Monday, October 25, 2010

Sex during Pregnancy

There are many unfounded ideas that expecting couples may have about sex during pregnancy. Sex can be safely practiced if you have a complication-free pregnancy and take the required care which is necessary.

Rough lovemaking must be avoided

Many expecting couples are scared to indulge in intercourse in the fear that they will be hurting their baby or a miscarriage may occur. Unless, you are not indulging in rough lovemaking and you’re having a normal pregnancy, no harm can come to your baby. And early miscarriages occur due to chromosomal abnormalities or other development problems in the growing baby. The baby is surrounded and completely protected by the amniotic sac as well as the strong muscles of the uterus. For further protection there is a thick mucous plug that’s acts as a ‘stopper’ to the cervix and helps prevent infections. Sexual activity and penetration by the man’s penis does not affect the fetus in any way.

Normal pregnancy allows intercourse

A normal pregnancy which is progressing smoothly allows you to practice intercourse during all stages of pregnancy. A normal pregnancy means that there is no risk of complications like miscarriage, preterm labor, vaginal bleeding or spotting, leakage of amniotic fluid, multiple pregnancy and placenta previa (where your placenta is partially or completely covering your cervical opening). Your obstetrician will be able to guide you and caution you to having safe sex or to completely abstain from it depending on your pregnancy status

Common doubts regarding sex during pregnancy

  • Can sex during pregnancy cause miscarriage?
    Unless you are not at a risk of having a complicated pregnancy and have no history of complications like miscarriage, you are relatively safe. A normal pregnancy which is progressing smoothly allows you to practice sex which should not be rough in nature and should be comfortable for both the partners, especially the woman. You would need to check with your doctor whether you can indulge in sex or not. Sex may not be recommended during the last few weeks of pregnancy as a chemical in the semen may trigger contractions.
  • Is it risky to experience orgasms during pregnancy?Orgasms are often falsely linked with miscarriages and premature labor. The contractions which you feel during orgasm are very different from the contractions experienced during labor.
  • Should condoms be used while having sex during pregnancy?Condoms should only be used if one of the partners is suffering from a sexually transmitted disease to avoid any risks to your pregnancy and the unborn. Being in a mutual monogamous relationship with your partner will not need any use of condom. If you have multiple partners you should use a condom.
  • Should you rule out certain sex positions?Certain sex positions such as missionary or any position which puts pressure on the baby bump should be avoided. As the pregnancy progresses, your expanding belly will make sex not only uncomfortable but any pressure applied on it might be risky for the baby. Try what is comfortable for both of you.
  • Is oral sex safe during pregnancy?
    Yes, oral sex is safe during pregnancy provided the partner does not blow air into the vagina. Air embolism which is caused due to an air bubble which blocks a blood vessel can be dangerous to the mother’s and unborn baby’s health.
  • Are there any ‘danger’ signs that would call for medical attention?
    Abdominal cramps are normal after sex provided they disappear after a few minutes. Look out for pain, bleeding, vaginal discharge or continued contractions after sex.

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