Being Pregnant

15 of the Best Sex Positions to Try When You’re Pregnant


Being pregnant is the body’s journey of a lifetime. For the immensity of what you’re taking on, nobody is more deserving of pleasure than you! Yet when it comes to sex during pregnancy—and as holds true for many aspects enjoyed pre-pregnancy—things might be different. Some women may begin wondering if sex is safe during pregnancy. Will it harm the baby in any way? Is it going to be painful? Others may have an increased or decreased desire that ebbs and flows throughout pregnancy. If we’re going to celebrate pregnancy sex positions, it’s important to address these concerns first. 

We spoke with Soha S. Patel, MD, MSPH, FACOG, Assistant Professor, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine. Dr. Patel has supported an abundance of women through their pregnancies. The great news is that yes, excluding certain circumstances or conditions, you can have as much sex, across all trimesters, as you desire. That said, Dr. Patel encourages every woman to “discuss any desire for intercourse with an obstetrical provider, as they probably know your medical history the best and can ensure there are no complications or contraindications to intercourse.” 

For instance, unexplained vaginal bleeding, leaking amniotic fluid, the cervix beginning to open prematurely, the placenta covering the cervical opening, a history of preterm labor, or multiple miscarriages would all be reasons to abstain from having intercourse. It’s also crucial to use contraception against STIs if you are unsure of whether or not your partner has any. Otherwise, as Dr. Patel pointed out, “If you look at the research, most studies have shown no increased risk of preterm birth or labor or other complications associated with sexual activity unless there are those contraindications.”

The Benefits of Having Sex While Pregnant

In fact, having sex while you’re pregnant is often recommended. Besides offering you pleasure, it’s considered beneficial for a number of reasons. You’re cultivating intimacy and connection with your partner. You have increased blood flow to your cervix, which can, in turn, enhance your vulva’s sensitivity. There are rushes of feel-good hormones for your body, like oxytocin, and for your mind, like endorphins and dopamine. You might find yourself sleeping better thanks to sex’s relaxing effects. Even exposure to semen has been shown to reduce the high-risk pregnancy condition of preeclampsia. Plus, the contractions you experience as you reach orgasm engage your pelvic floor, and any strengthening you can do for its muscles can support their use during labor and postpartum.  

pregnancy sex positions
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Pregnancy and Sexual Desire

On the other hand, it’s also perfectly normal not to desire sex. Dr. Patel shared that the best piece of sex advice she wishes she could equip every woman with during her pregnancy is that it’s okay not to have sex. Whether it’s your body’s multitude of changes, raging hormones, extreme fatigue, morning sickness, aches and discomfort, or simply the fact that you don’t feel sexy or aren’t in the mood, your priority is being comfortable and feeling good—however you can find it. Your sexual desire could bear resemblance to what it was like before you were pregnant or not. It’s not static and can naturally ebb and flow over the entire course of your pregnancy.

She added that true communication with your partner is key and that that’s one of the first things she talks with her patients about. It’s essential to share with your partner how you’re feeling, your needs, and what your actual desires are during pregnancy (and beyond!).

For those of you pregnant and seeking some sexual healing, you’re in luck. There’s no better time to truly listen to your body and what she craves during this sacred milestone of your life. There is an assortment of the best pregnancy sex positions, and we’ve shared them here, organized by trimester. They pay special attention to your comfort and are mindful of the depth of any penetration. And while they may seem geared towards heterosexual couples, if you’re in a same-sex relationship, they can also be done using a strap-on. 

If you’ve had to abstain from any beloved aspects of your lifestyle during these nine months, here’s to sweetening things up! Indulge in your sexual pleasure with 15 of the best sex positions to try while you’re pregnant. 

15 of the Best Pregnancy Sex Positions

First Trimester Pregnancy Sex Positions

During the first months of your pregnancy, your body begins experiencing significant hormonal changes alongside potential early shifts in body shape too. Dr. Patel highlighted that this “may make women feel wonderful, but it can also make someone feel not so great because it’s a lot of change all at once.” From nausea and vomiting to sore breasts and severe fatigue, sex might not seem all that appealing. Dr. Patel offered the reminder that “it doesn’t mean that it’s forever, it just means for that period of time.” Meanwhile, if you do find yourself in the mood for sex as your body acclimates to the new life growing inside of you, here are a handful of positions worth considering.

