Sex During Pregnancy: What’s OK & What’s Not
Congratulations! You’re embarking on a 9-month journey that is going to have its share of ups and downs, but doesn’t need to mean the end of ins and outs. Sex during pregnancy is totally healthy and pleasurable (unless your OB/GYN has indicated otherwise) but it may require a few adjustments to your usual routine (which is never a bad thing!) Read below for helpful information and tips for the sex you can expect to have when you’re expecting.
Will He Want Sex when I’m Pregnant?
Firstly, it may be important to talk to your partners about sex before your body starts to change, if possible. As your stomach changes shape, some men become concerned about ‘hurting the baby’ or it being inappropriate to have certain kinds of sex with someone who is going to be a mother. You can assure him that there is absolutely no way he will be able to harm the baby during sex, as the cervix is blocked until labor starts and the uterus is designed to protect the fetus.
Most fathers-to-be are anxious about making sure their partner is happy and healthy during their pregnancy, so it’s a great time to remind him that sex (and orgasms) not only keep you happy and healthy but also that regular affection and intimacy only serves to keep the bond between each other healthy and strong.
Will You Want Sex When You’re Pregnant?
As for your body’s changes, sex feel may feel different due to increased blood flow to the pelvis, as well changes in breast and nipple sensitivity. Some women find this pleasurable, but some may not. Likewise, some women report increased libido throughout their pregnancy (usually the second trimester) but some find the hormonal fluctuations make them uninterested in sex.
The most important at this time is to be open about your needs and comfort level throughout the pregnancy as they change. Your partner won’t be able to anticipate your needs and desires, especially if you’re surprised by them yourself, so keep the lines of communication open.
Do You Have to Change How You Have Sex?
Again, as your body changes, so may your comfort (and enjoyment of things that you once loved). Missionary may become uncomfortable, but can be adjusted by having your partner stand next to the edge of the bed. Spooning and cowgirl are also popular, because your partner’s body won’t press against your stomach.
You can use a chair for seated sex, which will also keep pressure off your breasts, which may have become more sensitive. Pillows can also be used to support the back in positions where it may otherwise become sore.
A quick but important note is that if your partner is performing oral sex, there a (small) chance that, should any air get forced into you, it may lead to dangerous blood vessel blockage. It is best to discuss these risks with your OB/GYN, as well as let them know of any instances of spotting or discomfort during intercourse.
Anal sex should be fine while you’re pregnant, though many women experience hemorrhoids during their pregnancy, in which case it should be avoided. As well, using plenty of water-based personal moisturizer is key, and cleanliness is of utmost important, as a bacteria entering the vagina can be very harmful to your pregnancy. Always use a new condom when switching from anal sex to other penetration, or make sure your partner has washed thoroughly between.
What About Kinky Sex When Pregnant?
This one is a bit tough to advise on. ‘Kinky’ can mean different things to different people, anything from light spanking and silk scarves to paddles. Again, comfort here is paramount, as you may not be able to sustain one position for long. If you feel fine being tied up, that should be ok, though restraints should be kept looser, and account for any swelling that has occurred in your limbs.
If you’re a Dominant, you may have to make adjustments to your play. Overexertion is not healthy while you’re pregnant, so if you’re feeling tired or your heart rate is getting too high, put the flogger down! If you’re on the receiving end, light spanking or use of flogger on your buttocks is fine, but obviously with absolutely no impact landing on your stomach. Breath play should absolutely be avoided, as even slight oxygen deprivation can be extremely dangerous.
Of course, this doesn’t even begin to touch on the kinky play that a lot of people enjoy and practice. It may seem horribly embarrassing, but the best thing to do is to ask your doctor if a specific act is ok. Firstly, they know the most about how your body is changing, and what will affect it (and trust us, they’ve heard it ALL before.) Secondly, your doctor will be seeing a lot of your body, a lot more often than you may be used to, and because bruising during pregnancy can mean gestational thrombocytopenia (low platelet count) you will need to be upfront about the causes of any bruising you may have.
Barring any instruction from your physician not to have intercourse, your sex life can continue right up until your due date (and, anecdotally, can be used to induce labor), it’s a just a matter of your own comfort and enjoyment. And, as you probably will have quite a few sleepless nights in your future, why not spend a few now doing something pleasurable?
Katy Thorn is a post-grad writer with a passion for writing about sex, sexuality, and all things rated R. She received her degree in Women’s Studies with a focus in Intersectionality at the University of California, Berkeley (Go Bears!). She has a cat named Yoko, drinks too much black coffee, and hates writing bios.