MAY 8, 2021
By FUNMI AKINGBADE
For some time now, countless mails have rolled into my inbox wanting to know the place of sex during pregnancy. For many wives pregnancy has spiked their interest in sex. On the other hand, sex is the last thing on the mind of many others during this period. Here is what you need to know about sex during pregnancy.
As long as your pregnancy is proceeding normally, you can have sex as often as you like. But most wives may not always want to. This is because at first, the hormonal fluctuations, fatigue and nausea may sap their sexual desire.
During the second trimester, increased blood flow to your sexual organs and breasts may rekindle your desire for sex. However, by the third trimester, weight gain, back pain and other symptoms may once again dampen your passion for sex.
Many wives who have waited for long before getting pregnant are always apprehensive of the unknown. They want to know if sex during pregnancy causes a miscarriage – especially in the first trimester.
Early miscarriages are usually not associated with sex, but with chromosomal abnormalities or other problems in the developing baby.
Sex during pregnancy does not harm the baby either. This is because the developing baby is protected by the amniotic fluid in the uterus, as well as the mucous plug that blocks the cervix throughout most of the pregnancy. Sexual activity will not affect your baby.
A wife once asked me ‘what are the best sexual positions during pregnancy? In reality, as long as you are comfortable, most sexual positions are okay during pregnancy.
As your pregnancy progresses, you and your husband can experiment to find what works best. Rather than lying on your back, you might want to lie next to your man sideways or position yourself on top of him or in front of him.
Let your creativity take over, as long as you keep mutual pleasure and comfort in mind. I have written a book titled “Sexual intimacy in marriage.” A few of the chapters there are dedicated to sex in pregnancy. I would advise you get a copy of the book from any leading Nigeria bookshop.
Another married young mother asked me recently ‘what about oral sex? Contrary to ‘old women fables’ oral sex is safe during pregnancy. There is a warning though, if you receive oral sex, make sure your husband does not blow air into your vagina. Though, this rarely happens, but a burst of air may block a blood vessel (air embolism) which could be a life-threatening condition for you and the baby.
One reader asked if condoms are necessary. Frankly, undue exposure to sexually transmitted infections during pregnancy increases risks that can affect your pregnancy and your baby’s health. You may use a condom if your husband has a sexually transmitted infection history.
Many want to know if orgasms can trigger premature labour. Yes, sometimes orgasms can cause uterine contractions, but these are different from the contractions you will feel during labour. If you have a normal pregnancy, orgasms during intercourse don’t increase the risk of premature labour or premature birth. Likewise, sex is not likely to trigger labour even as your expected date of delivery or due date approaches. Sometimes sex prior to delivery hastens labour but you still have to be moderate in all you do.
Are there times when sex should be avoided, a nursing mother who has been sexually active shortly after delivery asked? Although most women can safely have sex throughout pregnancy, sometimes it is best to be careful.
Sex could be avoided when you are at risk of preterm labour, or you have unexplained vaginal bleeding, or you are leaking amniotic fluid, or your cervix begins to open prematurely (cervical incontinence) and when your placenta partly or completely covers your cervical opening (placenta previa). If you fall into any of these categories, please stay off sex.
Some wives asked me ‘what if I do not want to have sex’. This is a decision you may not be able to take alone, because if you send your husband on a compulsory nine-month sabbatical ‘leave’ he may decide to look for alternatives elsewhere. So wise up and compromise where needed. But if sex is difficult, unappealing or off-limits, try cuddling, kissing or massage.
After the baby is born, how soon can I have sex? Whether you give birth vaginally or by C-section, your body will need time to heal. Many gynaecologists recommend waiting four days after normal vaginal delivery and four weeks before resuming intercourse if you had a C-section. This allows time for your cervix to close and any tears or a repaired episiotomy to heal.
If you are too sore or exhausted to even think about sex, you can still maintain intimacy in other ways. Stay connected during the day with romantic text messages or erotic emails. Reserve a few quiet minutes for each other before the day begins and before the day ends. When you are ready to have sex, take it tenderly and use a reliable method of contraception if you want to prevent a subsequent pregnancy.
My husband feels children need their parents in the formative years of their lives. He believes parental influence is the best teacher and I also agree with him. But my dilemma is that I make the sacrifices by staying at home while he goes to work. However, the more I stay home the more extra calories I add, even when I starve myself of food. Are there practical ways I can keep in shape without the rigours of gym?
Many times wives love to keep in shape and lose some of the unnecessary calories. However, finding a way round it has been the major challenge. Here are some ways any nursing mother, homemaker or professional can with ease loss calories at home, in the office or in the market place without much stress.
For instance, while doing laundry you can do rope jumping just for two-minute intervals and repeating this four times daily you are losing 111 calories.
In addition, while food is being prepared, you can run up and down the stairs of your apartment building. This is easier if you live in a storey-building and if not find a way round your home; this makes you loss 42 calories effortlessly at a go.
Whilst the baby is sleeping, you can stand in front of your living room couch, squat until your buttocks is just above the seat cushions, and hold that position for one minute when this is repeated regularly for four times at a go, naturally 80 calories are shed off your weight.
While breastfeeding the baby you can just lie down on the floor on your side and lift one of your legs up for five minutes, while the baby is feeding on the breast of that side. Then change position to the other side and lift your other leg for another five minutes – this is called leg lift. By so doing you have lose 50 calories just like that. This can be done in the office or room.
Nursing mothers are adviced to take time out for few minutes rest. While trying to take a nap you can do arm circles for one minute and repeat two more times. Amazingly you have just dropped 20 calories. Any woman can do this arm circle and it is recommended for every married woman because the upper arm is one area fat deposits gather easily.
When you feel like urinating walk quickly to the toilet or bathroom instead of strolling, and then stay longer over the toilet seat while you ease yourself, and practise your Kegel exercise more than once. When you have finished, walk fast back to wherever you were instead of leisurely strolling back, and you may just shed 30 calories.
For your triceps muscle take two cans of salad, and put your hands behind your head, with your elbows at your ears and lift the weight up and down. Do one minute each of lifting, without effort 17 calories find their way out.
Walking has proven to be the best workout with result; take a brief one every evening.
My wife is a tyrant in bed. Every now and then, she terrorises me. She is like a sergeant major barking orders all the time. I try to please her but she is so demanding it is demoralizing. Why can’t she let me take control at least for once? Please do not ask if she is older. I am far older than her, but I don’t want to tell her this because it will look like I am not a man enough to satisfy her sexual desires.
The fear of how your wife will react will eventually ruin your sex life. Tell her your feelings in a loving manner, she will understand. Besides, sex is a power game and if you want to play well, you have to be prepared to take a compromising risk. On the other hand, she may be assertive and not bossy. Some wives want confident, assertive husbands who are not afraid to take control. Decide to play the game your way for once, and let her know by being firm and clear with your instructions that you are in charge this time. You will be amazed she will love it. Go on try it and give me a feedback.
I have been married for eight years now, but my husband lived in the United States. He bought me a vibrator to use whenever I feel like having sex with his picture in view. I’ve been using the vibrator close to five years and I’m worried that I’ve numbed my clitoris because I don’t feel any sensation whenever he comes home and touches me. My best friend’s husband also lives abroad but she says she never uses a vibrator because she had heard it ruins the vulva area. Is that true?
Frankly speaking, nothing gives enduring, durable, lasting and long-term satisfaction as the natural thing. Even if you only enjoy your man for few times I think it is still better than the damage vibrator does to your clitoris. Try to occupy yourself with some worthwhile project whenever you have the urge for sex. You can take your children to lesson classes or something that will add value to your life.
SOURCE: THE NATION