It’s usually fine to have sex in the third trimester of pregnancy, but it might feel different – or even physically awkward. This might affect how keen you and your partner are to have sex.

Sex in pregnancy: the third trimester

In the final months of pregnancy, you might worry more that sex could harm your baby. But your baby is well protected and sealed off in the amniotic sac, so you can’t hurt your baby by having sex.

If there are no problems with the pregnancy and you and your partner are keen, sex in the final months is fine. But most men find that they have less sex in late pregnancy.

If there are some problems – for example, if your partner has some bleeding during pregnancy – talk with your GP, midwife or obstetrician. They’ll tell you whether it’s OK to have sex.

How your partner feels about sex

Sex for your very pregnant partner involves some physical challenges.

As her belly gets bigger, you might need to be creative and try different sexual positions. But if she’s having twins, triplets or more, she might be feeling too big and uncomfortable to have sex. Women at this stage of pregnancy often feel really tired, which is another reason why they might not feel up to having sex.

Your partner might also feel that her pregnant body isn’t very sexy or attractive. And you might find that no amount of compliments or kind words will change the way she feels or increase her sexual desire.

Sex has been almost out of the question. One friend said, ‘After eight weeks for the next four months, she wanted lots of sex’. Another guy said, ‘I didn’t have sex for the whole time my wife was pregnant’. I guess it’s just part of the process. I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that it is how it is. It won’t be forever.
– Roger, expectant dad (30 weeks)

Things you can do

  • Take your time and see what feels right for you and your partner.
  • Try to put your partner’s needs first and think about how she’s feeling. She might be uncomfortable in this stage of pregnancy, or she might have bloating and sore breasts. She might prefer just to be held, touched or massaged.
  • It might help to discuss any sexual frustration with your partner, so you can each understand what the other is going through.
  • Be patient – not having sex with your partner can be frustrating, but it’s not forever.

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Last updated or reviewed
09-08-2016

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Raising Children Network is supported by the Australian Government. Member organisations are the Parenting Research Centre and the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute with The Royal Children’s Hospital Centre for Community Child Health.

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