Intercourse during your pregnancy
You can have sex while you are pregnant. The need for intimacy differs per woman and often also depends on the length of pregnancy. In a normal pregnancy, there are no do’s and don’ts regarding sexuality. Intercourse cannot cause any harm to the unborn baby. Only when there is blood loss or broken membranes sex is not recommended.
During or after intercourse, the uterus may become hard (resulting in some abdominal pain), because it contracts during an orgasm. This is no cause for alarm.
Sex throughout the pregnancy
1st trimester: weeks 1 to 12
Some women have less sex drive in the first three months of pregnancy. This can be due to hormonal changes that can cause fatigue and nausea. It may also be related to increasing pressure on the bladder. Other women have more sex drive.
2nd trimester: weeks 13 to 26
After the first three months, the ailments usually disappear. Many women are full of energy. The blood flow to the genital area (vulva, vagina and clitoris) increases sharply during this period. This makes it easier to get aroused. Depending on your mood, this can be pleasant or unpleasant.
3rd trimester: weeks 27 to 42
In the last months before delivery, your belly may get in the way. This makes certain positions difficult or uncomfortable.
During pregnancy you may not be able to have sex in the same way as before. Your belly is in the way or your back hurts. Look for pleasant ways to make love together and discuss what you like. If sexual intercourse is not pleasant (anymore), you can of course also have sex in other ways. Consider, for example, stimulation of the clitoris or penis with the hand or mouth. The following positions during sexual intercourse are often still comfortable.
Woman on top
You squat or kneel on your partner. This is a pleasant position, because there is not much weight on your stomach and breasts and you determine the pace.
Man on top
Your partner does not lie on you – as in the missionary position – but leans on hands and knees. As a result, your belly is not under pressure. A small adjustment results in your partner sitting on your thighs, as it were.
On your sides
You lie facing each other. Pull up one leg to give your partner space.
Next to each other
You lie on your back and your partner is next to you on his side. You put your legs over him so that his penis can enter your vagina. Optionally, you can clamp the penis between your legs and rub it over your vagina and clitoris.
Spooning is a pleasant position, especially in the last period of pregnancy. You lie against each other like two spoons. You lie on your side and your partner lies against your back.
Your partner sits on a chair or the edge of the bed, so that you can easily sit on him with your legs spread out, facing your partner or vice versa. You set the pace and your partner can caress you with both hands in the meantime.
Hands and knees
You are on your hands and knees and your partner is behind you. The position of the arms allows your partner to vary the degree and intensity of the penetration.
Problems with sex
Pain during sexual intercourse
If you experience pain during intercourse, it may indicate a yeast infection, pelvic floor muscle tension or irritation at the entrance to the vagina. It is also possible that sex is painful because you are less aroused and your vagina is less moist. Take your pain complaints seriously! It is not wise to have intercourse when you are in pain. Look for a different kind of sex or intimacy that doesn’t cause any pain.
The acidity in your vagina changes during pregnancy, which can make you more likely to get a yeast infection. Do you have a lot of itching on your labia, do they feel swollen and do you suffer from thicker discharge? Then ask your midwife or GP for advice.
During pregnancy you are sensitive to a bladder infection. You can get these from sexual intercourse. If you have a bladder infection, drinking a lot and urinating regularly can help. If urinating is painful, you need to urinate often, or if you have a lot of hard stomachs, call your midwife or GP. You may have a bladder infection and need to have your urine tested.
Infections such as hepatitis B and HIV / AIDS can be risky for your child’s health. You will be tested for these infections at the beginning of your pregnancy so that precautions can be taken. An acute herpes infection is risky during labor. So always report it to your midwife if you think something is wrong.
The desire for sex and the perception of it during pregnancy can also change with your partner. One person finds the pregnant body very attractive, while the other sees the body of his partner change into a “mother’s body” which may reduce the sex drive.
Some men fear that they will harm the child when having intercourse. This fear is unnecessary: the baby is well protected by the amniotic fluid and the cervix is well closed. If your partner is afraid of penetration, sex without penetration can be very pleasant too.
Even without much sex, pregnancy can be a period of special intimacy for you and your partner. By feeling the movements in your belly, listening to the baby’s heart and talking to the baby, your partner can experience the pregnancy as well.
There are also partners who find it difficult to determine their role during pregnancy and, for example, are completely absorbed in their work. Talk to each other about this.
You can discuss problems or questions regarding sexuality with the midwife. This also applies to previous negative experiences with sexuality or difficulty with an internal examination. We can then take this into account and provide better support.