The Stages of Sex During Pregnancy

The Stages of Sex During Pregnancy
María Alejandra Castro Arbeláez

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist María Alejandra Castro Arbeláez.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

A couple’s sex life goes through some changes during pregnancy. Starting with the first trimester, couples will go through a series of stages that will have an impact on their sexual relationship. However, if all goes well, you can have sex until the end of your pregnancy, free from worry.

The Stages of Sex During Pregnancy

The First Trimester

In order to conceive, couples tend to have sex more often and enthusiastically than usual. But once they have succeeded, in the first months of pregnancy, many women avoid having sex simply because they are so wrapped up in the news that they are expecting a baby.

This is added to the typical problems of early pregnancy, such as nausea and fatigue for example. Other women just do not see the concepts of pregnancy and sex together, and this is because there are still many misconceptions about this topic that have not yet been dispelled.

Generally, during the first weeks, couples are scared that sex might harm the pregnancy, but to the surprise of some, quite the opposite happens.

At the beginning of pregnancy the organs of the pelvis have increased blood supply, which heightens desire and is safe for sexual activity. Many women even reach orgasm more easily during this period.

Also, particularly for couples that have had some trouble getting pregnant, the sex at this stage is more relaxed. This is why the delicate first trimester of pregnancy can become a period of intense pleasure.

The Second Trimester

Pregnant woman and husband lying in bed smiling

From the beginning of week 16 to approximately week 30, many mothers feel especially good, since their body is already used to its new condition and has become more feminine since their breasts have grown and their body shape has rounded out. Their small belly is still manageable.

This all makes for good conditions for pleasure and enjoyment. Generally, the very day that mothers can feel the baby for the first time, certain questions arise. How does sex impact my little one? Does it bother him?

At this time, fathers also start to feel like there is a third person in the bed. Some are under the impression that their wife is only concerned with the child and that they have been relegated to second place.

Doctors say that the female orgasm occurs in the uterus and that for a brief time the placenta provides less blood to the baby. However, this serves as training for their blood circulation and is in no way something that can hurt the baby, who is protected by amniotic fluid and the muscle wall of the uterus.

There is no need to be scared that the baby could be injured during sex either; the mucus plug closes the entrance to the neck of the uterus and prevents semen from reaching that point.

The Last Trimester

Man kissing belly of pregnant woman

To most men, the round belly of a pregnant woman is very erotic. However, after week 30, it becomes more and more difficult to find a position where the belly does not get in the way. For example, missionary position might be more difficult.

The uterine contractions that occur with orgasm are very mild and cannot induce unwanted labor. Even though during orgasm the hormone prostaglandin is secreted which softens the uterine muscle and prepares it for contractions, the amount is so little that it will not stimulate contractions.

The truth is that sex before birth has many benefits and is, among other things, a good method for calming the baby, because it relaxes you and creates a good mood which promotes rest and tranquility.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Arbués, E. R., & León, M. R. (2013). Características y evolución del patrón sexual de la mujer embarazada. Enfermería Global, 12(4), 362-370.
  • Byrd JE, Hyde JS, DeLamater JD, Plant EA. (1998). Sexuality during pregnancy and the year postpartum. J Fam Pract. 1998 Oct; 47(4):305-8.
  • González Labrador, I., & Miyar Pieiga, E. (2001). Sexualidad femenina durante la gestación. Revista cubana de medicina general integral, 17(5), 497-501.
  • Richard P. (1984). Sexualidad durante el embarazo. Clin Obstet Ginecol Norteam 1984;3:904-16.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.