitals. Let your lower leg be in between his two legs that are in kneeling position as the other is raised.
To create the scissor effect, with the legs of both of you interlocking, your partner can either maintain the kneeling position or stretch so that his legs are by your head and your legs by his head. Let him give you a slow penetration, a characteristic best known for this position.
This sex position involves penetration from behind. This kind of style is fit during all the trimesters. It is most preferred during the last trimester since there is no pressure exerted on your back, stomach, or pelvis.
You will be on your four limbs. Your partner will then penetrate you or give you an oral stimulation from behind.
Since this sex position gives room for deep penetration, communicate to your partner whenever necessary about the extent of penetration that you are comfortable with. You can also consider putting a pillow between the two of you to limit the extent of penetration. Your partner can also insert a comfortable ring on their penis or on a sex toy to limit how deep you will be entered.
Choose a comfortable surface to lie on such as a table or a coach. Lie facing upwards while ensuring that your butt is lying at the edge of the surface. Your partner can then lift your legs while putting them apart and penetrate you while he is standing.
While your partner is entering you and helping to carry your legs, you can use your hands to caress your clitoris, breasts, or balls.
You can practice this position during your first and second trimesters, and on the third semester depending on your level of comfort.
In this sex position, the cowgirl is the one doing most of the riding.
Have your man lie on their back. Sit around his genitals with your legs bent. You can either face towards his head or his toes.
Do the positioning work to make sure that your partner’s penis doesn’t drift away.
This type of sex position is fine during all the trimesters. It will help you keep weight off your belly as well as be able to control the depth of the strokes.
To help with your weight, especially during the final trimester, you can have your man hold you by your thighs. This way, he with also be helping you with the riding movements with every thrust.
If you are considering trying the full missionary style, keep checking your comfort all through.
Some medical care providers believe that lying on your back is okay provided you don’t lose your breath or feel dizzy.
The missionary position is perfect during the first two trimesters. But as the pregnancy progresses towards full-term, shortness of breath is possible for this style. Lying on your back during this time will mean that the heavy uterus is lying on the vena cava (this is the main vein supplying your body with oxygenated blood from the heart).
This sex position is great during the first two trimesters. The lotus position during the third trimester will greatly depend on your belly size. You can also practice this position with or without penetration.
Allow your man to sit upright and in a comfortable position. Then sit on his laps or in between his thighs. You can then practice some tantric sex, kiss, have eye contact, be close to each other or embrace each other for great fulfillment.
You can try this position while lying on your side. This is a comfortable sex position since all lying during pregnancy is usually on your side. Your partner will penetrate you from behind.
This relaxing position is perfect during the first and second trimesters. you can also practice this position during the third trimester but you will need to observe caution.
Lie on your side on the edge of a comfortable surface with your thighs put together. Choose a surface with the right height such that your man can access your vagina while he is standing.
Have your partner caress you from behind as he penetrates you with his penis or a toy. If possible, you can keep thrusting your hips slightly in response to your partner’s strokes.
This is among the easiest sex positions during pregnancy. All that you are required to do is to stand next to your bed or wall. Stand in a way that your partner can be able to access your vagina.
With your legs spread and your partner holding you by your waist, he can give you the strokes from behind either with his penis or a sex toy.
Since there is hardly any pressure on your belly through this position, you can guide your partner on how deep they can go. Meanwhile, you can be playing with your clitoris for maximum stimulation.
This position is considered safe during any trimester but maintaining your balance might be hard especially after the 26th week of pregnancy.
You can practice this sex position during your first two trimesters.
Have your partner sit on a chair, especially one without armrests. Then sit on his laps and let him do the rest on you. You can use this position for either rubbing each other’s genitals or for penetration.
Since this is an upright position, there is extra access to G-spot stimulation. And now that the weight of your belly is away, you can be creative with any angles of your preference. While at it, you can keep your hands busy on your clitoris, breasts, or scrotum.
This sex position will accommodate the laziness that comes with the final trimester.
Lie on either side with your knees slightly bent. Have your partner lie like this as well but behind you such that both of you are facing the same direction. He can then enter you with either his penis, fingers, or using a toy.
