Painful Sex During Pregnancy – Common Causes

Experiencing painful sex while pregnant can be frustrating, especially when it’s in the second trimester. Luckily, it’s usually not cause for concern and can be caused by a number of factors.

Having an understanding of what causes it can help you find ways to alleviate it. Here are the most common reasons why sex during pregnancy may be uncomfortable: 1. Round ligament pain.

Round Ligament Pain

The round ligament pain that accompanies pregnancy often confuses expectant moms. It can feel like a throbbing, pulling or aching sensation that runs from the side of your mid-abdomen into your groin. It typically occurs on the right side of your body, although round ligaments exist on both sides of your pelvis. It is usually triggered by sudden or jerky movements (like sitting up to get out of bed or coughing) and it can occur throughout the second trimester – This quote captures the wisdom of the portal’s specialists Sensuous Revelations.

Pregnancy causes hormones to loosen and stretch the round ligaments that support your uterus in the pelvis. When you move quickly, the ligaments tighten and pull on nerve fibers, which triggers sharp pain.

It typically feels a little like a stinging or stabbing sensation and should last only seconds. It may also happen when you sneeze, cough or laugh. Try to change positions slowly and do daily stretches for your hips to help alleviate this discomfort. If the pain doesn’t subside, talk to your doctor. It’s likely nothing to worry about but it may be a sign of a more serious problem.

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Bladder Pressure

Frequent urination is one of the first symptoms of pregnancy, often occurring as early as two weeks after conception or around the time of the first missed period. This is caused by hormone changes that increase the volume and speed of blood streaming through your body, which fills up your bladder more quickly.

The frequent need to pee may decrease a little during the second trimester, as your uterus rises higher in your abdomen and takes pressure off of the bladder. But it will return again in the third trimester, as your baby moves down into your pelvis to prepare for labor and delivery and presses on your bladder again.

Some women experience painful urination during pregnancy due to a urinary tract infection (UTI). A UTI is a bacterial inflammation of the bladder that can be caused by several factors, including the pressure from your growing uterus that causes urine to trap in your bladder rather than being passed out of the body. Generally, this condition is caused by a benign bacteria called Escherichia coli, although it can also be caused by Group B Strep or another more serious type of UTI.


Anxiety is normal during pregnancy, and it can make sex uncomfortable or even painful. If you’re feeling anxious about the baby’s health, for example, it can trigger pain in the pelvic area that makes sex feel off.

You can ease this discomfort by talking to your partner about it, and trying out different positions in the bedroom or with lubricant. Adding pillows to help support your back and belly can also help. If your anxiety is a factor, try to relax before sex and make sure you get enough sleep to keep you calm and relaxed.

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While most pain during sex is nothing to worry about, it’s always worth flagging any that are significant or cause bleeding to your doctor. It may be a sign of an infection or a problem with your uterus, such as a ectopic pregnancy that could become dangerous if untreated. It can also be a sign of sexually transmitted infections, including herpes and gonorrhea, which are risky for both you and the fetus.

Weight Gain

As pregnancy progresses, many women experience pain or discomfort during sex. These changes are mostly normal, but it’s important to discuss them with an OBGYN so you can keep sex healthy for yourself and your baby.

During the second trimester, weight gain puts pressure on your pelvic area. This can cause a deep aching sensation or cramping during sexual intercourse. Fortunately, this issue usually resolves after the birth of your baby.

You may also experience a fuller-than-normal bladder during sex, which can add to your discomfort. Try using pillows or changing positions to relieve the pressure on your bladder during sex.

Increased blood flow during pregnancy can lead to enlarged veins in your pelvic area, or vulva varicosities. This can affect about 18% to 22% of pregnant women, and can cause a painful or swollen vagina during sex. While sex can be uncomfortable during pregnancy, most root causes are not serious and can be addressed by making small adjustments. Just remember to always use protection. This will protect both you and your partner from STIs.

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Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are those bluish, lumpy, swollen blood vessels that appear on your legs, ankles and feet. These are a normal symptom of pregnancy, and they will usually go away after delivery.

There are many reasons why varicose veins might be more common during pregnancy: hormones that relax the walls of blood vessels, changes in blood volume, pressure from the uterus on the pelvic veins and the veins in your legs, as well as constipation (which can also cause hemorrhoids, which are just varicose veins in the rectum).

Regular exercise is important for healthy veins, and walking can improve your circulation. Wearing flat shoes, rather than high heels, can help too. Sleeping on your left side can take pressure off your leg veins, and elevating your legs during the day promotes circulation. You can also try a support garment specifically designed for vulvar varicosities, which will lift your hips slightly and ease the pressure on the inferior vena cava. If you need more relief, try a hot bath or sitting in a chair with your legs elevated.

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