Clearly you know how to have sex with your partner. But a lot of changes that happen in your body during pregnancy can likely make some of your go-to sex positions more challenging than before. This doesn’t mean your sex life has to take a backseat during the last few months of pregnancy, though: There are plenty of sex positions while pregnant during the third trimester that feel comfortable and offer a great time.
“Sex during pregnancy can be an extraordinary experience,” says Jess O’Reilly, PhD, creator of the Sex with Dr. Jess podcast. “Changes in hormone levels during pregnancy can actually boost your libido, and though orgasm may be slightly more elusive during the first trimester, many women report experiencing more intense climaxes during the second.”
Communication is key, says Jessica Shepherd, MD, an assistant professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology and director of Minimally Invasive Gynecology at The University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago. She recommends having an open, ongoing discussion about what works for you and what doesn’t as your pregnancy progresses. “If something doesn’t feel good, it’s important to speak up,” she says. Likewise, if it feels amazing, you’ll also want your partner to know so that they can keep doing it.
If you are experiencing a healthy pregnancy, there aren’t really any sex positions during pregnancy that are considered off-limits, but doctors generally advise that you avoid lying flat on your back (i.e., in missionary) after about 20 weeks or so, Shepherd says, since this position can interfere with blood flow to the placenta. Otherwise, you should go with whatever pregnant sex positions feel good.
The Best Sex Positions While Pregnant
The “best” sex positions during pregnancy are usually subjective, of course. But certain sex positions while pregnant allow for the woman with a baby bump to feel as comfortable as possible. That said, experts swear these are the best sex positions during pregnancy.
Lie down on your side and have your partner curl up next to your back, entering you from behind. “Spooning may be the best third trimester position of all,” says licensed marriage and sex therapist Kat Van Kirk, PhD. “It's comfortable, no one has to exert themselves too much, and deep penetration is difficult to achieve, which is good for your cervix if it's sensitive.” Spooning also keeps pressure off of your belly (and bladder), O’Reilly points out, and leaves your hands free to rub your clitoris for extra stimulation.
Side by side
Lie down facing your partner and have him move his leg over yours (legs can be straight or bent at the knee) and enter you from an angle. This position “allows for variation in speed and depth,” says Rachel Needle, PsyD, a sex therapist and licensed psychologist at the Center for Marital and Sexual Health of South Florida. “It is also great because it doesn’t require a lot of energy.” Another perk: Side by side is one of those sex positions during pregnancy that allow for extra intimacy because you and your partner can look in each other’s eyes during the act, O’Reilly points out.
You on top
Have your partner lie down and straddle him from above. This position lets you set the pace and keeps pressure off your belly, Needle says, allowing you to be in control. You can also shift around a little to see which angles feel best for you, she says. Putting your hands on the top of the headboard at the same time can help you stabilize yourself as well as save your energy and give you more angle options, Van Kirk says.
Edge of the bed
Lie down on the edge of the bed face-up with your feet on the floor. Then, prop your torso up on your elbows and have your partner stand or bend over you while entering. This position allows you to move your hips to target what feels right for you, Van Kirk says, and having your weight supported by the bed can be helpful. It also allows you to be face to face, which can feel more intimate, she says.
Prop yourself up on all fours and have your partner enter you from behind. Just encourage him to take it slow and communicate about what does and doesn’t feel good. Your cervix may be especially sensitive during this time, Shepherd says, and of all the sex positions while pregnant, this one opens you up to deep penetration. Rear-entry puts no pressure on your bladder or uterus, O’Reilly says, making it an especially good option for women in their third trimester.
Against the wall
Stand facing the wall with your legs spread and your hands against the wall either above your head or at shoulder height as your partner stands behind you and slides inside. This has many of the same benefits as rear-entry, O’Reilly says, but allows you to mix it up a little while having support from the wall.
Have your partner lie down on his back and straddle him, facing his toes. Among the different sex positions while pregnant, this one puts you in control of penetration depth, speed, rhythm, and angles. “It can also provide pressure against your G-spot, which can create a different and more intense orgasmic response,” O’Reilly says.
Sometimes you don’t feel up for penetrative sex, and that’s okay. In this case, the best sex during pregnancy is oral sex and mutual masturbation can also be great ways to connect with your partner on an intimate level. “Non-penetrative sex involves mostly clitoral stimulation versus the penis coming into the vagina and potentially making contact with the cervix which can feel too sensitive,” Van Kirk says. Any pregnant sex that involves rubbing, grinding, or vibrating is great to explore, provided it feels good to you, O’Reilly says.
Updated August 2017