Sex and Pregnancy: The Third Trimester
Sex and pregnancy, during the third trimester can be the most complicated stage. Body pain, such as breast tenderness may challenge your ability to feel sexy, and your belly is bigger than ever (and still growing) along with the emotional changes can dramatically shift old patterns, habits and sensibilities. At this point in your pregnancy a third party presence (your bulging belly, that may even kick at times) may be difficult to ignore because it gets in the way of your normal positions, but also because of the daily fluctuations about how well you feel, and reaching orgasm for some women at “T3” (third trimester) can be a challenge (some are more orgasmic). Every pregnancy is different, and so is a women’s sex drive during pregnancy. However, it is common for a woman’s sex drive to decrease as your baby takes up more space in your abdomen and your physical comfort decreases. Not to mention the physical aches and pains you may be experiencing. Even with all of these obstacles, it doesn’t mean sex during the final stages of your pregnancy can’t be a pleasurable and fun experience. Think of sex during the third trimester as an adventure. Sex at this stage requires creativity, and improvisation. What has worked for you sexually in the past may not work for you now. In fact, what worked for you sexually yesterday may not even work for you now! Just like your body and your baby are constantly growing and changing, so are your sexual needs. But, don’t get discouraged, you can still have your sexual needs met, it just takes some thinking outside the box, and having an open mind with trying different positions and to reaching orgasm.
The following positions are recommended for a number of reasons. These positions are designed for your comfort and allows easy access. Please note: It is recommended pregnant women avoid lying on their backs for a long period of time, due to the lack of blood flow to the uterus and placenta. Using a couple of pillows behind your back can help prop you up a little higher so you’re not fully on your back.
Side by side position
This position tends to be a crowd pleaser. This position allows for comfort for both partners, and can be very intimate because of the physical closeness the position provides. There is no belly in the way of the two of you. It’s a way for your partner to feel like he is in control of the movements, without feeling like he’s crushing the baby. You and your partner lay side by side, both facing the same direction, as if you partner (the male) is spooning you, with your back to him. Your partner enters you from behind, and has ability to control the speed and power of the thrusting. You, the pregnant partner also have a little bit of ability to move your hips and respond to the thrusts however it feels best for you. Feel free to use a pillow under belly for added support.
Woman on top
The position allows the pregnant partner the chance to dominate and control the movements, without putting pressure on the her abdomen. The bonus of the position for the male partner is they get a full view of your constantly growing breasts, and of your growing belly. This can be a turn-on for many men. For those who are turned on by the belly, and for the women who may feel self conscious about such full exposure, the side by side position, or doggy style allows for less frontal exposure.
This position can give many pregnant women a great amount of stimulation, plus the position allows your partner access with his hand to add to that stimulation by massaging your clitoris. A few variations to this position include: The woman being on “all fours” while your husband is kneeling behind you, and enters you from behind. A small variation to this position could be the woman resting on her forearms (kind of like the child’s pose in yoga) but be sure to have a pillow or too under your chest to prevent your body and belly from collapsing on the bed. One other variation to try instead of all fours is both partner are kneeling, as the male partner enters you from behind. If your pregnant partner needs more support try this position facing the bed frame or wall behind your bed, so your pregnant spouse has the option to lean a little, to help with added weight of the belly.
For the pregnant ladies who still prefer a position where they can lay back and relax, try having her lay on her back with her legs lifted and propped over her partner’s pelvic area as he enters her from a slightly diagonal angle.
Another way to get creative with more back friendly positions is prop your back with pillows (no flat back!), lay belly up closer to the end of the bed, while your partner stands at the edge of the bed to enter you and has full range of movement and access.
You may have noticed over the course of your pregnancy that your orgasms and how you response to sex have changed. Some women report to have very intense orgasms during the first two trimesters. If you’re noticing either less intense orgasms, or none at all, there is no need to worry. Twenty percent of women don’t climax during the third trimester. While you may still be fully stimulated, reaching a full-on orgasm may be difficult because the size of the baby may prevent your uterus from fully contracting.
For the couples who are expecting their first baby, enjoy this time and take the opportunity to explore sexually. Enjoy your last private moments together before the new addition. Sex during pregnancy can be challenging, awkward, and inconsistent. But it can also be fun, surprising, and sexy! You have an opportunity to learn something new about your own sexuality and needs, as well as your partner’s, which can set you up for a better sex life for the future.