It seems like pregnancy and questions go hand-in-hand, even when you’re nearing the midpoint of your nine-month stint. The second trimester brings on a whole host of new concerns: How can I stay healthy? What should I eat? And can you have sex in the second trimester of pregnancy? I mean, inquiring minds need to know these things.
Whether pregnancy hormones have you cranked up or feeling “meh” about sex in general, it’s a good idea to know what’s normal and what’s a potential signal of trouble at this time. Although your main concern is, of course, to protect the baby, it doesn’t mean you have to be celibate for the next few months. There are plenty of healthy ways to enjoy sex during this time.
Here is a quick rundown of what you might expect from your sex life during your second trimester, and what might be a good idea to avoid until after the baby arrives. But overall, it’s a good idea to just go with what your body is telling you at during this time. One woman might continue an active sex life for the duration of the second trimester, while another might feel like backing off a bit. And both responses are fine. Just go with your instincts. And as always, if anything about your pregnancy or sex life seems concerning, have a chat with your physician to make sure everything's A-OK.
Can You Have Sex During Your Second Trimester?
In a word: yes. According to the Mayo Clinic, as long as your pregnancy doesn't have any complications, it's safe to keep having sex during pregnancy. In general, sexual activity won't hurt your baby or cause a miscarriage. You may want to adjust your positions to accommodate your growing baby, but in general you don't need to make any major adjustments to your sex life.
However, you and your partner may need to make some accommodations when enjoying oral or anal sex, as the Mayo Clinic notes. If you're receiving oral sex, make sure your partner does not blow air into your vagina. (There's a sentence you never thought you'd read). Although it may sound weird, this could potentially cause an air embolism, which could hurt you or the baby. And you may want to be extra-cautious about not switching directly from anal to vaginal sex, which could cause an infection.
When Should You Avoid Sex While Pregnant?
As the National Health Service advises, you may want to avoid sex while pregnant if you have experienced heavy bleeding, because this could increase the risk of additional bleeding, especially in cases where the placenta is low. Furthermore, if you have leaked amniotic fluid, you may be advised to avoid sex to lessen the risk of infection.
Also, if you have an incompetent cervix, which the American Pregnancy Association defines as one that begins opening before the baby is ready for birth, your doctor may recommend abstaining from sex. A case of placenta previa, or a complication in which the placenta covers the opening of the cervix, may also call for a temporary pause on sexual activity. Fortunately, both of these conditions are relatively rare; with an incompetent cervix happening in only about 1 out of 100 pregnancies, and placenta previa affecting fewer than 200,000 cases per year in the United States.
Lastly, the Mayo Clinic says sex may be inadvisable in certain cases. If you have experienced premature birth, or you're carrying multiple babies, then your doctor may advise you to hold off on intercourse. Of course, these instances are individualized and will depend on your own case and physician's recommendations.
What If You Don't Feel Like Having Sex?
If you're just not in the mood, well, that's normal too! Hormones, fatigue, and even body image issues can make sex somewhat difficult territory during this time, as WebMD notes. But you can stay connected to your partner in other ways. Date nights, cuddling, and frequent, honest communication can help you maintain your bond while you both wait for the baby to arrive.