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During your pregnancy journey, you have a ton of questions—most of which you have no problem asking your doctor.

But then there’s some conversations you shy away from.

While talking about sex doesn’t need to feel uncomfortable, it’s normal to feel awkward. 

This shouldn’t discourage you from seeking advice from your doctor or midwife. However, if you have some general questions, we hope this post helps.

12 “Awkward” Q+As about Sex and Pregnancy

Sex is okay and healthy during pregnancy unless you have complications or certain conditions. Although your doctor will probably inform you if it’s unsafe, you can ask to be sure. With that being said, sex won’t always feel the same. 

#1 Is Painful Sex During Pregnancy Normal?

Sex shouldn’t be painful. If it is, consider the position you’re in and if there’s enough lubrication. 

Vaginal dryness is very common during pregnancy, especially in the first and third trimesters. If you’re having intercourse, this can cause irritation and pain. To prevent this, you can spend more time on foreplay, making you more aroused and creating more fluid. If this doesn’t work, you can use store-bought lubrication instead.

You can also experiment with which positions feel comfortable. For example, some women may assume that lying on their backs will be the easiest, but that puts the baby weight on your spine. Instead, try a variety of positions and see which is most comfortable for your belly. 

#2 What Are the Best Intercourse Positions for Pregnancy?

Every woman is different, so you’ll have to try a few positions to see which work best for you. While you can research many different ideas, positions mentioned by most as best for pregnancy include:

  • Side-by-side (spooning)
  • Woman on top
  • Doggy style

You may find a position that works great for you now but feels bad in the weeks to come. Experimenting every trimester may be necessary.

#3 Is it Normal to Bleed After Sex During Pregnancy?

Seeing spots of blood after sex can be alarming. You may worry if you accidentally harmed the baby, but vaginal bleeding occurs in about 15 to 25% of pregnancies. Although it usually happens in the first trimester, it can happen on and off during pregnancy. Most of the time, small spots aren’t anything to worry about. It could be the result of irritation from vaginal dryness or cervix changes. 

In any case, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor to be sure. Larger amounts of blood during pregnancy can signal miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, placenta previa and other conditions.

Read: Bleeding After Sex During Pregnancy. Is It Normal?

#4 I’m Avoiding Sex Since Pregnancy. Am I Normal?

A decreased sex drive can be a pregnancy symptom. During this time, there’s a lot of hormonal changes happening. This can lead you to want sex more or less. Outside of chemical changes, there could be a few other factors that impact the way you feel about sex:

  • It just may not feel as good
  • Positions may be uncomfortable
  • Self-conscious to “show” partner pregnancy body changes
  • Stress about how life is changing
  • Fear of hurting the baby, especially if you’ve had a prior miscarriage

In any case, sex drive changes during pregnancy are normal. While there may be things you can do to rev up your engine again, it’s completely fine and normal to take a break too. Communicate how you’re feeling with your partner so they can understand the changes.

#5 My Partner is Avoiding Sex During Pregnancy. Why?

If you notice your partner’s libido has dropped since you’ve become pregnant, it’s easy to blame yourself. Has pregnancy made me less attractive? Do they not love me anymore? Do they regret becoming a parent?

Although your libido can likely be explained by hormonal changes, your partners can’t be. So, what’s their problem? There’s a few psychological explanations:

  • They’re worried they’ll hurt the baby 
  • They feel “weird” about “poking” the baby (not possible)
  • They’re worried about hurting you or maneuvering around your belly
  • They notice you have less enjoyment/drive, feel self-conscious about not pleasuring you and, as a result, are afraid to initiate as frequently
  • They’re stressed/worried in general because their life is changing

There’s more possibilities, but the only way to know is to communicate with your partner.

#6 I’m Really Into Sex Since Pregnancy. Am I Normal?

As we mentioned, hormonal changes can affect your sex drive—and that includes making you want it more. Some women also become more sensitive during this time and feel more pleasure or more powerful orgasms.

There could also be psychological reasons for increased libido. For example, body changes, such as fuller breasts, could make you feel more confident. In other cases, the idea of a family and support from your partner could make you feel closer and more attracted to them.

#7 Will My Orgasms Change During Pregnancy?

Not only may orgasms change when you become pregnant, but they can change throughout your journey. Every woman is different, so we can’t tell you exactly what to expect. 

