Your sex drive during pregnancy

When you’re pregnant, it’s normal for your sex drive to be higher or lower than before. This can be because of changes in your body, hormones, mood and energy levels. These changes are natural and every pregnancy is different.

Most couples, including both heterosexual and same-sex couples, have less sex when they’re expecting a baby. It’s OK if you or your partner don’t feel like having sex.

First trimester sex drive

In the first trimester, you might have nausea, fatigue, sore breasts and bloating. You might feel less interested in sex for all these reasons.

Or you might find you’re more interested in sex – this is common too.

Second trimester sex drive

You might feel like you have more energy for and interest in sex in your second trimester. Your early pregnancy symptoms have probably calmed down. And your hormones and extra blood flow to your genitals might make it easier for you to orgasm.

As your belly starts to grow, it might help to take the lead in finding positions that are comfortable and enjoyable for you.

It’s also normal for your desire for sex to decrease in the second trimester.

Third trimester sex drive

In the final months of pregnancy, you and your partner might worry more that sex could harm your baby. But if there are no problems with the pregnancy, you can’t hurt your baby by having sex or having an orgasm.

It might be harder for you and your partner to find comfortable sexual positions as your belly gets bigger. And you might be feeling more tired or less sexy than you normally do. These can all be reasons why you might not feel like having sex.

It’s safe to have sex during pregnancy if you don’t have any complications. But if you’re experiencing complications or you’re unsure, check with your GP, midwife or obstetrician. They’ll tell you whether it’s OK to have sex.

Changes in your sexual relationship during pregnancy: how to handle them

If you and your partner are used to having sex often and you find you’re having less sex in pregnancy, either or both of you might feel frustrated or annoyed.

The key is to not let sexual frustration get the better of you. Try to focus on strengthening your relationship instead.

You can strengthen your relationship by:

  • talking together about how you’re feeling so you can each understand what the other is going through
  • being patient with each other – these changes might be frustrating, but this phase in your relationship isn’t forever
  • spending time together as a couple – for example, you can do things you’ll have less time for once your baby arrives, like sleeping in or trying new restaurants.

If your health professional has advised you to avoid sex, or if you don’t feel like having sex, you can be close to your partner in other ways. For example, you can still kiss, hug, cuddle or massage each other.