If you’re scouring the Internet for information on pregnancy and sex but aren’t coming up with much, there’s a reason: having sex while pregnant is often seen as a taboo topic. But we’re here to tell you pregnant sex can feel amazing.
While everyone’s sexual wants and needs during pregnancy are different — some may want sex a lot, some a little, some not at all — according to Healthline Parenthood, your libido may increase at the end of your first trimester and into your second. The sex during this time can feel great as there’s more blood flowing to the vagina, vulva and clitoris. A hormone called Relaxin is also released, which relaxes your body’s joints, muscles and ligaments. This can make challenging positions that weren’t accessible before pregnancy your new favorite things to try.
Sex during the first trimester
According to What To Expect, some pregnant people report not wanting to have sex as often during the first trimester. This time of pregnancy can feel a bit like an extended hangover — headaches, body aches, nausea, vomiting, tender breasts and fatigue can be overwhelming.
But if you’re ready and wanting sex, there’s no reason to abstain during your first trimester. The exception is if your healthcare provider advises you to avoid sex. If you’re experiencing cramping or bleeding, for example, your doctor may tell you to not have sex during the first trimester. Otherwise, if you feel up for it, don’t hold back.
What sex during the first trimester feels like
To find out what sex during pregnancy feels like, we reached out to those in our network to share their pregnancy sex stories. Note that we are not using names to maintain participants' anonymity.
One person tells O.school that during her first trimester, she had to overcome some fear. “With my first pregnancy I was scared to have sex because I thought it was gonna hurt something down there, but after a bit of time passed, I enjoyed it with no issues till my due date.”
Another person tells us that sex during the first trimester was not for her. “Early in my first pregnancy, I became really sensitive or allergic to my partner’s semen, so it hurt for hours and hours after sex. We stopped having sex completely.”
Sex during the second trimester
Morning sickness and other first-trimester ickiness subsides a bit in the second trimester, so sex can seem more palatable. Sex during the second trimester can be different than any sex you’ve had before. Increased blood flow and flexibility can open up a world of new positions and pleasure. All this blood flow can also make a pregnant person’s genitals very sensitive, so it’s important to go slow if necessary.
What sex during the second trimester feels like:
“At the beginning of the pregnancy, I wasn’t very interested. I struggled with vaginal dryness throughout the whole pregnancy, but it did not slow us down, we just used a standard lubricant,” one person tells O.school. “I did have ‘thunder crotch’ with both of my pregnancies where it’s extremely sensitive due to increased blood flow down there so we just modified sex positions so that nothing was too deep and took everything slow.”
Another person describes what second-trimester sex felt like with their pregnant partner. They tell O.school, “I felt like I couldn’t keep up with my pregnant partner! We were feeling really close during that time and we were both really excited about the baby. She needed a lot of physical touch and wanted sex constantly.”
Sex during the third trimester
While some people love sex during the third trimester, others may find it to be more uncomfortable as their joints and ligaments can feel strained from the growing weight of the fetus. According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, some pregnant people experience aches and pains toward the end of pregnancy. The expanding belly can make many of your favorite positions challenging and even off-limits. For that reason, doggy style may be an easier third-trimester position.
Of course, every pregnancy journey and body is different. Some people don’t let the pains of the third trimester get in the way of their sex life at all.
What sex during the third trimester feels like:
“We were working full-time throughout my whole pregnancy and by the time I got home from work, I was just so tired and all I wanted was just to eat, shower and sleep. But at the end of the pregnancy that changed and we had sex more often,” one person tells O.school. “I didn’t have any issues or pain at all. I really enjoyed it and actually had more orgasms than I have now.”
The truth about sex during pregnancy
No matter what trimester you’re in, there’s one key to good pregnancy sex, according to certified doula and labor and childbirth educator Barbara Davis: “Communication! It really is the key to good sex. Talk about what's feeling good, sore, sensitive before sex. Talk, or at least communicate (touches, moans, moving of hands) DURING sex- remember, there's nothing sexier than enthusiastic consent and mutual satisfaction!” Davis tells O.school.
Talk to your partner about how you’re feeling sexually, knowing it might change day to day. Prepare for the possibility for your libido and desires to also change from trimester to trimester. At the end of the day, just listen to your body. If you feel like sex would be enjoyable, go for it. If not, that’s totally okay too.