Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Pregnancy

Font Size

Sex During Pregnancy: Is It Safe?

Have fun, listen to your body, and be open with your partner.
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Sex during pregnancy is the absolute last thing on some women’s minds, especially when they are dealing with nausea, vomiting, and overwhelming fatigue. Other women, however, may crave sex in pregnancy. And men, too, are split into different camps regarding sex during pregnancy. Some men may find nothing sexier than a pregnant woman, but other men may be too afraid of hurting the baby or their pregnant partner to enjoy sex.

But desire aside, is sex during pregnancy even safe?

The good news -- or bad news, depending on how you look at it -- is that “sex during pregnancy is extremely safe for most women with uncomplicated, low-risk pregnancies,” says Dayna Salasche, MD, an associate professor of obstetrics/gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and an obstetrician at Northwestern Specialists for Women, both in Chicago. “Some people feel like they enjoy sex during pregnancy more and others enjoy it less,” she tells WebMD.

Trimester by Trimester Guide to Sex During Pregnancy

During the first trimester, many women report no great desire for sex because they feel tired and nauseous, but during the second trimester, “they are feeling better, there is more lubrication, and they have engorgement in the genital area,” says Monica Foreman, MD, an obstetrician at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, N.Y. This makes sex more appealing and potentially more satisfying. What’s more, most women are still fairly comfortable during second trimester because their stomach is not overly rounded yet. This is not quite true during third trimester. As the stomach grows and fatigue returns with a vengeance, sex may seem less attractive -- not to mention physically difficult during the final weeks of pregnancy.

If the dad-to-be is nervous about having sex with his increasingly pregnant partner, “we tell them that their baby is well protected. It is an egg surrounded by a pillow and another pillow and that there is no way they will hurt the baby, and that usually makes them feel much better,” Salasche says.

Whether or not having sex close to your due date during third trimester can bring on labor is an old wives’ tale, but having an orgasm causes the release of prostaglandins, which can theoretically cause contractions.

“At 40 weeks, this can’t hurt,” Foreman says.

1 | 2 | 3

Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

Today on WebMD

hand circling date on calendar
Track your most fertile days.
woman looking at ultrasound
Week-by-week pregnancy guide.
Pretty pregnant woman timing contaction pains
The signs to watch out for.
pregnant woman in hospital
Are there ways to do it naturally?
slideshow fetal development
pregnancy first trimester warning signs
What Causes Bipolar
Woman trying on dress in store
pregnant woman
Close up on eyes of baby breastfeeding
healthtool pregnancy calendar
eddleman prepare your body pregnancy