Sex During Third Trimester

Q&A with Dr. Gardos, Sex Ed

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Is it okay to have sex during the third trimester of pregnancy? God knows, I want to!!!


Pregnancy and the changes in hormone levels definitely affect a woman’s sexual feelings, libido and activities. Although some women have a decrease in sexual desire, others, such as yourself, find that they have the same, or an even greater, level of desire. Studies have shown that the rates of activities such as oral sex and masturbation don’t generally decline until the last month of pregnancy.

As the pregnancy advances, many women find that avoiding pressure on the abdomen and using shallower penetration during intercourse make sex more enjoyable. Even if intercourse is not possible or comfortable, however, other activities such as cunnilingus or masturbation (alone or with a partner) can still be intensely pleasurable. There are no hard and fast rules about sex during pregnancy. Although some positions may be uncomfortable or difficult, this is a great time to share and experiment with new ways of sexual (and nonsexual) expression.

All that said, you should observe the following:

  • Avoid extreme pressure on the abdomen, especially during the final months of pregnancy.
  • If you have had a prior miscarriage, you should consult with your doctor about not only intercourse, but the possible risks of any activity that might lead to orgasm.
  • If intercourse causes pain that is not helped by changing position, you should avoid it.
  • If there is any bleeding from the vagina, or your cervix has started to dilate, you should refrain from intercourse and see your physician or midwife immediately.

Finally, you should know that orgasm often causes uterine contractions (whether you are pregnant or not). Some medical professionals believe that late in pregnancy these uterine contractions can cause your water to break and thus hasten labor. This is not usually a problem, but you might want to discuss it with your health care professional.

Almost all authorities agree that given a normal, healthy pregnancy, intercourse can be continued until well into the third trimester. (See the article by Dr. Linda Mona on sex, vibrators and pregnancy for more information on this subject.) Individuals with any special health concerns or issues should talk with their doctor to receive clear information about any sexual activity restrictions during your pregnancy. If you are in fact put on restriction, use that time to share and perhaps experience entirely new ways to connect with your partner and yourself!

Dr. Sandor Gardos signature

Dr. Sandor Gardos

MyPleasure provides up-to-date and useful sexual education materials in combination with a store that allows people to buy, try, and learn about new aspects of sexuality. We believe everybody deserves a great sex life.

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