In the second trimester of pregnancy, your partner’s mood and energy are likely to pick up. Body and hormone changes might also mean changes in her desire for sex.

Having sex in pregnancy

The golden rule for sex during pregnancy is that if the pregnancy is going smoothly and you and your partner are keen, it’s fine. But most men find that they have less sex when they’re expecting a baby.

Sex during pregnancy can feel quite different from how it felt before. You might also worry that sex will harm the 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 you’re unsure about anything or if there are any problems – for example, 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.

In the two-month period where she was so sick, I’d come home a couple of times, and she’d say, ‘If I wasn’t feeling so sick, I’d feel like sex today’. Apart from that, she’s been completely out of the mood for the whole time.
– Roger, expectant dad (30 weeks)

Sex during the second trimester

Your partner might have more energy and interest in sex in the middle months of the pregnancy.

Early pregnancy symptoms like nausea, fatigue and breast tenderness have probably calmed down. Hormones and extra blood flow to her genitals might make it easier for her to orgasm. But it’s also normal for her desire for sex to decrease in the second trimester.

Your partner’s body shape will be changing. If you do have sex, let her take the lead in finding a sexual position that’s comfortable.

My wife and I have been a couple for almost 14 years, and we do have a very healthy love life. It definitely wasn’t something that was off the books, but it was always her initiation. I didn’t push myself or suggest it at any stage. It was always purely up to her, how she was feeling.
– Callum, father of twins

Things you can do

  • Try to put your partner’s needs first and think about how she’s feeling. Nausea, vomiting, bloating and sore breasts are some reasons why she might not feel like having sex. She might prefer just to be held, touched or massaged.
  • It might help to discuss any sexual frustration with your partner, so you can understand what each 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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