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Concerns About Sex During Pregnancy

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Sex is among the top most enjoyable activities practiced by couples. Why should this be any different during the nine months of pregnancy?
Many expecting parents have concerns about having sex during pregnancy. Anyone considering it will undoubtedly have many questions. Hopefully these answers can help to put you and your partner at ease.
Is it safe for the baby? In a normal, low-risk pregnancy, sex during pregnancy will not harm the baby. The fetus is protected by the amniotic sac (a thin-walled bag that holds the fetus and surrounding fluid) and by the strong muscles around the uterus. There is also a thick mucus plug that seals the cervix and helps guard against infection.
When is it not safe? It is unsafe in high-risk pregnancies. Some cases where you should not have sex during pregnancy are:
* If you have a history or threat of miscarriage
* If you have a history or signs indicating the risk of pre-term labor
* More than one fetus (twins, triplets, etc.)
* Unexplained vaginal bleeding, discharge, or cramping
* Placenta previa (a condition where the placenta is situated so low that it covers the cervix)
* Leakage of amniotic fluid
* Incompetent cervix (a condition in which the cervix is weakened and dilates prematurely raising the risk of miscarriage or premature delivery)

If any of these cases apply to you, or if you are at all unsure, consult your physician before engaging in sex during pregnancy.
Can the baby feel it? Some parents may have concerns about disturbing the unborn baby by having sex during pregnancy. Rest assured, the cervix is protected by a thick mucus plug;

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the penis will not come into contact with the fetus. The baby may thrash around a bit after orgasm, but this is simply because of the mother's pounding heart, and not because the baby is feeling discomfort or even knows what's happening.
Can sex during pregnancy or orgasm cause miscarriage or premature birth? It should not lead to miscarriage or premature birth in normal low-risk pregnancies. The contractions felt during orgasm are completely different from the contractions associated with labor. Some doctors recommend, though, that all mothers discontinue sex during the final weeks of pregnancy. There is a chemical in semen that is believed to stimulate contractions.
Is it normal for my desire for sex during pregnancy to fluctuate? It is perfectly normal for sex drive to increase and decrease during pregnancy. Symptoms such as nausea, fatigue, breast tenderness, and the increased need to urinate can make sex during pregnancy bothersome, especially during the first trimester. Some of these symptoms subside during the second trimester, which may result in a heightened sex drive. Increased blood flow to the pelvic area can cause engorgement of the genitals and heighten sensation. This same engorgement, though, can leave some mothers with an uncomfortable feeling of fullness after sex. The amount of vaginal discharge or moistness may increase, which can either make sex during pregnancy more pleasurable, or cause irritation. In the case of a sudden change in the amount of discharge, or a foul or unusual odor, consult your physician.
Many couples find that intercourse is more fulfilling with the added freedom from worries about contraception and a

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unique new feeling of closeness.
Which positions are most favorable? You will discover that as the mother's belly swells, finding comfortable positions for sex during pregnancy will require more interesting maneuvers. Mom may find that lying on her back will become less and less comfortable as the pregnancy progresses, and the weight of the baby can restrict circulation.
* Lie sideways. Having the man on top will become more and more difficult as the baby grows.
* Use the edge of the bed. The mother can lay on her back with her feet and rear on the edge of the bed, and the man kneeling or standing in front.
* Lie side-by-side in the spoon position. This will allow for only shallow penetration. Deep thrust can become uncomfortable as the months pass.
* Have the woman on top. This allows her to control the depth of penetration and will put no added weight on her abdomen.

Oral sex during pregnancy can be an excellent alternative in situations where intercourse is not recommended. It is safe, as long as you are in a monogamous relationship, where both partners have been tested and are HIV-negative.
The most important thing is that you communicate with your partner. Experiment with different methods, enjoy yourselves and try to keep a sense of humor.
Sex during pregnancy can still be one of your favorite activities.

About the Author
Susan Tanner is a wife and mother of three. She is also the editor of pregnancy-guide.net. Pregnancy-Guide is an online community for mothers to find support and valuable information. Please visit Pregnancy-Guide at http://www.pregnancy-guide.net



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