LIFESTYLE

Having Oral Sex While Pregnant Is More Complicated Than You'd Imagine

07/09/2017 1:48 AM IST | Updated 07/09/2017 1:48 AM IST
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It's no secret that many women get hornier than usual when they're pregnant, and if couples can maintain their sex lives throughout those 40 weeks, that's fantastic.

But with great desire comes great responsibility, and as it turns out, even the seemingly unobtrusive act of oral sex comes with a warning when a baby is on the way.

The problem lies with the giver of the oral sex — namely, if they have an STI that could then be passed on to the baby.

"If you get herpes in your third trimester, there's a 50 per cent chance your baby will get it at delivery," Terri Warren, author of The Good News About The Bad News: Herpes: Everything You Need to Know, told Vice.

Yikes.

Because women's immune systems are compromised throughout the pregnancy, they're less able to fight off infections, and that most definitely includes STIs that, yes, will be present in the birth canal.

According to the American Sexual Health Association, contracting genital herpes late in the pregnancy is particularly dangerous because the woman will not have the necessary antibodies to protect the baby during birth. Though rare, the virus could potentially spread to the baby, leading to medical complications and even death.

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But it's not just STIs that are a concern when it comes to cunnilingus. As the Mayo Clinic notes, your partner has to be careful not to blow into the vagina during oral sex because the enlarged blood vessels are at an increased risk for an air embolism — basically, an air bubble that could affect your and/or your fetus' cardiovascular systems.

That said, this is a very rare occurrence, only documented once or twice in medical literature. But if you're worried, take the advice of the Go Ask Alice! team at Columbia University, and "suck, kiss, lick, probe, press (with lips or fingers), or lightly nibble a woman's vulva or clitoris than blow or force air directly into her vagina."

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And in case you're wondering about the flip side, yes, apparently it is safe to swallow semen while pregnant.

The more you know.

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