1. X Marks the Spot

If you enjoy deep penetration, this is definitely a fulfilling option. Your partner gets the benefit of gazing down at your sexy self while you can comfortably receive them as you lie on your back. Crossing your legs into an ‘X’ also tightens your vulva, which makes for the pleasurable bonus of an extra snug fit for your partner (if he’s male), as well as heightened sensations—from all that fullness—for you!

How to do it: Lay on your back across a flat surface with your legs in the air and crossed at the ankles or knees. Lift your rear so that it rests on your partner’s thighs as they kneel before you, and allow them to use your legs to pull themselves into you as deeply as is comfortable. 

Why it’s great for early pregnancy: If you’re experiencing the nausea and exhaustion of early pregnancy and hoping for some orgasmic relief, lying on your back and having your partner in control of the penetrating might be just the antidote. With a fuller belly later in your pregnancy, this position won’t be nearly as comfortable—so get it in while you can!

2. Pregnant Person on Top (Cowgirl)

Besides being many a woman’s go-to position for optimal grinding and clitoral stimulation, being the cowgirl has its sensual advantages for other reasons, too. By being on top, you can control aspects like the depth of your partner’s penetration, what angle they’re entering at, the pace, grinding versus bouncing, etc. It can also feel wonderfully empowering to be on top as you ride into pleasure together. 

How to do it: While your partner lays on their back across a flat surface, mount them facing forward and begin moving in any and all ways—forwards, backward, up, down, etc.—that feel pleasurable. 

Why it’s great for early pregnancy: Provided you’re not super fatigued, the workout you get doing the cowgirl position might feel most achievable before you have a bigger belly. Since your belly won’t be in its larger stages yet, you also might feel less self-conscious about being perched directly in front of your partner with it (although, let’s hope that your partner embraces your beautiful belly during all of its sizes). Nevertheless, the fact that cowgirl doesn’t put any pressure on the belly could make it inviting during subsequent trimesters, too. 

3. Scissoring

Being a bit more kama sutra-looking, scissoring can be a novel way to get creative with intercourse. While you get to lay in a rather relaxed goddess-like pose, your partner gets the pleasure of being enclosed in your legs.

How to do it: Using a flat surface, lie on your back and begin turning sideways, angling your hips so that one leg is on the bed and your other leg can rest on top of it. Then, lift your top leg and bend it at a slight angle so that your partner can access your vulva. Have your partner straddle the thigh of your bottom leg and rest your top leg against his right side. Allow them to penetrate you and thrust to whatever extent feels comfortable while using your top leg to pull themselves in more deeply.  

Why it’s great for early pregnancy: Since this position has some flair to it, it may be best to explore it during the first months of your pregnancy. That way, you can have fun with it before your belly grows larger while you can still imagine having your partner’s extra weight resting on your leg.

4. The Lotus

As an optimal position for that extra touch of intimacy, the lotus is lovely and gentle for creating sexual closeness with your partner. 

How to do it: Sitting face-to-face with your partner on the floor or bed, have your partner sit in a cross-legged position while you climb on their lap, and wrap your legs behind them. You can both move to find a rhythm that creates pleasure all around.

Why it’s great for early pregnancy: Since the lotus position involves sitting in your partner’s lap with your belly pressed against theirs, you’ll want to enjoy it before you try to avoid added pressure on your growing belly down the line.

5. Missionary

No one ever said you can’t make missionary exciting—it’s all what you make of it! If you and your partner enjoy when they have control of the rhythm, depth, angles, pace, etc., then missionary is always a reliable option.

How to do it: As you lay on your back on a flat surface, have your partner lie face-down on top of you, positioning themselves so that they can optimally penetrate your vulva. Depending on what feels best, you can adjust your legs to spread wide open, wrap around your partner, grip your partner’s thighs, etc.  

Why it’s great for early pregnancy: At the earliest months of your pregnancy, it’s still okay to have the pressure of your partner’s body against yours. Further along, too much pressure can impact circulation for both you and your baby. 