In general, the second trimester could be the best orgasms of your journey. With increased blood flow, that area could be more engorged, meaning more sensitive and easier orgasms. 

However, by the third trimester, the growth of your baby could make orgasms more difficult. Since you’re trying to maneuver around a large bump, you may be in positions that are more comfortable, yet less pleasurable. Or, you may be switching positions more often for comfort, lessening your chances of continuous pleasure, and therefore, orgasming. 

Also, when you do climax, there’s less room in your uterus because of your fetus. That means your muscles may not fully contract, leading to weakened or no orgasm.

#8 How Can I Maintain Intimacy Without Intercourse?

Sometimes, even if you want to have sex, the bump makes it too difficult and too uncomfortable. If you can’t manage to find a position you can stay in, you might put a pause on sex altogether. When this happens, some couples worry they’ll lose intimacy with their partner. Here’s some ways to remain connected in your relationship without intercourse:

  • Oral sex
  • Masturbation
  • Massages (get your partner to give you a prenatal pregnancy massage!)
  • Cuddling
  • Kissing
  • Practice emotional intimacy (remember that intimacy can be physical and emotional!)
#9 Is Oral Sex During Pregnancy Okay?

If you have a healthy pregnancy, there’s nothing wrong with receiving oral sex. In some cases, a doctor may ask you to stay away from intercourse due to a condition, but they may say oral sex is completely okay. However, there’s still two concerns to take into account:

  1. STDs— As with any form of sex, you should ensure you and your partner are STD-free. Oral sex does not mean you’re in the clear for infections!
  2. Avoid blowing air— Although it’s extremely rare, it’s possible for a partner to blow an air bubble into your vagina. When this happens, it can block a blood vessel (air embolism). Although your partner probably isn’t purposely blowing air in your vagina, it could happen accidentally (ex. breathing heavily with a tongue in the vagina). A simple way to avoid this even being a possibility is to stick to the outside area only.
#10 Can I Swallow Sperm During Pregnancy?

Some women are worried about performing oral sex during pregnancy because they think sperm can impact the baby. There’s a myth that it can bring on labor, although there’s no evidence to back that up. Coming into contact with or swallowing sperm won’t harm you or your baby during pregnancy.

#11 Can I Have Anal Sex During Pregnancy?

Firstly, it’s worth noting that there’s less research on anal sex—probably due to its cultural taboos. And, some women with complications may be told to avoid it altogether.

With that being said, women who had anal sex prior to pregnancy may enjoy it more. Others will find it more uncomfortable. If you want to try anal sex for the first time, pregnancy probably isn’t the best time to do it.

Compared to other sexual activities, anal sex has more risks:

  • May irritate hemorrhoids, which are common during pregnancy
  • May irritate fissures. These often form from constipation, which is common during pregnancy.
  • Bacterial infections are possible if the penis (or sex toy) goes from vagina to anus without changing condoms/washing
  • Some infections, such as bacterial vaginosis (BV), can lead to miscarriage, preterm delivery or other complications.
  • Increases the risk of STIs, some of which can be transferred to or affect the baby.
#12 Will Sex Go Back to Normal After Pregnancy?


One thing to know is that because estrogen reduces after delivery, your libido can take a hit. However, that shouldn’t be a cause for concern immediately anyway: Most doctors want you to wait six weeks before having sex. This gives time for your body to heal. Even after you get the okay, you may have to work up to a new normal. 

Changes in your sex drive or pleasure after pregnancy could be due to:

  • Getting interrupted by a new baby
  • Stress about a new baby
  • Worry about your “after-baby body”
  • Worrying sex will injure the area after it’s healed
  • Feeling like your partner isn’t offering parental support or helping

Communicate with your partner about how you’re feeling. Remind them that foreplay, lubrication, support and helping out can help revive intimacy.

Summary of Pregnancy Sex

Sex is healthy and encouraged during most pregnancies. In some cases, a doctor may advise a woman to abstain from sex if she has certain complications or conditions. Your drive will likely wax and wane and things will feel different. The best idea is to communicate with your partner throughout these changes. While awkward conversations are uncomfortable, you should be able to talk to your partner and ask your doctor about sex during pregnancy.

P.S. Have you heard your baby’s heartbeat from home yet? Fetal dopplers are handheld devices that work similar to an ultrasound. Many mothers find the experience reassuring.

Bond with Your Fetus. Get the Baby Heartbeat Monitor Today!

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