Let’s talk about sex! It’s a bit late to be shy on the subject, after all, it is why you are pregnant! When it comes to sex during pregnancy, many couples have some concerns.
They are worried that having sex may harm their baby, in the first trimester many couples worry about miscarriage and this can cause intimacy issues, and then of course there are the issues, particularly as the pregnancy progresses, of how exactly you can have sex when there is a growing baby bump between you.
Don’t worry, you are certainly not alone in thinking any of this and according to statistics these are some of the more common pregnancy related questions that people turn to Google for when trying to find out the answers.
Wanting to be intimate with your partner during your pregnancy is normal and completely natural, so if you are looking for ways in which you can make things better in the bedroom for the next 9 months then read on, as we take a look at some of the positions that most couples find work best for them during pregnancy.
Of course, if you and your partner choose not to have sex during the pregnancy that is also okay. There are plenty of other ways in which you can show each other your feelings. Some women feel uncomfortable with the idea of sex whilst pregnant, especially if they have had a previous difficult pregnancy.
Should you worry about sex during pregnancy?
Some men find it difficult too as they are worried about harming their unborn child – if this is the case don’t worry, sex isn’t just about penetration, it is about intimacy, closeness and enjoying each other’s bodies – there are ways around any problem.
The only reason not to have sex during your pregnancy is if your doctor or midwife recommends that you don’t. This might be as a result of bleeding during your early pregnancy, or if you are at risk of early delivery due to previous pre-term births.
Pregnancy sex positions
Whilst some of your favourite sex positions may not be comfortable, or even possible – especially later on in the pregnancy, there are still plenty of positions out there that are worth trying. These positions can be both comfortable and pleasure boosting.
You may have heard that the missionary position is unsafe during pregnancy, but this is only partially true. It isn’t a problem during the early stages of your pregnancy, but once you reach 20 weeks, lying on your back can be unsafe.
This is because a major blood vessel, the vena cava, can impact the circulation not only through your own body but also that of your baby.
However, experts say that before it reaches that point you would feel uncomfortable so therefore the missionary position is perfectly fine as long as you don’t remain in that one position for too long - 5-10 minutes at the most.
It is important to remember that because the cells in your cervix are more sensitive during pregnancy there is more chance that you may experience some spotting after sex. Don’t panic if this happens, as it is normal for a lot of women.
However, if you do experience bleeding during your pregnancy (even if you believe it is sex-related spotting) then it is important to speak to a medical professional.
Pregnancy can be a great time to experiment with different positions to find one that works for you and your partner and where your growing bump doesn’t cause too many issues! The best sex position during pregnancy is the one that works for you and your partner.
Safest sex position for pregnancy
Possibly the best safe pregnancy sex positions are with the woman on top or cowgirl, or reverse cowgirl, and this is even backed up by science.
Research indicates that there is an increase of sexual satisfaction for pregnant women when they are in control of penetration and this is best achieved with a woman on top position.
Not only does this allow for control of the depth of penetration but also it allows the women to place her body in the most comfortable position in order to control her pleasure.
The position is optimum for body position, control of speed and depth and it is great for any trimester of your pregnancy. Safe sex positions during pregnancy tend to be ones where you do not put extra weight on your bump.
Sex positions during pregnancy
Okay here it is, the bit you have been waiting for, lets take a look at the best sex positions during pregnancy:
As we have already mentioned, provided you are careful, know your own limitations and are mindful of the not spending too long on your back, gentle sex in the missionary position is fine, especially during the early months of pregnancy.
It may be best avoided in the second half of your pregnancy as it can be difficult to manage without your partner leaning too much weight on you growing belly.
This position is great in allowing you to be face to face, allowing the whole experience to be more intimate, especially if you are feeling fragile about the changes in your body and how your partner might feel about this. It is also great if you are feeling the fatigue of early pregnancy as your partner can do most of the work.
If the classic missionary position is a little difficult then try modified instead. The advantage here is your partner will not be placing any weight on your belly and you can use your legs to draw him in and control the pace a little more.
This position is suitable for the entire pregnancy but if lying on your back makes you dizzy then try propping yourself up with a few pillows.
When the desire is still there but the size of your bump, and tiredness, is making it a little difficult, spooning is the perfect solution. This is a great position for any point in the pregnancy but a winner in the third trimester.
Penetration in this position is shallower than others so this may not be for you but as it allows for your partners hands to be free to roam then there is plenty of alternative stimulation possible.
We have already had a look at this position, but it is also worth mentioning that as you don’t need to open your legs too wide for this position it can be a good option if your hips are causing you a little discomfort.
With the rush of hormones that comes with pregnancy many women find themselves feeling a little bolder during sex and this position gives your partner the perfect view of your wonderfully confident pregnant body.
During your third trimester you may find that squatting is a little difficult so you might prefer to switch to kneeling over your partner instead.
Again, another position that can work at any stage in your pregnancy. This is particularly good in the third trimester when your bump can make other positions difficult. If you have back pain, pelvis pain or both then then position is actually ideal as it can really help to reduce the pressure.
It also allows your partner access to your clitoris for extra stimulation. Towards the end of the pregnancy you might be feeling less energetic, and this is understandable, you can use cushions or pillows to make it more comfortable.
If you prefer you could also adjust the position slightly by being on your hands and knees at the edge of your bed and having your partner stand.
There are a couple of things to be careful of. The first is if you are struggling with carpal tunnel syndrome then you may find this position places too much pressure on your wrist.
Also, penetration is deeper so let your partner know if you are feeling uncomfortable – this may simply not be the position for you.
When you want intimacy, but you also want plenty of closeness then this position ticks all the boxes. It is great as a pregnancy sex first trimester position or even during the second trimester, before your bump gets too big, and whilst you are maybe a little nervous about having sex.
Because you lie face to face there is plenty of scope for cuddling and kissing and of course lots of eye contact. The downside is penetration is quite shallow in the position so you may find it is not enough for you.
Depending on how comfortable you find it, this position is good for at least the first two trimesters of your pregnancy and possibly even into the third. Remember you may find lying on your back for too long can make you dizzy. So, using pillows to prop you up a little can help (make sure you tilt yourself to the left if you do this).
Another great position if you are feeling a little fatigued as your partner does all the work, this position also offers plenty of options for stimulation of the breasts and clitoris.
The key to sex during your pregnancy is take it at a pace that works for you. Work with your partner to find a position that is comfortable and just enjoy the experience however feels best for you both.