Second Trimester Pregnancy Sex Positions

Dr. Patel referred to the second trimester as the “honeymoon sweet spot period” because “you’re not feeling as bad as you were in the first trimester, but you’re not feeling as uncomfortable as you would in the third trimester.” She further explained that women tend to feel more adapted to the body changes that accompany pregnancy at this point and that the belly is still usually small enough to have comfortable sex. If that all feels true for you, then these are positions you might enjoy exploring.

6. Side by Side

Romantic and relatively restful, having sex side by side is a sweet way to bond sexually with your partner without over-exerting yourselves. You can both lay comfortably together while still finding that perfectly angled sweet spot for optimal pleasure. 

How to do it: On your preferred surface, lie side-by-side facing each other. Slide your bottom leg between your partner’s legs and find an ideal angle to receive them. Wrap your arms around one another for added hip movement ability and, of course, closeness!   

Why it’s great for mid-pregnancy: Several months in, you may now be in desire of a relaxed position that doesn’t involve any pressure on your belly; this is one that will absolutely meet both of those standards.      

7. Against the Wall

As a standing position, this one allows you and your partner to get your circulation flowing while enjoying an erotic sexual encounter. You can even make it extra seductive by doing it in front of a mirror. If the bed is your usual, then this is also a spicy way to change things up.

How to do it: Stand facing a sturdy wall and use your arms to rest against it. Allow your partner to hold onto your waist and enter you. You have the option of rocking yourself against them and adjusting the level of penetration, while they can also control the speed, depth, pace, etc.

Why it’s great for mid-pregnancy: If you’re finding you’re finally feeling more adjusted to the pregnant version of yourself after a few months, standing up while getting frisky is an exciting way to celebrate the occasion. It also keeps your belly turned away from your partner, so the pressure’s off by all counts!

8. Doggy Style

If you appreciate deep penetration, then doggy-style sex is one to love. It’s also fantastic for having access to your clitoral area for enhanced stimulation by your partner’s hands or a vibrator

How to do it: Kneel down on all fours while your partner kneels behind you so that they can penetrate you with ease. Your partner holds onto your hips while they thrust, which you can also join in on by rocking your hips. If it doesn’t put too much strain on you to lift one of your hands, you can try caressing your partner or yourself in other sensitive areas like your nipples, clitoral area, or their genital area. And while being on a bed works, for added stability you can always try the floor with some comfy pillows.  

Why it’s great for mid-pregnancy: Not only is doggy style effective for taking pressure off of your belly, but it could be ideal for your second trimester because your belly hasn’t reached its fullest size yet. Down the line, all that gravity might not feel as comfortable.

9. The Hot Seat

For an enticing alternative to the bed, your partner takes a seat while you have the pleasure of enjoying what happens when you sit on their lap.

How to do it: With your partner sitting in a comfortable but sturdy chair, sit in their lap backward at an angle that enables them to penetrate you. Ride them how you’d like, while they can also opt to bounce against you. You can hold onto their knees for added support and maneuverability or reach back and tickle their genital area. Meanwhile, they can use their hands to stroke your clitoral area and caress your breasts. Bonus stimulation all around! 

Why it’s great for mid-pregnancy: Being seated in a chair can help take the load off and make the encounter feel more comfortable. Since you’re facing away from your partner, it also keeps your belly totally liberated. 

10. Perpendicular Pleasure

A sultry and relaxing position for both partners, this perpendicularly positioned pose allows you and your partner to make eye contact while discovering your sexual groove together. Because you elevate your hips, it also promotes deeper penetration and takes the weight off of your spine. 

How to do it: While your partner lies on their side on a flat surface, drape your legs over your partner’s side. Position yourselves so that your partner can penetrate you in a way that feels relaxed and unforced for both of you. Your partner is also at a prime angle for using their free hand closest to you to massage other parts of your body as well.

Why it’s great for mid-pregnancy: If you’re starting to feel a significant transition size-wise from your first trimester, this perpendicular twist on spooning doesn’t require much effort or body theatrics but still benefits your pleasure. 

