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5 Pregnancy Questions You Were Too Afraid to Ask!

Pregnancy is an exciting time, but it’s also filled with concerns and questions. Not all of them are answered by your pregnancy book or at a midwife appointment, and often it feels like you are the only one to experience these 'joys'! Here, Sarah Liddy, answers five questions you might be too embarrassed to ask...

1. Will sex feel different while I’m pregnant?

During the first two trimesters, things will feel much the same as usual – your breasts might be more sensitive, but that’s about it. During the third trimester, the baby moves down lower into your pelvis, and some women experience increased pressure, or a pinching sensation, in their vagina. This can also result in more limited penetration for your partner, but shouldn’t cause a problem. Listen to your body and if anything feels uncomfortable, stop.

2. I think I have piles – what can I do?

Piles (or haemorrhoids) are a common side effect of pregnancy, as the weight of the baby causes the veins below the uterus to swell. They can be painful, itchy or cause a burning sensation when you poo. Piles are exacerbated by constipation, so make sure you eat lots of high-fibre foods and drink plenty of water, and always go to the loo as soon as you feel the urge.

Some people avoid piles throughout their pregnancy only to find they appear after labour – the same advice applies. Warm baths help with the itching, and ice packs can ease the pain. After you’ve done a poo, gently clean the sore area with moist toilet wipes and pat dry.

Generally, piles will disappear as your body recovers after your baby’s birth, but if the problem persists, ask your doctor about further treatment – don’t be embarrassed, they’ve heard it all before.

3. Am I incontinent?

Many pregnant women find themselves leaking small amounts of urine when they cough, sneeze or laugh. This is due to the increased pressure on your pelvic floor and is perfectly normal.

Regular pelvic floor exercises help, but probably won’t eliminate the problem completely. It’s also normal to experience some incontinence after you’ve had your baby. In the early weeks, your maternity towel will soak up any leaks, but if you are still having problems at your six-week check-up, you should mention it to your doctor. Stress incontinence is not something you just have to live with, there is help available.

4. Will I poo when I push?

The answer to this is you might, but it’s unlikely you’ll even realise or care. When you are pushing your baby out, you use the same muscles as for a bowel movement, which is why it can happen. But don’t be embarrassed – your midwife deals with it every day and will clean up discreetly if necessary. Believe me, once you’ve got to that stage of labour, it won’t bother you one bit, so if your midwife tells you to push down into your bum, don’t hold back!

5. Will I ever be the same “down there” again?

After a vaginal birth, your vagina will feel bruised and swollen, and any stitches will take a while to heal. The truth is that your vagina will probably be a bit wider than before you had your baby, and the opening will look bigger and less neat. Pelvic exercises help regain muscle tone and after three to six months of these, your pelvic floor should be in good shape again.

If you have a scar from an episiotomy or stitches, it will feel tight and raised in the early days, but should start to feel smoother after a few weeks – your doctor will take a look at your six-week check-up. It’s unlikely your partner will notice much difference during sex, so don’t feel self-conscious. If you do have a serious health concern, always go straight to your doctor.

Any questions you are still wondering, or things you wish you'd know before? Leave your comments below.


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