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Sex, Orgasms & Masturbation
Q. Is it safe for the baby if I use a vibrator during my pregnancy?? Will it cause ANY harm (hearing loss etc.) to the unborn child?
A. While it is true that by the end of the second trimester your baby's hearing ability is fairly developed, I don't think you need to be overly cautious about protecting the baby's hearing. After all, the uterus and amniotic fluid do provide somewhat of a buffer– similar to being under water. If you were on a county road crew using a jackhammer on a daily basis, then you might have cause for concern.
If your vibrator is particularly loud, you may want to consider buying a quieter one or just using it on the outside for clitoral stimulation. Whatever you do, don't give up on masturbation. Orgasms during pregnancy can be the best of your life. Live it up!
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Q. I am 7 1/2 months pregnant. Some of my friends say that we should stop having sex after a certain time because it can hurt the baby. Is this true?
-Anonymous, New Jersey
A. Most physicians and midwives today will allow patients to have sex right up until the day of delivery, barring any medical problems. 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 intercourse. Otherwise, I say go for it.
Near the end of your pregnancy you may find that sex can be even more pleasurable, as increasing pressure and blood flow to the vaginal area can make orgasms most intense.
It's believed that intercourse at the very end of a pregnancy may stimulate the softening of the cervix and the beginning of labor-. This is a good thing, believe me. Take it from one who was ten days overdue!
Q. I find many pregnant women to be incredibly sexy. Is that weird? I am a happily married father of three.
A. I see you are very in touch with your procreating instincts, which is perfectly normal. If men didn't find the female pregnant body to be attractive, most would stop after one child. Don't you think?
Pregnant women also are sending a subliminal message to the male gender, "Pssst! Look at me- I've actually had SEX!"
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Q. I know vaginal swelling and even post-orgasmic cramping is normal during pregnancy. I have no external signs of swelling; however, I am so swollen inside that it feels very snug just when inserting my finger. Though it doesn't hurt when having sex, it does hurt as soon as I start to have an orgasm. So much so that I can't have one. There is no unusual discharge and, other than being hypersensitive, I am fine. My husband's not complaining but I'm wondering if this is normal or is something wrong?
-Anonymous, South Carolina
A. It is very common for mucous membranes and sex organs to become swollen during pregnancy. The inside of your vagina happens to be a combo of the two. Add a pending orgasm, which engorges the area with blood, and it's no wonder things get a little snug and sensitive down there! All women have different levels of engorgement and sensitivity, but it sounds like you are within the "realm of normality." (FYI- the "realm" is very, very big!)
If you continue to experience discomfort during intercourse, you and your husband may want to consider pleasuring each other orally or manually. Most girlfriends agree that pregnancy orgasms can be the best of your life. Don't miss out! Since the vaginal area is so sensitive, many women experience orgasms much more quickly and more often.
If the "snugness" you feel is constant (not just during arousal) you should consult your doctor.
Q. My husband and I enjoyed anal intercourse before and throughout my pregnancy. We had our baby three weeks ago via C-Section and have been told not to have vaginal intercourse. Is there any reason we cannot resume anal intercourse now? We cannot find ANY information anywhere.
A. You probably cannot find any information on the subject because no medical professional would condone the act of anal intercourse. The reasons for this are loosely based on health issues and politics. Did you know that anal sex is still considered a crime in many states?
Okay, back to the issue here. Since I am not a medical professional, I'll tell you my thoughts on the subject. You can probably resume anal intercourse as long as you are careful and not too rough. Slamming or jarring movements may put your cesarean scar at risk for rupturing. Also, the tissue inside and surrounding the anus may be delicate and prone to tearing, as it could still be puffy with post-pregnancy swelling.
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Q. I am five months pregnant and my vaginal lips are sore and itchy. I no longer produce enough lubrication, and penetration is very painful during sex. My husband also experienced some itchiness on his foreskin after having dry sex for two days. What might be the cause of this?
A. You probably have a yeast or bacterial infection. When you experience any itching, burning and/or foul-smelling discharge, this is most likely the case. You should abstain from intercourse until the infection is cleared up. Otherwise you may experience painful sex and will transfer the infection to your husband.
Do not use over-the-counter anti-bacterial or anti-yeast treatments as they are not safe during pregnancy. You should consult your doctor about the best possible treatment.
Q. I am 12 weeks pregnant and was wondering if anal sex can harm the baby? Or, when do I need to stop having anal sex if it is okay for the time being?
A. As with vaginal intercourse during pregnancy, 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. Otherwise, I say go for it. Unless your doctor advises against intercourse, you should be able to continue vaginal and anal sex right up to the day of delivery.
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Q. I have placenta previa. My doctor told me not to have intercourse, but she did not say anything about having orgasms. Is it okay to have an orgasm when I have placenta previa?
A. If your doctor has advised against intercourse, it's probably because you may be at risk for premature labor or hemorrhaging if your cervix gets jostled. I hate to tell you, but I think this includes abstaining from orgasms as well. During orgasm your uterus contracts and spasms, which may disturb your cervix. I hope you don't have long to go!
Q. I had a miscarriage (at eight weeks) last year. I am pregnant again (currently seven weeks) and I am very hesitant about having orgasms, during intercourse or masturbation. With my first pregnancy I experienced intense cramping in my uterus, especially after a strong orgasm. Although I have heard this happens to some women, I am wondering how normal it is and whether I should be concerned about the effects this may have on my pregnancy.
A. After orgasm, you initially may be alarmed by the strange shape your belly takes on. During and after, 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. You may find your belly becoming more and more distorted with post-orgasmic cramping as the pregnancy progresses and your belly grows. Usually by the third trimester an orgasm is no longer a woman's secret.
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Q. The other night my husband and I were having sex. When I was guiding him in, I noticed there was fluid coming out of me. It felt as though it was urine, but it did not smell as such. Is it possible for my water to leak, and, if so, should I call my OB/GYN?
A. If you are in your third trimester, then it's possible you are leaking amniotic fluid. If this is the case, you should contact your doctor ASAP. If your doctor determines that it is amniotic fluid, you should deliver within the next 48 hours or so to avoid possible infection.
If it's not amniotic fluid, then it could just be extra lubrication from sexual stimulation. The vagina works overtime during pregnancy, producing plenty of vaginal fluids. This extra vaginal lubrication can be especially abundant during sex. Sometimes those big wet spots on the sheets are not just from the man!
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