Sex During the Third Trimester of Pregnancy

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Sex Third Trimester

You’ve enjoyed an active sex life before–it got you where you are today–but as the third trimester rolls on, a roll in the hay sounds more and more complicated. The good news is you can have great sex during your third trimester (health permitting). The key is to bring a sense of humor and creativity into the bedroom. Or, you know, wherever the mood strikes you.

Is Having Sex in the Third Trimester Safe?

Generally speaking, sex during late pregnancy is totally safe. Important exception: If you have conditions like recurrent miscarriage, placenta previa, previous preterm labor, or problems with your cervix, your doctor may ask you to take sex off the table. Ask if you’re not sure–don’t be shy, doctors have heard everything!

About the common “poke the baby” fear: He won’t. He can’t. There’s a mucus plug, cervix, uterine muscles, and ample fluid cushioning in the way. At most, the baby might experience some gentle rocking, as happens with any other everyday activity, but the baby’s not going to end up with a dented head or somehow know you’re doing the deed and judge you.

Getting Into Position

Assuming you’ve got the all-clear, getting into bed can suddenly feel like a demented game of Twister. You’re not comfortable on your back. You’re too tired to take top. Too much discussion along the lines of, “What if you put your elbow–no, ow–” isn’t setting the atmosphere you’d hoped for.

Standards like doggy-style, cowgirl, and spooning positions take the most pressure off the bump. Pillows are your friend. Use them to build whatever buttresses you need to hold you steady in whatever position feels most comfortable. Getting creative with location can also make sex more enjoyable. Cowgirl can be less tiring in a chair with armrests, for example, since you can rest your weight on your forearms instead of leaning into your palms on the bed.

Feel free to linger around second or third base, too. Focusing too much on intercourse as the end goal puts a lot of pressure on both parties and loses sight of some fun opportunities. Breasts may be extra-sensitive in a good way. A calf and thigh massage can be blissful enough to count as foreplay. If you’re naked and having fun, it counts as sex.

When Things Get Weird

Third-trimester sex can come with plenty of…interesting developments. You may find that orgasms are at their most intense, due to all the lovely hormones coursing through your system. You may also find that your baby kicks when you have an orgasm, which is probably the biggest mood-kill known to humanity. You might feel like a goddess when your partner admires your voluptuous curves, but want to throw yourself into Mount Vesuvius at the thought of them catching a glimpse of your pregnancy hemorrhoids.

Partners, this is a good time for you to swoop in and tip the balance. There’s basically no way to lay it on too thick with compliments about your partner’s sexiness. Keeping a good sense of humor helps with unexpected noises or positions that don’t work out. Remember, the more relaxed and confident the pregnant partner feels, the better the odds that both of you will find yourself in the mood together more often.

Jessica Sillers
Jessica Sillers is a parenting and finance writer whose work has been featured in Pregnancy & Newborn, Headspace, and more. As a new mom herself, she’s passionate about helping other parents find the community and support they need. When she’s not writing, she loves spending time with her family, reading, and hiking.

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