Sex during Second Trimester: Positions, Risks & More

Sex During the 2nd Trimester of Pregnancy – Is It Safe?

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Rima Sonpal (Gynecologist/Obstetrician)
View more Gynecologist/Obstetrician Our Panel of Experts

A common conundrum during pregnancy is wondering if sex is safe during the gestation period or not. Well, if you have a normal pregnancy without having any complications in the first trimester,  why observe abstinence? Let’s bust some common myths and misconceptions about having sex during the second trimester of pregnancy.

Changes in Your Sex Life During the Second Trimester

The second trimester is known as the “honeymoon period”, as all the symptoms of the first trimester like nausea, fatigue, etc., vanish. The second trimester brings back all the vitality and vigour you lost in the first trimester. You may observe some changes in your sex life due to the following reasons:

  • Hormonal fluctuations: The level of hCG (Human chorionic gonadotropin) gradually decreases, resulting in a better balance of progesterone and oestrogen. This significantly reduces the symptoms of nausea and fatigue. As a result, your sex drive will increase, and you’ll be back in rhythm and feel more energised.
  • Increased libido: Many women experience an increase in libido due to an increase in blood flow to the genitals. There is more vaginal lubrication and hypersensitivity of the clitoris, which makes lovemaking during the second trimester very pleasurable.

So, take full advantage of this time with your partner and enjoy a level of intimacy that may become hard to achieve once the baby is born.

Is It Safe to Have Sex During the Second Trimester of Pregnancy?

Most couples often wonder if sex in the second trimester is safe given that, during pregnancy, anything can go wrong. The answer is yes. It is perfectly fine and safe to have sex during the second trimester of pregnancy. Sex during the second trimester neither harms your foetus, nor has any adverse impact on your health.

When to Avoid Sex During the Second Trimester

Unless one experiences complications during their first trimester, it is safe to have sex during the second trimester. If you are a risk of suffering complications during pregnancy, it is a good idea to consult your gynaecologist before having sex during the second trimester. Sex during the second trimester is usually cautioned against, in certain cases.

  • If you have a history of miscarriage, sex during pregnancy could further increase the risk of miscarriage this time around.
  • If you have experienced heavy bleeding, sex could elevate the risk of additional bleeding, especially in such cases where the placenta is placed lower than usual.
  • If you have experienced leakage of amniotic fluid, sex will increase the risk of an infection.
  • If you are suffering from placenta previa, it is better to avoid sex. It is a condition where the placenta grows in the lowest part of the uterus and covers the opening of the cervix either partially or completely.
  • If you have an incompetent cervix, which means your cervix dilates too quickly, it increases the risk of miscarriage or preterm labour.
  • If you notice bleeding or a foul-smelling discharge after having sex, it can be a sign of an infection that is affecting the uterus.
  • If you have painful sex during pregnancy in the second trimester, it is advised not to continue.

If you have any of the conditions mentioned above, then your doctor is likely to advise you to abstain from having sex during the second trimester.

Can Sex During the Middle Stage of Pregnancy Harm You and Your Baby?

The foetus remains safe inside the mother’s womb and is covered with a protective shield known as the amniotic fluid. This protects the foetus from shock and other injuries. Therefore, the baby does not feel any pain or pressure during sex. You and your baby are absolutely safe during sexual intercourse in the second trimester of pregnancy.

Incompetent Cervix and Sex

Having sex during pregnancy is usually not advised to women having an incompetent cervix, also known as cervical insufficiency. This occurs due to weak cervical tissue that causes premature dilation. During pregnancy, the cervix dilates or slowly opens up to allow to the baby to be pushed out. However, in cases where women suffer from an incompetent cervix, the cervix dilates too soon, causing a miscarriage or premature birth. The pressure felt on the cervix during any physical activity, especially sex, during pregnancy, can cause the cervix to dilate much earlier, inducing premature labour that may result in a pre-term baby or loss of pregnancy. If you have been diagnosed with incompetent cervix or weakened cervix, it’s best to avoid having sex during pregnancy. However, your doctor can conduct a check-up and advise you best, depending on your particular condition. The good news is that you can go back to having sex as usual, after your pregnancy.

Best Positions to Have Sex During the Second Trimester

The second trimester is the most comfortable and enjoyable phase during the entire pregnancy period, to nurture intimacy with your partner. Your belly might be growing, but it doesn’t create any hindrance in lovemaking. Most sex positions are safe during the second trimester, but you can try positions that are comfortable and accommodate your growing belly. Some sex positions you can try during the second trimester are:

  • Woman on Top: This is the most comfortable sex position, as there will be no pressure on your stomach and you can control the depth of penetration.
  • Reverse Spooning: This helps make shallow penetrations as you lie on your side with your partner behind you.
  • Penetration from behind: Kneel down on the couch or sofa, use your arm for support, and let your partner penetrate you from behind. This position keeps pressure off your belly.

There is no hard and fast rule about what sex position is the best. Most of it depends on personal preference. The important part is to find the techniques that are safe and pleasurable for both you and your partner.

Sex Positions to Avoid

Avoid sex positions that exert pressure on the belly or involve you lying flat on your back, such as the missionary position. Try to minimise deep penetration acts, as it is not advisable to exert excessive pressure during the second trimester. Also, it is best to consult a doctor if you have any complications during pregnancy.

With an ever-increasing libido and decrease of troublesome issues like nausea, the second trimester is undoubtedly the honeymoon period of pregnancy. Just keep in mind that while it is relatively safe to have sex, deep penetration and extreme sex positions might not be the best option.

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