Written by Funmi Akingbade
Most times, many couples want to know when having sex could become a threat to their health and relationship; when sex should be avoided in a union. Pregnant women and their husbands often wonder if it's safe to have sex during pregnancy. Will it result in miscarriage? Will it harm the unborn baby? Are there sex positions to avoid?
In a marriage relationship, sex between couples should be an ongoing thing except in cases where there are severe injuries to the penis or the vulva area and the injuries are so traumatising that there may be need to avoid sex for a while. Sex could be avoided when couples want to practise natural family planning methods, in which case the wife's ovulation and menstrual cycle is studied for at least four to six months in order to accurately pinpoint safe periods and pregnancy periods using only total abstinence.
Sex is a natural, normal part of pregnancy if you're having a normal pregnancy. Penetration would not be a reason not to have sex nor would it harm the baby, who is protected by the abdomen and the uterus' muscular walls. The baby is also cushioned by the amniotic fluid.
Even the contractions of orgasm aren't the same as labour contractions. But as a general safety precaution, some doctors advise couples to avoid sex in the final weeks of pregnancy, believing that hormones in semen called prostaglandins can stimulate contractions. The only exception may be for women who are overdue and want to induce labour. Some doctors believe that prostaglandins in semen actually induce labour in a full-term or past-due pregnancy, since the gel used to "ripen" the cervix and induce labour also contains prostaglandins.
It is very important not to have sex when a pregnant woman has high risk for miscarriage or a history of past miscarriages. Sometimes when a woman has a known history of vaginal bleeding, discharge, cramping without a known cause, or the amniotic sac is leaking fluid or has ruptured, it is healthy to stay off sex.
We have cases of pregnant women, whose cervix has opened too early in pregnancy, or the placenta is too low in the uterus (known as placenta previa) or where scan reveals multiple pregnancies.
When 'no sex' should be the only reasonable thing in a threatened pregnancy should include any sexual activity that may trigger orgasm. This is because sometimes couples may say they are not having penetrative sex but watching pornography, engaging in just foreplay that may include fingering the clitoris, stimulating the erogenous zones. This sometimes include just warm shower running water over the clitoris, or solo sex. As innocent as it may appear, all these could stimulate orgasm and pose health problem for the pregnancy.
When a pregnant wife is not absolutely sure about her spouse's sexual history or she is suspicious of infidelity, it is better she excuses herself wisely from sex so as not to endanger herself and the baby. Pregnancy doesn't protect against sexually transmitted infections such as HIV, herpes, genital warts, or chlamydia – and those infections can affect the baby even with the use of condom, because sometimes the use of condom may not guarantee safety.
The first six weeks after delivery are called the postpartum period. Sex during this time is usually the last thing on the mind of many new mothers just because of some after birth experiences such as an episiotomy, which is incision during vaginal delivery, or wound from the abdominal incisions after caesarean birth.
Another time couple could stay off sex is when both are absolutely naive about what sex and sexuality is all about; when both are clueless in interpreting each other's libidonal languages or preferences. In this situation, sex therapists always advise that such couples should first take time out to either get some informative and educative videos, books and CDs and study together, ask questions about each other and take quality time out to fully understand the sexual need of the other person. Until then, sexual satisfaction and fulfillment may not be fully appreciated. And this is one of the major frustrations in many marriage unions.
Other times when sex should be out of a relationship is when there is life threatening health situations, accident to the pelvic region that may have negative impact on the sexual organs or some mental cases. When there are bad cases of premature ejaculation, couples are sometimes advised to stay off sex for few weeks in order to work out the healing and curative plan together which may sometimes involve some exercises and procedures.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
His mouth odour bad
I have a problem with saying 'yes I do' to the man I am supposed to be married to because I can't stand his unending mouth infections, odour and gum disease, although he is a very rich businessman. He does not see any reason why I don't allow him to kiss me or use my teeth brush. My friends think I am being over sensitive. Doesn't mouth hygiene count in a relationship?
Mouth hygiene counts in any relationship my dear but I think you need to talk this over with him. Allowing him to have relevant information may help him adjust and this will strengthen your relationship. Let him know that a typical human mouth contains billions of bacteria and if he hasn't brushed his teeth properly lately, he might well have more bacteria in his mouth than there are people living on planet Earth. Scientists have identified more than 700 different species of mouth-dwelling microbes in an individual mouth. Let him know that if he drops food on the floor, it starts to pick up germs from the moment it hits the floor and that it is better you should never share a toothbrush with anyone else. Sharing personal items may lead to picking up potentially harmful bacteria, viruses, or other microbes. To avoid any build-up of bacteria, he should replace his toothbrush every three to four months. Antiseptic mouthwashes can kill germs that cause bad breath and he should use it after each meal, because whenever he eats, the bacteria on his teeth excrete acids that can weaken tooth enamel. Harmful bacteria in your mouth can lead to gum disease, which has been linked with a number of other chronic inflammatory diseases throughout the body such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer's disease. It was once believed that the bacteria were the culprits. But researchers have begun to believe that the resulting inflammation is the key.
My wife has stopped partaking in sex
I am a regular reader of your column. I got married about seven years ago and the marriage is blessed with two lovely children who are six and two years old respectively. I fall in the category of men who did not have the ''best of time'' sexually before marriage due to parental strictness and guidance (a blessing in disguise, you will say). Hence, I was looking forward to a sexually enjoyable and explosive marriage. I met my wife a virgin and she never allowed me to have sexual intercourse during our courtship.]
The first six months of our marriage was beautiful when it comes to sex, but after then, my wife's interest dwindled. She does not initiate sex anymore and I have become more of burden anytime I demand sex at night. These days, I am lucky when I am able to have it once in a week; best-case scenario is twice in a week. I have tried my best to make her happy by buying her gifts from time to time; but the effect does not last long. I bought a Honda car for her just for good sex, but nothing changes.
It is becoming so frustrating. I have tried on a couple of occasions to make her read your columns but she does not; she is not an avid reader. I am giving up the fight and I do not want to seek for pleasure outside my marriage, even though the temptations are always there.
I am confused.
Well thanks a lot for sharing with me. l want to first appreciate the fact that you have done a great job by not taking irrational decisions. I would also want to add that you should try to create time out to actually pour your heart out to your wife the way you did to me now. I am so sure, when she sees the importance, she will definitely change because no woman wants her marriage go in ruins. You can do this by going for a weekend vacation to a free, quiet and private place together, keep the children with trusted friends and just go out alone together. This eradicates stress and helps both of you to unwind.
You should also remember that affection and foreplay mean a lot to many ladies. If you skip foreplay, most of them feel as if they are being legally raped or put under the knife of a surgeon. Then make sure that the way and manner you address and talk to her is befitting a wife and not an elevated house girl.
Is it possible to 'see' your period when you are pregnant?
Is it possible to 'see' your period when you are pregnant? I am still bleeding after the pregnancy test indicated positive and my doctor said there is no reason to be alarmed but I am afraid.
Mrs. Lawrence Maxwell
Pregnancy prevents the drop in hormones that cause the uterine lining to shed off. However, when you are pregnant, you can still experience spotting or light bleeding around the time you would normally expect your period, although it is not considered an actual period. Known as implantation bleeding, this is a harmless event that occurs when the fertilised egg first burrows into your uterus and breaks some of the blood vessels in its lining.