Finally, we're bringing you very public answers to some of your most private questions. When sexual and vaginal health concerns arise, OB/GYN and nationally known women's health expert Dr. Jessica Shepherd wants to ensure you have the answers you need to feel at ease. As the founder of Her Viewpoint, an online women's health forum, she uses this outlet to focus on addressing taboo topics in a comfortable setting. Prepare to take notes!
Q: What Should I Avoid During Third Trimester Sex?
A: During the third trimester of pregnancy, obviously there are changes in the pelvis but also abdominally when there's a big baby in there. That prevents some of the sexual encounter positions that you may have had before pregnancy. Usually what we recommend for women is that we definitely want them to still engage in sexual intercourse with their partners, but sometimes they may need to change their positioning due to comfort for mom. Postitions that obviously work better are women on top or from whatever partner coming from behind. That usually will alleviate a lot of the discomfort that a women might feel when in missionary style, when a man's on top, because of the baby being in the way with the enlarged abdomen because of the uterus.
The other thing too to consider is there may be hormonal changes and sometimes your arousal or your climax in sex may be one of two things. Actually one of three things. You may have the same climax encounter. You may actually have increased arousal and then you do have women who have decreased arousal or climax in the third trimester of pregnancy. Again, it runs the gamut but it really is something you should talk to your gynecologist about.
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Women should be really careful if they want to engage in sexual activity during their third trimester is if they've been advised by their doctor because of a placental issue, a bleeding issue. If there's any pre-term labor issue that again, they should maybe abstain from sex in the third trimester if they've been counseled that from their obstetrician gynecologist. Because of an issue with the actual pregnancy.
There should be no different in sex during third trimester but positionally yes, you may have to make some adjustments in that area. We actually have women who come in very close to their due date, they're what we call, "tired of pregnancy." At the end of their pregnancy and really want to deliver. We actually do advocate for some of these women to have sex again if there's no other circumstances that would prohibit them from having that. Semen actually has a natural source of what we call, prostaglandins.
What prostaglandins are is a normal part of our bodily fluids and what we have within the body. But in semen we found that that actually has some something that can help stimulate cervical changes in preparation for labor. Again, that can also help with inducing labor. Not to say that it's definitely going to do it but it could definitely help. We do have women who come and ask that question and we'll say, "Sex might help so try that." Something else that is going to increase contractions because of the hormone, oxytocin, that's released naturally when you have nipple stimulation which also helps.
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