Avoid Sex At These Times: Doctor

“Mom, what is sex?” my seven-year-old asked me in the middle of a chaotic weekday breakfast recently … 

(By Dr. Heather Rupe, DO | WebMD) After nearly choking on my Cheerios, I was able to further investigate and discovered that, luckily, he was only referring to gender.

I had bought myself a little more time to prepare for the bigger talk.

One of the questions I hear from my patients is whether it’s safe to have sex at certain times. Medically, there are only a few instances where sex should be avoided.

Before a Pap smear

The Pap smear has improved over the years, but the basic technology still involves the analysis of individual cells under the microscope. Semen can make the Pap smear less sensitive, so sex should be avoided the night before your annual exam.

Honestly, your gynecologist probably prefers not to encounter semen during an exam, so it would be courteous to abstain before any pelvic exam – Pap smear or not (perhaps I can get this added to Emily Post’s next book of etiquette).

Unexplained vaginal bleeding or pain

Most women will experience occasional spotting or twinges of pain with ovulation, but if you are experiencing persistent pain or bleeding, then you should avoid from intercourse. Pain during intercourse or bleeding after intercourse can be signs of abnormalities of the cervix and should prompt a visit to your provider.

Pregnancy complications

“Is it OK to still have sex?” is often one of the last questions I get asked at a patient’s first pregnancy visit, usually said in a slightly embarrassed whisper. If your pregnancy is uncomplicated, you can have sex from conception until your water breaks. If you are having unexplained pain or bleeding, you should put a halt to bedroom activity until you see your doctor. Read the full post at WebMD. 

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