This position is perfect since the weight is off your belly, bladder, and your back.
Obtaining deep penetration might be impossible with this position. Therefore, your partner can consider holding your shoulders to allow for a deeper thrust.
When not to have sex during pregnancy
Sex during pregnancy can trigger some contractions. These contractions are temporary and harmless especially in those pregnancies termed as low-risk. However, these contractions can lead to preterm labor or even other complications especially if you have some underlying medical conditions.
According to research published by John Elflain in August 2020, pregnancy complications in the US between 2014 and 2018 were witnessed in 196 women per 1000 pregnant women aged between 18 to 44 years.
Consult your healthcare provider on whether sex will be safe on you if you have any of the following conditions:
When it has been confirmed that you are carrying more than one child in your womb, your doctor might recommend pelvic rest.
Pelvic rest means that nothing can be inserted into the vagina and that includes your partner’s penis, sex toys, fingers, or even vaginal medical exam items.
Pelvic rest is different from bed rest. In some instances, you might be restricted from orgasms. Be sure to understand your doctor’s instructions.
If your doctor has asked you to stay away from every sexual activity, your union doesn’t have to be boring as a result of this. There are still many others ways through which you can be intimate with each other. These ways include going out for adventures, exploring each other, mental intimacy among so many others.
History of miscarriage
Repeated miscarriage refers to the loss of two or more pregnancies.
Sex can hardly be blamed for a miscarriage but great caution has to be exercised in high-risk pregnancies.
An incompetent cervix refers to a cervix that opens too early in pregnancy.
A normal cervix is supposed to start thinning or becoming softer a few moments before the commencement of labor. This happens to make way for the baby that has been carried to term. But when your cervix opens too early, then there is a possibility of a miscarriage and premature birth.
Signs of preterm labor
Preterm labor usually occurs somewhere between the twentieth and thirty-seventh week of pregnancy. This condition is unlikely to occur during the first twelve weeks of pregnancy.
However, if you note some signs of labor before you hit the thirty-seventh week such as contractions, vaginal discharge, or backaches, your doctor might prohibit some activities that might advance the labor.
Normally, the placenta attaches itself either at the top or on the side of the uterus. But when it gets formed on the lower side of the uterus, thus being directly above the cervix, a condition known as placenta previa is created.
If tests indicate that you have placenta previa, then there is a high possibility of bleeding throughout pregnancy. You might also bleed heavily during birth which might result in hemorrhage.
After your water breaks
Anything going through the vagina after the water has broken might cause an infection and therefore no sex is allowed at such a moment.
If you are bleeding
The only form of acceptable bleeding in a woman is when she is in her periods, and of course, there are no periods during pregnancy. Bleeding after sexual intercourse during pregnancy might be pointing towards a risk.
Consult your health care provider once you spot some bleeding after having sex.
If your partner has STI
It is advisable to avoid sex during pregnancy whenever you suspect that your partner has a sexually transmitted infection.
Using a condom to prevent infection is not enough. No contraception measure can give 100% protection against sexually transmitted infections.
The unborn baby can pick up the infection at birth and some STIs such as Gonorrhea can cause blindness to a baby.
Painful sex during pregnancy
Some pregnant women complain about some discomforts they experience while having sexual intercourse. This discomfort is usually common during the first trimester.
Painful sex during pregnancy can largely be related to the major changes happening in your body. However, if some particular pain is raising your concerns, it’s always important to discuss it with your healthcare provider.
Below are some of the causes of pain during pregnancy and ways of solving them:
Apart from the continued changes in the size of your belly, other body parts change as well. The nipples become tedder, you get swollen legs, the uterus and vagina get inflamed, just to mention just a few.
These changes are normal with pregnancy but can also make sex very unpleasant. To eliminate pain during sex, you can explore some comfortable sex positions with your partner.
The different hormonal changes in your body can leave you with a dry vagina which will make sex more uncomfortable. Emotional instability such as anxiety and stress can also lead to a dry vagina.
There are various types of lubes in the market that are pregnancy-friendly. You can use any of them to eliminate the dryness during intercourse.
Fearing that sex can harm your baby or tamper with the pregnancy can make the muscles down there to be more tense and unwelcoming.
