Sexual intimacy is a normal and healthy part of a committed relationship. Before pregnancy, you likely felt comfortable being intimate with your partner. Now that you're pregnant, you may have questions or feel unsure about having sex with your partner.
There are lots of myths about sex and pregnancy, such as:
When Is sex unsafe during pregnancy?
There are some circumstances that can make sex during pregnancy unsafe. Women who have the following health complications should talk to their health provider before engaging in sex:
If your pregnancy is considered to be high risk, you may need to be more cautious than other women. Your health care provider may advise you to avoid intercourse for all or part of your pregnancy.
How does pregnancy affect my sex life?
Many women find that pregnancy makes them want sex more than they did before they became pregnant. This sex drive is caused by hormonal changes. For some women, newfound voluptuousness can play a role in making them feel sexier than ever.
Other women may find that their sex drive comes in waves while pregnant. Here are some common changes you may find throughout your stages of pregnancy.
Which sex positions are best during pregnancy?
Positions that work before pregnancy and early in pregnancy can be uncomfortable or even unsafe at later stages of the baby's development. For example, a woman should avoid lying flat on her back (traditional missionary position) after the fourth month of pregnancy because the weight of the growing uterus puts pressure on major blood vessels. Fortunately, there are alternatives to the traditional missionary position. Try these:
What are other forms of being close?
You don't have to engage in intercourse to be intimate with your partner. Other ways to share your sexual desire include:
Usually, if a woman enjoyed certain sexual activities before pregnancy, she can continue them during pregnancy as long as she feels comfortable. Talk to your health provider about any specific questions.
More suggestions for you and your partner
How soon can I have sex after giving birth?
Once the baby is born, it's best that you wait until after your postpartum checkup before resuming intercourse. Typically, it takes at least 4 weeks after delivery before a woman feels comfortable and ready for sex. Take heart in the fact that most couples resume an active sex life sometime during the first year of their baby's life.
Last reviewed March 2009
Yes. Don't do exercises, like riding a bike, that could make you lose your balance. You don't want to fall and hurt yourself or your baby. Don't do activities that have potential for serious injury. These include horseback riding, scuba diving, downhill skiing or a sport in which you could get hit in the stomach. Stay out of saunas, hot tubs and steam rooms, and don't do things that could make you overheated. After your first trimester, keep from doing activities that make you lie flat on your back.
For most women, yes. Unless your health care provider advises you otherwise, sex during pregnancy is safe for you and your baby. Some circumstances make sex during pregnancy unsafe. Pregnant women who have any of these health complications should talk to their provider before having sex:
Usually, a woman can continue sexual activity during pregnancy as long as she feels comfortable. Talk to your health care provider about any specific questions.