Sex During Pregnancy: What’s Normal?

hands holding belly

I’m sure that by now in your pregnancy, you have heard the spiel—sex during pregnancy, excluding a few circumstances, is safe. In fact, it can actually help prepare you for labor as you approach your due date, as an orgasm can lead to contractions and the prostaglandins help soften and dilate your cervix. Generally, unless you have one of the following conditions, sex during all 40 weeks of pregnancy is deemed safe:

  • Unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • Premature labor or a history of premature labor
  • Placenta previa
  • Leaking amniotic fluid
  • Premature cervical dilation or an incompetent cervix


I’ve even heard of those women who have an increased sex drive during pregnancy, due to all of the raging hormones and increased blood flow, although I have yet to believe that these women actually exist, as I fall squarely into the “don’t touch me” category of sex when I’m pregnant. There’s just something about barely being able to move and feeling another human being kick me from the inside that is kind of a mood killer for me.

Catharine Johnson agrees. “The 3rd timester kills sex drive for sure,” she says. “Unless you’re trying to have the baby. We had the baby within 12 hours when we finally did it!”

On the other hand, Michelle Horton of Early Mama enjoyed sex right up until a few hours before her water broke. “It was more of an I-want-to-have-this-baby-on-time labor insurance than purely pleasure,” says Michelle. But it apparently did the trick—her water broke on her due date.

And Lee Anne Marie Bowman found due-date sex downright hilarious. “I attempted the “put you into labor” sex,” she says, “But we ended up having to stop before it was complete; we were both laughing to much to be serious!”

Tara Pringle Jefferson of The Young Mommy Life kept the sex going while she could. Nope. “I actually told my husband that we needed to get it on about a couple days before I was due because it might be a while before I [was in] the mood again!” she writes.

In an unofficial survey on my Facebook page, the majority of women who answered my questions about sex during pregnancy said that they had sex right up until their due dates.

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So, it looks like I’m all on my own, folks. If you’re one of the women who like it hot right until you pop, then go for it! You’re not alone! Even if I am…

Image via Flickr [ArkansasShutterbug]

What do you think?

Sex During Pregnancy: What’s Normal?

Chaunie Brusie is a writer, mom of four, and founder of The Stay Strong Mom, a community + gift box service for moms after loss. ... More

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16 comments

  1. jesster131 says:

    Nope you were not alone. At first I was ok & into sex while I was pregnant but at about 9 weeks a scary with some fairly heavy bleeding put me square in the don’t touch me zone for the rest of the pregnancy. Now we are all good but the 2 year old has a habit of walking in on things & we end up dissolving into laughter anytime things heat up even if the LO isn’t home. But life goes on. It’s good to have a sense of humor anyway.

  2. SarahJane says:

    You’re not alone Chaunie, I’m definitely in the “Don’t Touch Me” category as well! My poor husband, we got pregnant only two months after our wedding so I’ve been “not in the mood” most of our marriage…I guess he’ll be pleasantly surprised a couple months after the baby comes when I get my mojo back! 😉

  3. sex durring pregnancy is sometimes amazing and then sometimes not very interesting just be careful asyou may feel some discomforting and if so simply just switch positions

  4. Amanda says:

    I am actually in my 24th week and my sex drive has been higher than normal. I have enjoyed it very much and of course my husband has as well. I hope that it continues through the duration of my pregnancy.

  5. Brandi says:

    I had no problem whatsoever with sex drive one way or the other, but it never induced labor either. tried for 3 weeks after being put on baby watch and went into labor naturally and without sex bringing it on.

  6. Lol…ya, um, I normally have a high drive to begin with, and pregnancy just makes it go crazy! My poor husband had to set a limit…unheard of, I know. Doesn’t matter how tired I am, doesn’t matter if I have a headache, with pregnancy, it’s stronger than even my food cravings. Honestly, sometimes I wish it had an “off” button…

  7. Marilyn says:

    I had a strong sex drive with my first, but we could have sex whenever we wanted. This time our oldest is 5 and likes to stay up late and my boyfriend works so much and with me being so tired, it just doesn’t happen much. lol We love to cuddle and just relax with each other, it’s our only alone time, so we talk and just enjoy each others company.

  8. Nancy says:

    Hey am 6 wks pregnant but don’t want sex cos am worried
    Have had loads of miscarriage any advice

  9. sheenaholman says:

    Ha you are not alone. I wanted my baby out but not bad enough to have sex. I felt like a whale by the end of it and the thought of sex literally made me feel like vomiting.

  10. Jaclyn says:

    i love sex and would do it all the time if he was up for it. I cant ever get enough of it. i was like that my first pregnancy and am like that now that i am pregnant again

  11. Yes! Exactly! I used to have a strong sex drive so I was like oh I’ll be one of those women when I do get pregnant and that’s also what everyone told me. But it couldn’t be more obvious. The whole idea was uncomfortable, I’m in a ton of pain, I’m watching my body grow, which doesn’t make me feel all that sexy, I leak a lot now ahem, and it is hard to move so just the thought wears me out. I feel bad for my fiance so try anyway but it’s always uncomfortable and it practically takes me an hour to prepare for it..lol. But it sucks cause I do miss the sex drive ha

  12. pregnantmama says:

    I am 33 weeks pregnant and At first, I wanted sex all the time and my husband felt weird about it. Now that the baby movements are stronger and the baby is more active, i feel weird and dont want it and now he just cant get enough. Funny how the tables turned.

  13. THANK YOU! I have been completely turned off for weeks now. i’m only 18 weeks in and I feel horrible for my boyfriend but the whole idea of sex is just incomprehensible right now and I’ve been feeling like I’m the only one. All I hear about are women who feel super sexy. Even my mom – yeah, did NOT need to know about that. My body just feels – busy. That’s the only word I can think of for it. Anyway – it’s nice to know that I’m not alone.

  14. Nikki says:

    im 29 weeks and i still enjoy sex!

  15. I agree with Tara Pringle Jefferson, it’s gonna be awhile after and I don’t want my love to have to suffer too too long. Although for now, at 18 weeks, sex is still oh so pleasurable.

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