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Sex during the third trimester

It’s true that when you’re pregnant, sometimes you have to give up some fun things - there’s just no way around it. Whether you’re a tattoo enthusiast, a roller derby regular, or a hobbyist astronaut, most pregnant women abstain from or cut down on some some hobby, activity, or behavior that they love. Fortunately, there’s one pregnancy-safe activity that all women can enjoy, right up until the day of delivery: sex.

Is sex during the third trimester safe?

Absolutely! If you’re having a normal, healthy pregnancy without any complications, sex is totally safe right up until the day of delivery. In fact, some believe that sex in the days leading up to delivery can coax a baby out sooner!

Even though you know sex is totally safe during the third trimester, and your libido might be running wild, convincing your partner that sex will not hurt the baby can sometimes be difficult. Men sometimes worry that their prowess may be putting the baby at risk. Without bursting his bubble, you should inform your partner that he is nowhere near close to doing so, using descriptive measurements if need be.

Is sex during the third trimester safe for you?

Not only is sex during the third trimester safe, it’s downright healthy! Women often experience a heightened sex drive during late pregnancy, so feel free to have some fun! Finding a comfortable position can be a bit difficult, but some experimenting and positional creativity should do the trick. “Spooning” is one of the lowest impact positions that will avoid putting pressure on your internal organs, so many third trimester women tout this as the most enjoyable.

Are there any times when sex during the third trimester is not safe?

Although third trimester sex is perfectly healthy most of the time, there are a few instances in which you should avoid having sex.

  • Bleeding or spotting after sex: Women who notice bleeding or spotting after sex should probably avoid intercourse, at least until you talk to your healthcare provider to determine the cause.
  • Placenta previa: This is a pregnancy complication in which the placenta either partially or totally covers the cervix. Women who have been diagnosed with placenta previa should probably avoid having vaginal sex, as it could cause a more serious issue.
  • Once your water has broken: Women should avoid having sex after their water breaks, as a baby is no longer protected from possible infections.

The bottom line

Even if it seems like it may be a bit uncomfortable, or your partner has his reservations, sex during the third trimester is a totally normal and healthy activity to engage in, and can help bring you and your partner closer as you prepare to grow your family!


Reviewed by Dr. Jamie Lo
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