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Sex in the third trimester

Sex in the third trimester

From my perspective as a sexologist, I think it is important for couples to maintain an emotional and physically intimate relationship right through pregnancy.  You need to be as close as possible to face the challenges ahead and come out stronger and closer on the other side.

In the third trimester, you might have to be a little more creative, but you might also be in for the best sex of life!  The blood flow to your genitals is much higher than usual and therefore you can feel much more aroused than you do normally.  Your orgasms can also be much more intense.

You might however find that you take longer to orgasm and that you experience some dryness.  This is all normal.  If you are dry, use a water or silicone based lube without any added colourings or flavouring. You don’t want to develop a yeast infection or bacterial vaginosis at this stage.

It’s also important to still use a condom to protect yourself against STIs if you are not in a stable relationship at this stage, or if your partner has not been tested for STIs. Getting an infection in your third trimester can be very harmful to the baby.

Some women feel at their sexiest when they are in their third trimester, but the reality is that most don’t like their bigger bodies and want to shy away from sex.  You might also be exhausted, especially if you are still working and running around to get everything done for the arrival of the new baby. Make sure you get plenty of rest and make time to be intimate with your partner.

Some men find their partners at their sexiest when they are in their third trimester and some find it very strange to have sex with a pregnant woman.  They are also often afraid that they will hurt the unborn baby. They need reassurance from their partners and doctors that it is still safe to have sex.

Sex is not safe if you have placenta previa, where the placenta is over the opening of the uterus; if you are bleeding; your water has broken; or if you have an infection.  If you had a previous preterm labour or miscarriage, your doctor might also advise you not to have sex.  Always check with your obstetrician if you are not sure.

It might also not be safe or comfortable for a woman to lie flat on her back late in pregnancy.  The heavy uterus can compress the major artery from the heart and cause severe low blood pressure.  The bump is in the way, anyway, so try these positions:

Be on top:  This way you are completely in control and can determine the depth and rhythm.  You also get to show off your breasts that are at their most beautiful right now.

Spooning: Both lying on your sides and he enters your vagina from behind.

Rear-entry:  Support yourself on all fours and let him enter from behind.

Oral sex:  Due to the increased blood flow, this might be the best oral sex you will ever have, so cash in on it!

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HIV and safe conception

HIV and safe conception

By Dr. Elna Rudolph and Dr. Jireh Serfontein.

Before the introduction of antiretroviral therapy (ART), healthcare providers discouraged childbearing due to the risk of HIV transmission (to uninfected partners as well as from mother-to-child).

Read the full article here.

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Things to do before you fall pregnant

Did you know that there are many things that you can do before you fall pregnant to increase your chances of having a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby?

Here are some of them…

Get a full physical examination and ask your doctor to check your
• Blood pressure and pulse rate
• Heart for a murmur
• Abdomen
• Breasts
• Pelvic examination and pap smear

Ask your doctor to check your blood for…
• Anaemia and deficiencies (FBC)
• Thyroid Functions
• Blood sugar
• Blood group
• HIV
• Syphilis
• Any other tests that your doctor might want to do, according to your signs and symptoms or medical history

Ask your doctor for the following vaccinations
• MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) – you should get it, even if you have had it as a child. If you have never had it, you will need two dosages, one month apart.
• Adacel Quadra (Tetatus, Polio, Diphteria and Pertussis) – Pertussis is whooping cough; a major cause of hospitalisation in infants.
• Varicellla (Chicken pox) – only if you have never had chicken pox
• Flu – all women trying to fall pregnant and all pregnant women further than 12 weeks should get this.
• Hepatitis A and B – it takes six months to complete this course, so start early!

You can have all these vaccinations now, even if you are not planning to fall pregnant soon, they all valid for at least 10 years (apart from flu, which needs to be done annually). You have to wait at least a month after your last vaccination before you can fall pregnant.

  • Stop smoking!
  • Get to a healthy weight
  • Follow a healthy diet and lifestyle
  • Take a pregnancy multivitamin with Folic Acid to prevent birth defects before you start trying and all the way through your pregnancy.
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No sex, no baby

No sex, no baby

By Dr. Elna Rudolph. Published in The Specialist Forum, Jan/Feb 2015.

For those who do not desire to fall pregnant, it seems almost unavoidable and for those couples who would desperately like to have a child, it can feel almost impossible. We have some of the most advanced treatment technologies for the management of the infertile couple in SA, but in some cases it is not necessary. We just need to help the couple have successful intercourse.

Read the full article here.