Pregnant? Keep Sex on Your Agenda

While the mere thought of sex during pregnancy may give you pause, there is no reason to change or alter your sexual activity unless your health care provider tells you to avoid it. Your baby is well protected in your uterus by the amniotic fluid that surrounds them. So intercourse or orgasm will do no harm.

Your health care provider may recommend not having intercourse early in pregnancy if you have a history of miscarriages. Intercourse may also be restricted if you have certain complications, such as premature labor or bleeding. You may need to ask your health care provider to clarify if this means no penetration, no orgasms, or no sexual arousal, as different complications may require different restrictions.

Communicate With Your Partner About Sex

The key to maintaining intimacy with your partner during pregnancy is to be open with your feelings, especially if you have mixed thoughts about sex during pregnancy. Encourage your partner to communicate with you, especially if you notice changes in your partner's responsiveness. Communicating with your partner can help you both better understand your feelings and desires.

Will My Sexual Desires Change During Pregnancy?

It is normal for your desires to be different now that you are pregnant. That’s perfectly healthy and OK. Changing hormones cause some women to experience an increased sex drive during pregnancy. But others may not be as interested in sex as they were before they became pregnant.

During the first trimester, some women lose interest in sex because they are tired and uncomfortable. Other women's desires, though, stay the same.

How Can I Have Sex Comfortably During Pregnancy?

As your pregnancy progresses, changing positions may become necessary for your comfort. This may also be true after your baby is born.

You may also feel a need to use a water-based lubricant during intercourse.

You shouldn’t feel pain during intercourse. During orgasm, your uterus will contract. If you have any contractions that are painful or regular, contact your health care provider. Also, stop having intercourse and call your health care provider immediately if you have heavy vaginal bleeding or if your water breaks. Nothing should enter the vagina after your water breaks.


Take Time for Intimacy During Pregnancy

If your health care provider has limited your sexual activity, or if you are not in the mood for intercourse, take time for intimacy with your partner. Love and affection can be expressed in many ways.

Remind yourselves of the love that created your developing baby. Enjoy your time together -- take long romantic walks, enjoy candle-lit dinners, or give each other back rubs.

How Soon Can I Have Sex After My Baby Is Born?

You may resume sexual activity when you have recovered, when you are fully healed, and when you and your partner feel comfortable.

Your health care provider will likely recommend that you wait until after your first postpartum health care appointment before having intercourse.

After pregnancy, some women notice a lack of vaginal lubrication. A water-based lubricant can be used during intercourse to decrease the discomfort of vaginal dryness.

Can I Get Pregnant Again If I Am Breastfeeding?

Women who breastfeed experience a delay in ovulation -- the time when an egg is released from the ovary -- and menstruation. But ovulation will occur before you start having menstrual periods again. So remember that you can still become pregnant during this time. Follow your health care provider's recommendations on the appropriate method of birth control to use.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Trina Pagano, MD on October 20, 2020


SOURCES: "Sex During Pregnancy."

Mayo Clinic: "Sex during pregnancy: What's OK, what's not."

March of Dimes: "Sex during pregnancy."

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