The first trimester is a time hardly anyone would consider "fun." Your body is changing faster than Netflix changes its lineup, you're exhausted, and perhaps a bit queasy. However, one thing you're still interested in is sex, but does it change? Can you have rough sex in your first trimester or should you stick to the basics for those first three months?
Sex in most pregnancies is completely safe, normal, and should be encouraged, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. In fact, provided your OB-GYN says it's safe for you to continue your sex life, there are many benefits to pregnancy sex, like lowering your blood pressure, boosting your immune system, and helping you get a good night's rest, according to Britain's The Daily Record.
Not everyone likes the same kind of sex, though, and some couples like a little more slap than tickle between the sheets at night. If your idea of a good time with your partner tends to lean more towards T-Bar restraints and safety words than it does Netflix and chill, you may be concerned about what the next few months hold for you in the nookie department. Can you have rough sex in your first trimester at least?
I spoke to Vanessa Putnam, British-certified nurse midwife and sexual health advocate to find out what's safe, and what's not. Putnam tells Romper that rough sex is tricky, even in the first trimester. "While certain things like spanking and tickling are pretty safe, other things like bondage and rough penetration are straight out." She says that there is so much increased blood flow to the genitals, that average sex may cause a woman to spot and tear. Rough sex, and specifically hard penetration, is almost certain to cause tearing of the vulva and vagina.
Putnam also tells Romper that "anal might be painful or impossible at any point in the pregnancy, though probably less so in the first trimester. The increased blood flow to the region, combined with the pressure of the growing uterus, can cause hemorrhoids, making anal a bad idea." She notes that if you're finding your anus more sensitive or tight-feeling than normal, it's probably best to avoid anal sex. Otherwise, "just make sure that if you have anal sex, your partner cleans up before you engage in vaginal sex." The germs from the anus should not be introduced into the vagina, because this can lead to a difficult-to-treat and painful infection, according to Go Ask Alice at Columbia University.
What about bondage? Putnam implores women to make sure that they are not tightly bound in any way during their pregnancy, including the first trimester. "Anything that can cut off blood flow or oxygen can cause dangerous swelling and dizziness. Light, loose bondage is fine, but truly restrictive ties aren't OK," she notes.
As for toys, Putnam says to make sure they're really clean, and free of BPA or phthalates, which are endocrine disruptors and may lead to birth defects. Just like you wouldn't drink from a BPA lined bottle, you don't want a BPA vibrator hanging out in your nether regions. Putnam also tells Romper to make sure if you're sharing your toys with your partner, you clean them up in between. And just like with sex, don't go from the anus to the vagina with your toys. She also suggests that you make sure they can be thoroughly cleaned. "The best choice is medical grade silicone" when choosing a toy, because it's non-porous and can be cleaned easily with soapy hot water, Putnam recommends.
As for rough sex in general, Putnam notes that even in the first trimester you want to avoid too much nipple stimulation because of the contractions it may cause, and you definitely want to avoid anything around the belly area, because it's truly better to be safe than sorry. As for spanking? "Just make sure you avoid the belly and use safe words," Putnam tells Romper.
While the truly rough kink might have to go on the back burner for a bit, there is still some fun rough play available to you. Just check with your OB-GYN before you engage in physical activity to err on the side of caution until you can get back to your partner and have some fun.