a pregnant woman lying in bed in an article about pregnancy sex positions
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All About Pregnancy Sex Positions: What's Safe & What's Not

Here’s how to safely get it on when pregnant.

Originally Published: 

There are some pregnant people who will read this headline and throw back their head in laughter. As the idea of engaging in sex when they spend much of the day feeling like a nauseated, exhausted, lumbering walrus in leggings does not hold much appeal. But then there are others who — hormones ablaze — will read it, and immediately sit down to absorb every detail of how best to get it on. Because much like sex, pregnancy is different for everyone. But if you’re in the mood, you’ll want to know the very best pregnancy sex positions, because (especially as you get bigger) it can get a little tricky.

It’s normal to wonder during pregnancy exactly what is safe for the baby and for you to do. Are there certain sex positions one should avoid during pregnancy? Should you restrict yourself to a cautious, staid missionary until the baby is born? And what about oral sex? Is oral off the menu when you’re pregnant?

To find out exactly which sex positions are safe during pregnancy — and if any might be dangerous —I reached out to Dr. Kameelah Phillips, a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist with Calla Women’s Health.

What are the best pregnancy sex positions?

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The answer is really that it’s up to you. “There is no ‘best’ position as long as you are comfortable,” Phillips asserts. “Whatever the position it is, it’s just important that you feel OK. As your belly grows, consider positions that reduce pressure on your abdomen, like side lying, or front/reverse cowgirl. You can also consider the pregnant partner on top or on his hands and knees to control the depth of penetration, and to alleviate pressure off the belly.”

Are some sex positions dangerous during pregnancy?

Sex during pregnancy is more a question of comfort than of anything else as long as you’re having a low-risk pregnancy and are not experiencing any complications that would make it so sex is off the table — like placenta previa. “The positions one can accommodate during pregnancy will vary through the trimesters,” Phillips explains. “In the first and early second trimester a woman can tolerate most positions. As you approach late second and third trimester, being on your back becomes more challenging. The growing uterus can easily make you feel out of breath. Around this time, you should transfer to side lying, kneeling, standing or sitting positions for comfort.”

Is it safe to have oral sex during pregnancy?

Not only is oral sex safe during pregnancy, for many pregnant people it might be preferable. “Oral sex is safe in pregnancy, and may often feel better than penetrative intercourse. Receiving oral sex may require you to not lay flat on your back, so consider sitting in a chair, lying on your side, or a 69 with you on the top,” she says. “These positions reduce the pressure and weight on your abdomen.”

And now I am trying not to laugh, because 1. I made a doctor say 69, and 2. I am imagining 69-ing my husband at eight months pregnant. (Or actually...ever? We’ve been married awhile, lol.)

Of course, you do need to be aware of any issues that might make sex not a great idea for you personally. Your doctor or health care provider might recommend you avoid sexual activity until after you give birth if you’re:

  • leaking amniotic fluid
  • have unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • a history of preterm labor
  • have placenta previa
  • if your cervix opens prematurely

But in general? For healthy, low-risk pregnancies, if it feels good to you, you’re all good.

Dr. Kameelah Phillips, M.D., OB-GYN and the founder of Calla Women's Health

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