Cultural practices among the Yao (a tribe in the south region of Malawi) prohibit a Man from having sex with his Partner while she is in her last trimester (months 7-9) in order to prevent “damaging” the fetus.
I’m sure you’ve heard it before, not just in Southern Malawi but all over the world men are afraid of “hurting” the baby during sexual intercourse. Well, world I hope you are listening as well as the Traditional Authority and Village Chiefs were listening yesterday during our Safe Motherhood Training…the fetus is not located in the vaginal canal but the uterus! This is a tid-bit that I was thrilled to enlighten our trainees with at the ripe age of 50+ (now is better than never??).
Moments like this remind me how much I love and WHY I love maternal/reproductive health…because we hardly know anything about our bodies. We drew a picture showing that connecting the vulva and the cervix is the amazing vaginal canal. Physiologically there is no “danger” of having sex up until birth of your baby. (Tid-bit: This can actually stimulate labor when a mother is overdue.) The only time that this would actually cause a risk would be if the amniotic sac had ruptured, introducing the risk of infection.
Although, let’s not fail to mention expecting Moms emotionally are experiencing a kaleidoscope of emotions and may in fact notice an increase, decrease sex drive or no difference at all. Sex should ALWAYS be respectful and consensual between partners!!
If the vaginal canal is “old news” to you, BUT you are still concerned about “hitting” the baby well rest assured that the “average” (I hate using that word because there is NO average vagina but unique and wonderful not matter what color, shape, or style she is or wears.) is about 2.5-3 inches in length and can expand and elongate to 4 or more inches. Here is a helpful hint: when sexually aroused the vagina not only elongates and expands but the cervix will lift, so add a routine of foreplay and increase the satisfaction for all involved.
The more YOU know.