Will Sex Hurt During Pregnancy?

by Caroline Tung Richmond

If you're pregnant for the first time, your brain might be spinning with questions. What will your baby look like? What should you do about morning sickness? And what about, you know, sex? Your doctor may have assured you that it's safe to get busy between the sheets when you're expecting, but you might still be nervous — will sex hurt during pregnancy? The answer depends on how far along you are and how you're feeling overall.

Pregnancy sex is like non-pregnancy sex in a lot of ways. Sometimes it's great, other times it's dull. Sometimes you can't get enough, other times it's a hard pass. This is all completely normal, thanks to the surging hormones in your ever-changing body, and it's normal too if you feel some discomfort.

"When you're pregnant, your back may get hyper-extended and your natural lubrication might be altered. Certain positions can feel uncomfortable, too," Dr. Neil Foster, an OBGYN in Leesburg, Virginia, tells Romper. So the next time you get intimate, pay close attention to your body and feel free to stop whenever you're no longer in the mood — and don't feel guilty about it. But if you want to try again, there are a couple of methods you can use to make sex more enjoyable.

As your belly grows bigger, you might have a hard time finding a pleasurable sex position. After all, a third trimester belly can be a little tough to work around. If you're feeling discomfort during sex, you and your partner should experiment with different positions — the American Pregnancy Association recommended side by side or with you on top — until you figure out what feels best for your body.

Another common cause of sexual discomfort is a lack of vaginal lubrication during pregnancy (thanks a lot, hormones). If you're dealing with this particular issue, try using a water-based lubricant the next time you're in the mood, as suggested by Parents. That might just be the missing ingredient you need for great pregnancy sex.

While you might feel some discomfort during pregnancy sex, be sure to call your health provider if your pain becomes acute. "Tell your doctor the exact location of your pain and how long it has lasted. They'll let you know if you should come in for an exam," says Foster. He also urges expectant moms to contact their health providers whenever they may feel uneasy or worried. That way, you can make sure that your pregnancy is progressing as healthily as it can — and breathe a little easier as well.

Pregnancy sex can get a little complicated as your hormones spike and your body changes. There may come times when you have super intense orgasms, and there may come times when sex simply doesn't feel that great. Just keep in mind that sex should be enjoyable — pregnant belly or not — and to communicate to your partner what feels good to you.