Third Trimester Pregnancy Sex Positions

As your belly grows, so might your discomfort. At this stage of your pregnancy, chances are your sexual desire will be coupled with the desire to avoid any and all pressure on your belly or straining your back. In Dr. Patel’s experience with patients, she mentioned that if she’s asked about sex during the third trimester, it’s usually to the tune of, “What can I do to speed up the labor process?” And while she stated that there is limited research on intercourse’s role in inducing labor, it may help by stimulating the uterus at the very least. So whether you’ve been given the green light by your obstetrical provider to try to jumpstart labor, or you’re just longing for some satisfying sex during your final trimester, these are positions that take extra care to ensure your blooming belly stays free of pressure.

11. Edge of the Bed

Get comfortable on the edge of your bed and allow yourself to surrender to your partner taking the lead. It’s a sexy way for them to admire you from above while you indulge in receiving them.   

How to do it: Lie on your back towards the edge of the bed until your rear end rests at a comfortable point where your partner can stand before you and penetrate you. You can press your arms against the bed and your legs against their hips for additional support while they hold onto your hips and coordinate the thrusting. You also might want to try using a pillow under your hips for added support or a more ideal angle. 

Why it’s great for the third trimester: If you’re feeling super pregnant at this point, you might welcome the relinquishing of having to move your body very much while receiving pleasure. That being said, since it’s advised not to sleep on your back as you progress in your pregnancy, be cautious with how much time you spend in this position. 

12. Reverse Cowgirl

For the satisfaction of cowgirl without the potential of crowding your—by now—very full belly, spinning things around to take the driver’s seat in reverse cowgirl can be just as effective and pleasurable. 

How to do it: With your partner lying down on their back against a flat surface, straddle them while facing away from them, and ride your way to discovering which movements, angles, and rhythms feel best.
Why it’s great for the third trimester: Since you’re at your biggest, being able to sit up with pressure completely off of your belly can be ideal. By facing away from your partner, it also offers you the convenient ability to grip each of their legs for as much support as you need.

13. Spooning 

It doesn’t get much more gentle or soothing than a spooning session enhanced by orgasm. Even if you’re not feeling inclined towards penetration, this can be a delightful position for you to receive a massage or caresses while your partner enjoys a grinding session.  

How to do it: With your partner behind you, lie on your sides together facing the same direction. By slightly bending your knees and positioning your bottom towards them, you can also help guide them to the best angle for entering you. Having a supportive pillow under your hip that’s against the bed might be a pleasant added feature. 

Why it’s great for the third trimester: You get to rest on your side interlaced with your partner, without any belly or back pressure. As you enter your final months of pregnancy, this just might be the position that restores you in all the right ways.  

14. Be a Queen

Receive pleasure like a queen—you 100 percent deserve it, pregnant or not. Rather than focus on penetration by your partner, this position is all about you being served with satisfying stimulation.

How to do it: Lay down however and wherever you’re most comfortable while your partner provides you with various forms of stimulation. Oral sex, fingers, massage, caresses, vibration, a small dildo… anything is fair game, as long as you don’t have to do a thing besides lie there and enjoy it.  

Why it’s great for the third trimester: You may reach a point where you can’t imagine engaging in penetrative sex that involves positioning yourself in relation to your partner. However, you may be down for wholeheartedly allowing pleasure to happen to you!

15. Mutual Masturbation

It’s also incredibly erotic to forgo penetration altogether and uncover other ways to sexual bliss. Mutual masturbation is a sexy way to learn about each other’s bodies and experience simultaneous pleasure, all of which certainly counts as hot sex!  

How to do it: As you and your partner lay close to each other in comfortable positions, allow yourselves to melt into the moment and provide yourselves pleasure in the best ways you know how. You may decide incorporating a vibrator or stimulating each other (sans penetration) adds to the heat of the moment as well.  

Why it’s great for the third trimester: There are many discomforts that come into play towards the end of your pregnancy, especially considering it’s the period where you’re carrying the most baby weight. As Dr. Patel encouraged, “There’s more to intimacy than [penetrative] sex. Sharing your needs and concerns with your partner is really important. They may not appreciate that sex can be difficult, or completely unappealing, or off-limits [due to conditions or complications].” You might find by communicating that mutual masturbation is a desirable path for you to both encounter sexual pleasure while putting a pause on penetration.

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