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When Sex is a No-No During Pregnancy

by Katlyn Joy | January 7, 2013 7:14 AM1 Comments

For most couples, sex is fine during pregnancy. Even though many parents worry sex may harm or at least disturb their baby, the truth is baby will be unfazed by it, or possibly even rocked to sleep by the motion. And don't worry about poking baby in her head, no matter the size or the enthusiasm, there is just no way your husband will get beyond the cervix and up into your uterus. Even if he could, the baby is still cushioned securely within the amniotic sac.

However, there are times when sexual activity will be limited or restricted entirely. Some issues that may cause sexual restrictions include placenta problems such as placenta previa which is when the placenta has grown over or in some way blocks all or part of the cervix. If there is a risk of placental abruption sex will definitely be a no-no as the uterus could shear away from the uterine wall.

Other conditions which can result in restrictions on sexual activity include when you have leaking from the bag of waters as this may cause infection.

Anyone at risk from preterm labor will not only need to avoid sexual intercourse but also avoid semen coming in contact with the woman's pelvis area, orgasms or nipple stimulation. These activities can cause labor to begin even if baby is not done cooking quite yet.

Women with chronic miscarriages may be told sex if a no go, but probably not if she has only had one or two miscarriages ever. Unexplained bleeding with or without cramping may be reason enough to stop sexual activity at least until the cause is discovered.

Those with an incompetent cervix may be told to hold off on sex especially as the fetus gets larger and the load that the cervix must hold grows heavier.

Women who are carrying multiples will also likely be told to curtail their bedroom antics as they are at risk for premature labor already just from the additional passengers.

What Do You Mean by Sex?

When your doctor tells you that you cannot have sex you may nod, either glumly or with an easy nod depending on how pregnancy has affected your libido. However when you go home your partner may ask, "How about oral sex?" "Can you still have an orgasm even if I don't penetrate?" That's why it's a good idea to be very specific on what is forbidden and what is greenlighted.

1. Is all penetration into the vagina off limits?

2. Can I have an orgasm? Maybe you can masturbate to climax just no penis action allowed.

3. Can we enjoy oral sex? Mutual oral sex can be a nice alternative to regular penis vagina sex.

5. Can I become aroused without being penetrated?

Once you know what your parameters are for sex, you can figure out safe and healthy ways to enjoy yourselves as a couple. If pretty much everything is a no go, you can at least help out hubby with some special oral or handmade attention. And you can always enjoy kisses, caresses and hugs. In fact, be sure to stay physically close to help keep you close as a couple. It will reduce your stress and increase your intimacy with your mate.

Sometimes sex restrictions will be lifted before the baby is delivered. If you have been cleared for sex, then go ahead and indulge without worry. However, if you experience bleeding that is more than just a little spotting, cramping that gets harder or more painful, water leaking, or contractions, stop and call the doctor immediately for feedback.

There are some caveats on sexual activity for all women, too. For instance, no water or air should ever be forced into the vagina as it may lead to an embolism. Be careful when using toys that they are properly cleaned to avoid infection. Don't receive oral sex if your partner has a cold sore to avoid the risk of herpes. And of course, be careful with too deep penetration or too vigorous thrusting.

After baby is born, you'll be told to abstain until probably 6 weeks after birth, around the time of your first follow up after birth. Once you're healed and ready to resume relations, be sure to take your time and use a water-based lubricant if dryness is an issue, as is common in the early weeks after birth.

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Guest Aug 4, 2014 04:43:00 AM ET

Hello, i am 32 weeks and just worried because there are times my husband want to have a sexual intercourse, and i love and missed it too since we do not do it now as often like before. it seems we are both like that. but, after i got pregnant, it's only sometimes, like once a week or not at all. the thing i am worried about is that when he is about to enter, i can feel that i am about to piss and want to urinate. i feel some pain. whoah! i feel so sorry to him. why is that i feel those things?. i'm suppose to enjoy it, yet because of that i'm not comfortable anymore to have sex. it's so sad.

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