What to Expect When Expecting – Is Sex During the First Trimester Safe?

Congratulations! You are soon to become a parent and your life is going to change, even before the baby comes. Among other things, pregnancy also brings the question – is sex during the first trimester safe? To address your concerns right away, it is safe to have sex during the first few months of pregnancy.

But if this is your first-born it might take a bit more to convince you that everything is okay. This is why you should keep on reading and find out more about positions and the things that might affect your sex life during this period.

Sex During Pregnancy – Anatomy and Psychology

Future mothers and fathers often worry that getting intimate early on during pregnancy might hurt the fetus. However, there is nothing to be concerned about because the baby is snug and safe in the uterus. In other words, there is no chance for the fetus to come in contact with the penis or be aware of what is happening on the outside.

On the other hand, the sickness during the first several weeks of pregnancy may significantly decrease a woman’s libido. The cocktail of progesterone, hCG (the pregnancy hormone), and estrogen causes the tiring morning sickness. The nausea usually stops by the end of the first trimester and until that time it’s best to adjust the intimacy routine to avoid the sick morning hours.

The hormones are not only responsible for morning sickness; they may increase a woman’s libido as well. To be exact, some women may experience a heightened sex drive and more intense orgasms. This is partly because of the increased bloodflow in the vagina, labia, and clitoris. On the other hand, it’s also perfectly normal not to feel like rolling in the hay and it may take some time before a pregnant woman feels ready for sex.

Safe Positions

During the first trimester, the female body doesn’t change too much and a general rule of thumb is – any position is okay as long as it feels comfortable. Here are some positions you may consider and they can be used in second and third trimesters as well.

Female on Top

This position is good because the woman takes control of the intercourse; she determines the pace and the penetration depth. It can be practiced later on unless the belly gets in the way.

Side by Side

Partners face each other in this position. Legs intertwine a little and the penetration happens at an angle. The partners’ weight is away from the belly and there is full control of the thrust. Aside from the first trimester, this position is suitable for late pregnancy, as well.


You and your partner are curled to form a C, the penetration happens from behind, and you both lie on the sides. The safety of this position doesn’t need to be stressed and the added benefit is the intimacy and coziness the partners feel.

Reasons to Avoid Sex During the First Trimester

Is sex during the first trimester safe? Yes, it is but this doesn’t apply for risky pregnancies. Heavy bleeding is the most common reason doctors advise against having sex during the first or any other trimester for that matter.

The same goes for women whose water broke prematurely because there’s more risk of infection. Cervical conditions are also a good indicator a couple should abstain from sex. Otherwise, there are greater chances of miscarriage or premature labor.

That being said, it’s important to stress that sex doesn’t pose any risk of miscarriage or early labor under normal circumstances. However, women who have had problematic pregnancies in the past should consult with their obstetrician just to be on the safe side.

Finally, women who are blessed with twins are also advised not to have sex. Also, you should use a condom if you and your partner are not in a monogamous relationship.

Troubles in Paradise

Assuming you and your baby are in perfect health, you can enjoy all the sex you want during the first trimester. But this doesn’t mean the female body responds to it the same.

For example, it’s not uncommon for a woman to feel some cramps after a climax. These are usually moderate and don’t signal that there is anything wrong. Remember, the blood flow in female reproductive organs is much greater than normal during pregnancy. In turn, it causes greater contractions which might last for up to 30 minutes.

What’s more, post-coital anxiety often kicks in during the first trimester. And thinking that there might be something wrong with the baby is not limited to men. This is why it’s best to try to relax after sex, do some breathing exercises, or give your partner a light massage.

Bleeding or spotting after sex might cause panic in some women. It usually happens further on into the pregnancy and is perfectly normal in most cases. The cervix is engorged and more tender, therefore being more susceptible to damage.

Even though there is most likely no harm done, it’s advisable to inform the doctor so he or she can confirm everything is in order and provide advice.

What About Sex in the Second and Third Trimesters?

As said, the general rule of thumb is as long as it feels good and comfortable there is nothing to worry about. The intercourse shouldn’t hurt, even when the woman is well beyond week 25. The sensitivity is heightened indeed and there’s the belly. However, this is not something you cannot adapt to.

In fact, there are couples that have sex until the woman goes into labor. It’s important to note that this is also perfectly healthy for the baby and there is no risk of premature birth. There have been some speculations that certain semen enzymes may trigger premature labor. However, medical studies suggest otherwise.

Whatever you feel like doing, it’s important for the partners to communicate and work around the anxiety. And if the woman doesn’t really feel sexy, her partner should give her plenty of time to adjust to all the bodily and hormonal changes.

Getting Jiggy the First 12 Weeks

When all is said and done, there is no reason to abstain from sex during the early pregnancy. If you look beyond the morning sickness and the initial anxiety, passionate loving sex may help partners relax and better cope with all the changes.

Finally, sex-induced pregnancy complications are quite rare in monogamous relationships. But should you suspect that there’s something wrong, it’s advisable to pay your obstetrician a visit.


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