Thursday, 10 October 2013

Is S*x Safe During Pregnancy?

Many women crave s*x during pregnancy while others dread it. The good news – or bad news, depending who is looking at it – is that s*x during pregnancy is extremely safe and desirous for most men and women.
S*x on a regular basis is safe as long as the pregnancy is proceeding normally — but you might not always want to. Emotions and hormones often take a toll on one’s s*x drive and can cause fatigue, nausea and potential adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Miscarriages, preterm labour and excessive bleeding from s*x is rare but still very important conditions to be aware of. S*x is generally not the cause of miscarriage as it is usually related to genetics and other chromosomal abnormalities — not due to anything you do or don’t do.

However, poor lifestyle management such as an inadequate diet and lack of exercise can result in excessive weight gain, gestational diabetes, hormonal imbalances and additional labour complications. These can increase the risk a large baby and the need of Caesarean delivery — also known as a C-section.
S*xual activity – unless it’s excessively rough – won’t affect the baby. The baby is protected by the strong muscles of the uterus and suspended in a sac of fluid. The man-on-top position does become progressively more uncomfortable and should be avoided during the third trimester.
At this time, the growing uterus can compress major abdominal blood vessels and cause an array of symptoms associated with diminished blood flow. A condition called supine hypotensive syndrome can develop if the blood vessels are compressed. This can change blood pressure, heart rate, and negatively affect the foetus.
Experts agree that experimenting with positions is what works best. This approach allows you to keep safety in mind while still focusing on mutual pleasure and comfort. Popular positions include lying next to your partner sideways or have the female on top.
Both men and women need to practice safe s*x regardless of pregnancy status. Exposure to s*xually transmitted infections (STIs) during pregnancy can terminate the pregnancy or severely affect the health of the mother and unborn child. Conditions such as hepatitis B, HIV, herpes, gonorrhoea, chlamydia and genital warts are easily transmittable.
If you choose to receive oral s*x during pregnancy, make sure your partner does not blow air into your vagina. This act can cause a deadly blood clot that travels to the lungs. Oral s*x is generally considered safe during pregnancy but it also has risks of STI transmission.
Use a latex condom each and every time you have s*x. Limit the number of s*xual partners if you’re single, unmarried or not committed. The more partners you have, the more likely you are to catch a STI. To reduce your risk, practice monogamy. This means having s*x with only one person. 
Regardless of if you’re pregnant or not, don’t use alcohol, tobacco or drugs before or after s*x. These substances can damage the foetus and being drunk or high often prevents safe s*x practices.
Have fun, listen to your body and be responsible when it comes to s*x during pregnancy. S*x during pregnancy is often better because the pressures are off.
Couillard is an international health columnist that works in collaboration with the World Health Organization’s goals of disease prevention and global health care education. Views do not necessarily reflect endorsement. He can be reached via: 
Facebook: Dr Cory Couillard
Twitter: DrCoryCouillard

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