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Sex, Orgasms & Masturbation
Q. This is my first pregnancy. In the first and second trimesters I experienced vaginal bleeding, sometimes after sexual intercourse. When I'm on top and leaning forward I don't bleed. Does the angle of penetration affect the cervix? What are the safest positions?
A. During pregnancy, the cervix becomes engorged with blood and very tender. It's no wonder that most pregnant women experience some bleeding during and after intercourse, which isn't harmful. If you want to avoid bleeding you may try sexual positions that don't involve deep, cervix-bashing penetration. Being on top gives you the most control of penetration depth. You can also try the missionary position, but push your legs downward and squeeze against your partner’s hips to control depth.
Q. I am six months pregnant and have been told by friends and family not to have oral sex performed on me. Is this true?
A. Barring any mouth-to-genitals diseases such as herpes, oral sex performed on an expectant mother is perfectly fine. The only real differences from oral sex with a non-pregnant woman are the taste, smell and appearance of the woman's vagina. The vaginal area will puff up in size and darken in color. (See the "cheeseburger crotch" question for more details.) The odor and taste of the vaginal fluids will also be different. Some partners are put off by this while others are even more turned on.
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Q. I am six months pregnant and when my husband and I have sex it takes me forever to have an orgasm. Is this normal? Sometimes I can't have one at all. But I want to have sex all the time and I get mad when he doesn't want to. Please help.
A. While some women experience the best sex of their lives while pregnant, others have difficulty. You may have trouble reaching orgasm because of subconscious inhibitions about your maternal body. Maybe it's difficult to get in a comfortable position that is most pleasurable for you. Or perhaps you are feeling rushed to have an orgasm because your husband doesn't seem to want sex as frequently as you do.
It's very common for pregnant women to become “horn dogs” and want sex all the time. Sometimes the husbands just can't keep up! The only way I ever "got enough" during pregnancy is when I would supplement my sex life with a vibrator. Try it. You might find that a vibrator fulfills your needs.
Q. Is it safe to use a dildo while pregnant?
A. Barring any medical problems, dildo usage is perfectly fine. If you are at a high risk for premature delivery, have problems with the placenta, experience unexplained bleeding, or your water has broken, you should abstain from intercourse- with a dildo or a live penis.
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Q. My girlfriend is pregnant and we're really happy. When we have sex, can I cum inside of her and not harm the baby?
-Anonymous, New York
A. Barring any medical problems, most physicians and midwives today will allow patients to have sex, ejaculations and all, right up until the day of delivery. (See the other "sex during pregnancy" question on this page for more details.)
Don't worry; the baby is well protected inside the womb with a sealed cervix, the amniotic sac and fluid.
Q. I love my wife in her pregnant state. I also love making my wife's nipples leak during sex. She is 5 1/2 months pregnant. Will this reduce the quality/quantity of the colostrum/milk that our baby will need?
A. I don't think you need to worry about taking food out of your baby's mouth. Any colostrum that leaks or is expressed before the delivery should be considered a free sample. After all, what your wife is producing now isn't going to "keep" until the baby is born. After delivery, a mother's hormones turn on the switch for the major colostrum production that is meant for the baby. Immediately after delivery is when you may want to stop stimulating your wife's breasts, but she probably will be too tired to fool around anyway.
Q. Is rough sex harmful to the baby?
A. If you are at high risk for premature delivery, have problems with the placenta, experience unexplained bleeding or your water has broken, you should abstain from sex, and especially rough sex. Otherwise, I say go for it. With the exception of very painful sex involving the insertion of sharp objects, the baby should be fine. The cervix, amniotic sac and fluid provide the baby with a good barrier against big, jarring movements like rough sex.
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Q. Is it correct that we won't become pregnant if I have the habit of masturbating?
A. No. That is not correct. In fact, just the opposite may be true. You may be more sexually active as a result of your masturbating. I believe that sex and orgasms can be like candy: the more you get it, the more you want it.
Back to the issue... if you want to avoid pregnancy you must abstain from intercourse or use a birth control method such as oral contraceptives, condoms and spermicide, an IUD, a diaphragm or the birth control injection. You might visit your local OB/GYN or clinic to decide what is best for you.
Q. Is it okay to masturbate while you’re pregnant? I'm 6 months.
A. But of course! Pregnancy orgasms can be the best of your life. Since your vaginal area is so engorged with blood during pregnancy, it is much more sensitive, therefore making orgasms much easier and frequent.
p.s. Don't be alarmed about the strange shape your belly may take on. During and after an orgasm, the uterus contracts and stays contracted for several minutes. The large, loose, bowl-of-jelly stomach transforms into a tight, hard, football-like mass. It usually squashes downward and off to one side. Don't worry; this momentary pregnancy deformity doesn't harm the baby, although you may initially freak out over the appearance of your belly.
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Q. Is a vibrator, used for achieving orgasms, harmful to a baby in the third trimester? Could the vibrations cause brain damage if the baby is head down?
A. Unless your vibrator is super-turbo-charged and inserted deep within your vagina, I highly doubt it will cause the baby brain damage. (See the other vibrator question for more details.)
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