Safe Sex During Pregnancy

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Couples who are expecting a baby still have the desire for sex and intimacy as they await the arrival of their new bundle of joy. When thinking about safe sex during pregnancy, two issues come to mind: 1. Protection against disease and infection and 2. What sexual activities are safe to practice without harming or endangering the pregnancy?

Any sexual contact should be avoided if one or both partners have been exposed to infection or a sexually transmitted disease until both partners have been treated. Many infections, if left untreated can infect the baby during delivery. These range from a simple yeast infection to HIV. Yeast infections are common during pregnancy and like any vaginal infection or sexually transmitted infection, if both partners are not treated; they will continue to pass it back and forth. If there is any doubt, condoms should be used during any sexual activity.

Some people are under the impression that thrusting the penis the vagina will hurt the baby or the baby can feel it. This is not true, although deep thrusting may be uncomfortable for the woman especially as the pregnancy advances. Some things that should be considered when contemplating sexual activity while pregnant include the following:

1. If your doctor or health care provider advises you to abstain from sex, listen to them. But also ask if they just mean intercourse. Many times, other types of sexual behavior can be enjoyed.
2. Do not engage in sexual activity of any kind if your amniotic fluid is leaking. It makes a woman more susceptible to infection or causes your membranes to rupture.
3. Air should not be blown into the vagina during oral sex while pregnant. It can get into the bloodstream and cause an air embolism.
4. Sex toys should be limited to those used outside the vagina.
5. Try different positions such as woman on top for better comfort with penetration.
6. As delivery approaches, partners should discuss which post partum method of contraception they plan on using.
7. A woman may not feel like making love during her first trimester when nausea tends to be at its worst.
8. Orgasm can produce uterine contractions. This is normal and they should cease after sex.
9. Women who are at risk for pre-term labor should discuss whether sexual activity is safe for their pregnancy during their visit with their health care provider.

Keeping these things in mind, there is no reason to believe couples cannot maintain intimacy during pregnancy. In fact it can be a very special time for a couple as once their baby arrives it won’t be just the two of them again and they can look back and appreciate this time together.


 
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