advice

let’s talk about sex:
being intimate with your partner during pregnancy

Can you continue your sex life during pregnancy?[1] Some women feel fantastic about their pregnant bodies, and the increased blood flow to the genitals can make sex really great. Others feel too exhausted to do anything in bed other than sleep!

mum-to-be in maternity lingerie lying in bed

talk to each other

As with any good sexual relationship, talking with your partner is important. Share any concerns you may have – and don’t forget, they may have worries too. Most parents-to-be love their pregnant partner’s new shape, so don’t feel shy about how your body is changing.


There shouldn’t be any pressure to have sex. Whether you want to have sex or not, try other ways of being intimate or simply cosy up and have a cup of tea together, try to be open and honest. There are lots of ways to enjoy this intimate time of your lives.

can sex affect your baby?

The short answer is no, it can’t. Some couples worry that a penis can make contact with the baby, but it can’t penetrate beyond the vagina. Your baby may wriggle about a bit after you’ve had an orgasm – they’re simply reacting to the beating of your heart.


Towards the end of your pregnancy, sex may set off a Braxton Hicks.[2] (practice) contraction. This is perfectly normal, and the best thing to do is lie quietly until it passes. You may have heard that having sex can bring on labour – if you’ve had a normal pregnancy, this isn’t the case.

sexual positions during pregnancy

Because of your changing shape, you may find your usual positions aren’t comfortable, or even possible. You may also find penetration uncomfortable in some positions. Many women prefer to be on top to accommodate their bump, and spooning is also a good option. Find out what works best for you both, and have fun experimenting.


Some women prefer not to have penetrative sex when they’re pregnant – again, discuss this with your partner and try things out together. You can still use sex toys – but make sure they’re cleaned well as you really don’t want an infection.

when not to have sex during pregnancy

If you’ve had any bleeding, your midwife or GP may tell you to avoid sex. If you have a history of cervical weakness or a low-lying placenta, again, you may be advised not to have sex.


Some women thoroughly enjoy having sex during pregnancy and feel sexier than ever – but if you’re tired and nauseous, it may be one of the last things on your mind. Just remember that everyone feels differently, and it can even vary between your own pregnancies.


Pregnancy is an intimate time for you as a couple. Enjoy these special months together, and if you have any desires or concerns, try to discuss them together.


References


[1]. Sex in pregnancy, NHS, January 2018

[2]. Braxton Hicks, Tommy's, August 2017