Most sexual activity is safe for women having healthy pregnancies. This includes sexual intercourse or penetration with fingers or sex toys. The amniotic sac and the strong muscles of the uterus protect the fetus. If you have pregnancy complications or questions about what may be safe sexual activity for you, talk with your ob-gyn.

It is normal to have cramps or spotting after sex with penetration. Also, orgasm can cause cramps. If you have severe, persistent cramping, or if your bleeding is heavy (like normal menstrual bleeding), call your ob-gyn.

Of course, it’s up to you whether you feel like having sex. Some women do, and some don’t. During the first trimester, you may feel too nauseated and tired to have sex. But you may find that your sex drive comes back during the second trimester after morning sickness goes away and you have your energy again. It’s also normal for desire to wane again during the third trimester. Whatever your mood, talk with your partner.

As your belly grows, you can try different positions to find what is most comfortable for you. Let your partner know if anything feels uncomfortable, even if it’s something you’re used to doing.

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Published: February 2021

Last reviewed: February 2021

Copyright 2023 by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. All rights reserved. Read copyright and permissions information.

This information is designed as an educational aid for the public. It offers current information and opinions related to women's health. It is not intended as a statement of the standard of care. It does not explain all of the proper treatments or methods of care. It is not a substitute for the advice of a physician. Read ACOG’s complete disclaimer.