Having sex during pregnancy can require a bit of creativity and adaptation from both you and your partner.
Pregnancy sex is healthy. It keeps the flow of hormones going, and fills your brain with ‘feel good’ sensations that benefit you and your baby.
Like many people, you might be wondering: which are the best pregnancy sex positions?
Finding the right pregnancy sex positions presents different challenges as your belly grows bigger.
Is it safe to have sex during pregnancy?
Oh yes, it definitely is! Sex is much more than just penetration. It’s about intimacy, togetherness, and enjoying our bodies. It’s a key element in men’s and women’s health.
As far as safety goes, any sexual position that’s safe when you’re not pregnant should be a safe position when you are.
The only exception, of course, is if your ob gyn doctor has given you a specific reason not to have sex.
If your healthcare provider has recommended pelvic rest, it’s safer to refrain from any sexual activity. Otherwise, women can and should enjoy sex during pregnancy as much as they please.
There’s no limit. An active, pleasurable sex life actually contributes to the healthy development of your baby.
Pregnancy sex positions
We all have our favourite sex positions. These vary from one person to another. They will even vary, in the same person, from one sexual partner to another.
Taking this into account, it’s understandable, especially during the third trimester of pregnancy, that some readjustments will be needed. After all, there’s now a growing belly in the way.
Luckily, there are many alternatives to the missionary position (woman lying on her back while her partner lies on top) that can help you both enjoy sex during pregnancy.
Any pregnancy sex positions where the woman isn’t lying flat on her back, or where her belly has no extra weight placed on it, are the best pregnancy sex positions.
If it feels good, it’s time to get creative. Have fun, and adapt to your new sex life.
Explore different scenarios. Maybe sit at the edge of the bed, or have sex outside of your bedroom. There are many pregnancy sex positions you can try; just see which ones make you feel good.
You might be wondering about the best positions for pregnancy sex.
Here’s a compilation of 7 of the most comfortable pregnancy sex positions:
#1: Sex from behind
Of all the different pregnancy sex positions, facing away from your partner, with your back towards him where he can enter you from behind is very likely to become one of your favourite pregnant sex positions.
There are several ways in which your partner can enter you from behind. You might experiment with a standing position or a kneeling position. You could try lying on your side, or doggy-style, or even lying on your back on top of your partner.
Any variations of the rear entry sex position allows for a pregnant belly to be out of the way and for the woman to surrender to the experience. Her partner is in charge not only of penetration but of the tactile pleasure enhancement this sex position provides.
This position also allows very good access to the pregnant woman’s body, not only for her partner but also for herself. Clitoral stimulation is easiest in this position.
#2: Why don’t you get on top?
Also known as the cowgirl sex position, this is an all time favourite pregnancy sex positions. That’s because it reduces pressure on your pregnant belly and also increases sexual satisfaction in women.
When you’re on top, you can control the depth of penetration and can position your body as you please to achieve friction pleasure.
This pregnant sex position also allows the pregnant woman to control the speed of movement.
The reverse cowgirl allows the woman to be on top of her partner with her back to him.
As the pregnancy advances, if you feel you need to, you can balance your weight by leaning backwards and use your arms as extra support.
#3: Side-lying sex positions
The spooning sex position is very good during pregnancy, especially in the second trimester when your belly is starting to pop out. It combines the advantages of the rear entry positions with the comfort of being able to lie down.
Many pregnant women find the side-lying position very enjoyable, as both partners lie side by side facing each other. Facing your partner allow kissing, eye contact and romantic talk.
As your belly grows bigger in the third trimester, you might find placing a pillow or a towel under your back, pelvis or belly will give you extra support.
#4: Standing sex positions
This position might be a tricky one for penetrative sex if the non-pregnant partner is taller than the pregnant one.
If you have sex standing while you’re pregnant, make sure you’re on solid ground and not on something that can move – such as a chair or a step.
Your stability might be compromised as your baby grows, especially in the third trimester.
#5: Man on top
Any variations of the missionary position, where the man’s weight isn’t on the woman’s belly, should be okay as long as it feels good for both of you.
This type of position can be more difficult in the third trimester. Lying on your back can make you dizzy and breathless because the weight of your baby puts pressure on your major blood vessels.
He can be kneeling on all fours. You can also put your legs straight on his shoulders, or bend them to control the depth of penetration.
You can also move to the edge of the bed where the your legs are outside the bed and the man is standing or kneeling on the floor. This is an advantage during the second trimester when lying on your back isn’t a problem.
#6: Seated sex positions
There are many variations of the seated position. If the man sits, the woman might sit with her back towards her partner (rear entry). They could also choose to face one other.
When the woman is seated, it’s easier if she’s higher than her partner.
This pregnancy sex position is awesome in the second trimester, as it lets your body and your belly rest while you receive pleasure.
