Sexuality during pregnancy is more than deciding whether or not to have sex.

Sexuality includes how you feel about your:

  • pregnancy
  • changing body
  • changing emotions
  • partner (if you have one)

This can affect whether or not – and how – you want to make love. Here are some reasons why you may not feel very sexual:

  • fatigue
  • nausea
  • frequent urination (peeing)
  • breast tenderness
  • trouble sleeping
  • heartburn
  • discomfort during lovemaking

On the other hand, some women feel sexually excited a lot of the time when they are pregnant and want to make love frequently. Both expressions of desire are perfectly normal.

How you feel emotionally can also affect whether or not you want to make love.

Maybe you’re worried about:

  • hurting the baby
  • starting early labour
  • money
  • whether or not you will be a good parent

Maybe you’re confused about:

  • your feelings towards your partner
  • whether or not your partner finds you attractive
  • how to tell your partner what feels good and what doesn’t
  • Talk with your partner…about all of these things.
  • Ask your partner how he or she is feeling.
  • Say what feels good and what doesn’t.
  • Try to keep a sense of humour about this new situation.
  • Be patient with each other.
  • Show tenderness in other ways: hugs, kisses and caresses.
  • If your belly gets in the way when your partner is on top, have him or her support their weight on their arms.
  • You may feel more comfortable on top.
  • Try the “spoon position” with your partner’s front against your back. Your partner enters you from behind.
  • Have sex at different times of the day so that nausea, heartburn or fatigue don’t affect you as much.

Suggested sexual positions during pregnancy

Just remember, if you want to have a happy, healthy pregnancy:

  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Eat well.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Keep your prenatal appointments.
  • Take some time for yourself.
  • Take some time to be alone with your partner.
  • Find ways to be close to other people, too. Their support will help you through any difficult times.

Please contact your doctor or midwife if:

  • You have a medical condition, including a history of miscarriage, that may affect whether you can safely have any sexual activity.
  • You think you may have a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI), including HIV. STIs can affect your health and the health of your growing fetus.
  • You have feelings of extreme sadness, or are crying a lot.
  • You think you may be in a dangerous situation (Is your partner forcing you to have sex when you don’t want to? Is he or she threatening you or hurting you in any other way?). Make sure you get help.

For your health or the baby’s health, call:
Toronto Public Health

For sexuality information, including the location of your local Sexual Health Clinic, call:
AIDS and Sexual Health InfoLine

For help with abuse, call:
Assaulted Women’s Helpline