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Pregnancy & Pain During Sex

Pregnancy can cause many changes in your life, including your sexual activities. You may notice that you desire sex more frequently or that you have little interest in this pastime. While your increasing level of certain hormones may make you want to sleep more, your changing body shape can cause discomfort during sex. Knowing what is normal during pregnancy, as well as understanding the difference between painful sex and sexual discomfort, can help you know what to expect and when to call your doctor.

Sex During Pregnancy

Like many expectant mothers, you may wonder how sexual activities will affect your growing baby. Some worry that sex might harm the baby or threaten the pregnancy. The Mayo Clinic assures expectant mothers that they may have sex during pregnancy as often as they like, as long as everything is going normally. However, bleeding or pain during sex can cause concern.


Your stretching skin, increasing girth and extra weight may cause discomfort during numerous activities, including sex. Many women experience back and hip pain during the later stages of pregnancy. Certain sexual positions may aggravate this discomfort. You can expect some discomfort during sex, but you shouldn’t feel actual pain.

Causes of Pain

Pain during sex can indicate the presence of a problem. A variety of conditions may cause pain during sex. Many of these have nothing to do with your pregnancy. Medical conditions, such as contact dermatitis, vaginismus, pelvic inflammatory disease, scar tissue and ovarian cysts may cause pregnant and non-pregnant women to experience pain during sexual activities.

Relieve Discomfort

Experiment with new positions to ease back pain and discomfort during sex. Pregnancy can be a great time for you and your partner to try new things. Many couples find that lying side by side, or with the woman on top can be more comfortable than the missionary position.

Exercise Caution

Pain during sex requires a trip to your doctor, whether you are pregnant or not. Painful sex may indicate a problem with your pregnancy or a simple condition that requires medical treatment. Don’t hesitate to contact your doctor if you feel pain at any time during your pregnancy, including during sexual activities. A thorough exam can uncover the reason for your pain.

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