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Sex During Pregnancy

Posted Nov 21 2008 4:47pm
So, you can't wait for months without sex because your wife or partner is pregnant?!?

Sex during pregnancy is safe, if your wife/partner is having a normal pregnancy, that is, considered low-risk for complications.

However, sex is NOT an option for women who have the following common risk factors:

• a history or threat of miscarriage

• a history of pre-term labor (previously delivered a baby before 37 weeks) or signs indicating the risk of pre-term labor (such as premature uterine contractions)

• unexplained vaginal bleeding, discharge, or cramping

• leakage of amniotic fluid (the fluid that surrounds the baby)

• placenta previa, a condition in which the placenta, or the blood-rich structure that nourishes the baby, is situated down so low that it covers the cervix or the opening of the uterus;

• incompetent cervix, a condition in which the cervix is weakened and dilates or opens prematurely, raising the risk for miscarriage or premature delivery

• multiple fetuses (having twins, triplets, etc.)

In these cases, health care providers will advise against sex during pregnancy. The rule of thumb is: when in doubt, don’t be embarrassed to consult your doctor, nurse or midwife.

However, there are two types of sexual behavior that ARE NOT safe for any pregnant woman:

• If a man engages in oral sex and blows air into the woman’s vagina. Blowing air can cause an air embolism (a blockage of a blood vessel by an air bubble), which can be potentially fatal for mother and child; and

• If a partner's sexual history is unknown and who may have a sexually transmitted disease such as herpes, genital warts, chlamydia or HIV. If the woman becomes infected, the disease may be transmitted to the baby with potentially dangerous consequences.

And of course, many expectant mothers find their desire for sex fluctuates during certain stages in the pregnancy. Many women find that sex becomes uncomfortable as their bodies get larger. Moreover, during last stage of pregnancy, women become preoccupied with the impeding delivery and the excitement of having a child.

Women and their husbands/partners need to keep the lines of communication open regarding their sexual relationship. They should talk about other ways to satisfy the need for intimacy, such as kissing, caressing, and holding each other. It may also be important to experiment with other positions for sex to find those that are the most comfortable.
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