#7: Anal sex
If you’ve had anal sex before pregnancy, there’s no reason for you to not carry on doing it, if it feels good.
As the baby grows, so does the pressure in your pelvic floor. This makes you more prone to develop rectal discomfort, swelling or even haemorrhoids.
Make sure there’s plenty of foreplay and lots of lubricant.
Also ensure you don’t put anything into your vagina that’s previously been inserted in your anus. It’s important to avoid gut bacteria getting into your vagina.
Although anal sex is safe during pregnancy, if you haven’t done it before you might not feel adventurous enough to try it for the first time.
There are many new ways to explore your sexuality together and it’s absolutely fine if you don’t feel comfortable with this.
Sex isn’t just penetration
As we’ve discussed, there are many places to have sex other than your bed. There’s also so much more to sex than just penetration.
From oral sex to mutual masturbation, from touching, kissing and caressing to just talking – anything that gets your oxytocin and endorphins flowing is part of a healthy sexual life.
As your pregnancy goes through different stages you might find your body isn’t too keen for a penetrative sexual encounter, but you might welcome other sexual activities.
If your libido is very low, and it isn’t related to a physical cause, such as nausea or pelvic discomfort, a sex therapist can help you find the cause of your lack of interest.
Sex during the first 3 months
Sex during pregnancy is good at any stage. It can’t harm your developing baby.
Pleasurable, intense sexual activity won’t cause a miscarriage. If a miscarriage is likely, it would happen regardless of whether or not you have sex.
Unless your care provider has recommended pelvic rest from the beginning of your pregnancy, enjoy your sexual life as much as you like.
During the first trimester, although your body is going through many changes, your belly isn’t much bigger than it was before, so you shouldn’t worry about things like pregnancy sex positions.
Deep penetration might be uncomfortable, or even painful, at any stage of pregnancy due to increased blood flow and sensitivity of the cervix, so make sure your partner is aware of this.
Bear in mind that if the pregnant woman is performing oral sex on her partner, the gag reflex might be heightened due to morning sickness.
If you give oral sex, make sure the position is one that allows you the best control of the penetration.
Remember, unless your doctor has said otherwise, any pregnancy sex positions you’re comfortable with should be okay during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Is sex good during pregnancy?
It’s quite clear: sex, pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding are all part of our sexuality. Therefore, they’re all well connected.
Oxytocin – the love hormone – is responsible for that pleasurable feeling when love is involved. It’s also at its highest levels in a woman’s body right after her baby is born!
Our second biggest oxytocin release happens during orgasm. So the more we orgasm, the happier we are.
There’s no other period in our lives where happiness should be more welcome than when during pregnancy.
A happy brain releases happy hormones and helps our bodies function much better. Anything that makes you happy is definitely good.
Read more about ways to boost oxytocin during pregnancy in Oxytocin During Pregnancy – 10 Ways To Boost The Love Hormone.
For your partner
Oxytocin release is highly beneficial to anyone, regardless of their gender. Your partner will very likely welcome sexual encounters but might be worried about how you feel about them.
Having a fulfilling sexual life benefits your connection with your partner and creates a loving space to move into as you increase your family.
Can sex during pregnancy harm the baby?
Hormones can cross the placental barrier, so a happy mother means a happy baby. When pregnant women are happy, and oxytocin flows abundantly in their bodies, this feeling will fill their babies’ brains and will help with their healthy development.
Oxytocin is an antagonist to adrenaline, which means when one is present in high amounts the other one is absent.
There’s a lot of research about how ongoing exposure to stress hormones negatively affects your baby’s growth. High oxytocin release stops stress hormones being present for long periods of time.
You might be wondering whether semen can get inside your uterus through the cervix. Don’t worry.
Now you’re pregnant, there’s no access to the uterus. Your cervix is tightly closed and the opening is blocked by the mucus plug until you reach full term.
When to stop having sex during pregnancy
The great news is there’s no need to stop having sex, unless you have any health conditions that require pelvic rest, or if you’re not enjoying it.
When sex becomes a task the oxytocin flow stops and so do all its benefits.
This is when communication between yourself and your partner is important. You can figure out together how to create intimacy without sex and avoid any resentment or feelings of rejection.
Are there any unsafe pregnancy sex positions?
Lying flat on your back isn’t recommended as your pregnancy progresses. This is because the weight of your baby and uterus will put pressure on your major blood vessels.
Pressure can cause a lack of blood flow to you and your baby. You can always use a pillow under one side of your body, to tilt the uterus so it doesn’t compress the blood vessels.
Whether you’re pregnant or not, no-one should ever blow air into your vagina. This can cause an air embolism, which is when air bubbles enter a vein or artery and block it. Pregnancy puts you at higher risk of this.
Follow your instincts. Listen to your body. When something doesn’t feel okay, your body will tell you.
If you are enjoying something, it most likely means it’s absolutely fine!