Unless yours is a high-risk pregnancy, you need not worry about sex. Sex can’t harm you or your unborn baby.
In some instances, painful sex can as a result of infections such as vaginitis, cervicitis, and chorioamnionitis. You could also be having a pelvic inflammatory illness or some masses in the vaginal or pelvic areas.
Since some of these infections may harm the unborn baby, consult your healthcare provider about any unusual pain during sexual intercourse.
Sexually transmitted infections are major causes of painful sexual intercourse during pregnancy. STIs will at times be accompanied by some more symptoms such as painful urination and genital sores.
Many STIs can harm the fetus. Herpes and gonorrhea for example can lead to neurological issues in the fetus, stillbirth, or premature birth.
Seek medical intervention whenever you suspect that you have an STI.
How to increase sex drive naturally during pregnancy
Hormonal and body changes are often blamed for low libido among a majority of pregnant women. While some expectant mothers will be just fine with the low libido during pregnancy, others would be craving for their sex drives to be back. The latter has a longing for how she used to connect well sexually with her partner before pregnancy.
If you desire to have your sex drive back during pregnancy, then here are some tips:
Foods that boost libido
Any healthy meal is perfect for sex. However, some foods have a higher contribution toward a person’s sex drive such as walnuts, avocados, almonds, watermelons, strawberries & raspberries, chocolate, eggs, peaches, coffee, steak, saffron, grapefruit, peanuts, pineapple, oyster, bananas, and cloves.
It is also important to note that alcohol is not recommended during pregnancy. It can indeed increase the sex drive but it can’t produce quality performance. Eating raw seafood is as well not recommended in pregnancy.
Ensure that you always discuss with your healthcare provider before taking these supplements during pregnancy.
Magnesium – magnesium supports a majority of activities in the body and is also known for contributing to better sleep. Good sleep is beneficial to hormones.
Vitamin D – this is a hormone supportive supplement. It is commonly obtained from the sun, fermented cod liver oil, or D3 supplement.
Gelatin – Gelatin is a great source of calcium, phosphate, and magnesium. It supports the production of hormones, boosts digestion, and helps in soothing inflammations on joints.
B-Complex – helps to calm the nervous system as well as in reducing anxieties related to past sexual experiences.
Zinc – zinc facilitates the production of sex hormones in both women and men. It can be found in chicken, oysters, cashews, chickpeas, crab, or supplement form.
Touching each other
Develop the habit of physical connection with your partner. You can hold hands now and then, kiss or cuddle. You can’t be physically detached from your partner for a whole day then you expect to be a sex goddess when the two of you are finally in bed at night.
Sex begins in the mind. Fantasize about the best sex you have ever had with your partner or how you can rejuvenate your sex life.
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Avoid keeping those annoying experiences that you encounter because they can detract you from desiring your partner. Whether he is the one that has offended your or someone else, learn to pour out anything that would be pulling you down emotionally.
It’s tricky to find a tired Mama who is horny. Forcing yourself into sex just to make your partner happy is not enough, soon the acting will drop. So, just have some good sleep. This will ensure that you are refreshed and can easily be turned on for sex.
Is it safe to swallow semen during pregnancy?
Is it safe to have sex with a drunkard husband during pregnancy?
Can the sperm of another partner (besides the father) harm the fetus?
In a majority of instances, sex possess no risk to the unborn baby or the mother. The only new thing here about sex is that some sex positions that you earlier enjoyed might become uncomfortable with pregnancy.
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 Pauleta, Joana Rocha, Nuno Monteiro Pereira, and Luís Mendes Graça. “Sexuality during pregnancy.” The journal of sexual medicine 7.1 (2010): 136-142.
Gerda, T. R. U. T. N. O. V. S. K. Y., et al. “Women’s perception of sexuality during pregnancy and after birth.” Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 46.4 (2006): 282-287.
 Jones, Claire, Crystal Chan, and Dan Farine. “Sex in pregnancy.” CMAJ 183.7 (2011): 815-818.
 Elliott, S. A., and J. P. Watson. “Sex during pregnancy and the first postnatal year.” Journal of Psychosomatic Research 29.5 (1985): 541-548.