Pelvic Rest (What, What, WHAT?!) -- The Pregnant Life


My Notebook
Sad Face
There's a frowny face in my pink doctor's-appointment notebook under the date of my most recent visit. The baby's great, fine, she's swimming around like a champ and her heart is beating like a champ and her tests are all coming back groovy-schmoovy. And I'm doing great too, in much better shape than my first pregnancy: blood pressure lower, weight more steady, mood and energy better.

The problem is this: I have one more month of orgasms, and then – pelvic rest. Pelvic. Rest. Do you know what that means? It sounds like someone settling into one of those drawer-beds that Japanese businessmen sleep in and sliding into a nice vagina-nap. What it really means is – no sex.

I have a perverse pride in the fact that I've never gone more than a few weeks without sex. Post-Penelope was the first time I went eight weeks, and I barely made it before diving (okay, wading) (okay, gingerly sticking a toe in the water and sorta paddling) back into the pool. Before her birth, I was so afraid something irreperable would happen to my body that I had to go to a hypnotherapist to calm down; when I was being stitched up after her birth, I remember saying, "Make sure you do that right, I want to use that thing again." (For the record, they did, and I have been. Obvie.)

It's my own fault for asking. Since my college days I've had these intermittent mega-cramps, sometimes every six months, sometimes not for a couple of years, but always so horrible that I was scared to death. I assumed they were endometriosis, though I never had the exploratory laproscopy to find out. I brought them up with my doctor, saying they were sometimes triggered by orgasm, and she said "You're shouldn't be having orgasms after 24 weeks anyway."


"I mean, if you have them in your sleep, you can't help it, but I'm going to want you to avoid them."


Dad, stop reading now.

Orgasms are a goddamn narcotic to me. I'm not really sure how to regulate my moods without them. They mean endorphins, distraction, relaxation. Plus, there's the connection to my partner. It's all very easy for me to dole out advice about how there's more to marriage than sex – quite another thing to live it.

I tried to bargain. "But that's how I get my kegels in," I blurted. (Isn't "bargaining" one of the stages of grief?"

"Look, I'm very conservative about this," my doctor said. "It can rupture your membrane. It can set off contractions. If you do do it, have your husband wear a condom, because his semen can cause you to efface." She gave an "I-can't-control-what-you-do" shrug, and all I could think was, how horrible would I feel if I went cavalierly forward and something happened? How selfish, how self-indulgent, how bad-mothery?

I texted my husband; he texted back, "What's pelvic rest?" I haven't had the heart to discuss it further with him. He's already petrified of hurting me when we do it. Really, it's only for 10, 12 weeks, right? At 35 weeks I'm going to stop worrying about her being "early." Of course, by then, who knows if I'll be able to find the equipment?

I just don't know what to think about this.

Have you had to go on pelvic rest? Was it terrible, a relief, no big deal? How would you keep your connection with your partner? Speak your mind below!

2nd trimester, complications, doctor visits, is it normal, is it safe, motherhood, pregnancy health, sex & relationships


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jeann... jeannesager

What?? My doctor actually encouraged us to HAVE sex in order to get things moving along (although to be honest, I was so in the other camp - miserable as hell during my pregnancy and not up for anything fun).

Cafe... Cafe MicheleZ

What is this you speak of? Sex DURING pregnancy? I'm jealous. I was so big carrying twins and everything hurt all the time that sex was out of the question for me for most of my preggo state. We were, however, as we like to call it "creative."

madfoot madfoot

That's just the thing, Jeanne -- we want to keep things NOT moving along, at least until I'm close to term. Blurg.

Freela Freela

Hmmmm... interesting. Do you have a history of preterm labour? Because most doctors consider sex and orgasm during pregnancy safe unless there is a reason to consider the woman at higher risk for preterm labour.

2Mons... 2MonstersxMommy

I have been on pelvic rest since 14 weeks, I'm now 27 weeks, and will be on rest until I deliver. In normal, non-risky pregnancies it seems RIDICULOUS to avoid sex--and I have done research which proves that there is NO REASON to avoid intercourse unless problems arise. I'm trudging through and please my man in other ways--as for myself, I'm too worried about all of my high-risk issues and 2 other kiddos to care lol:)
God Bless

nonmember avatar Ana

I am on pelvic rest right now. I had preterm labor at 34 weeks, and I am being taken off of pelvic rest at 37 weeks. It has been the longest few weeks of the entire pregnancy. I have honestly never gone this long without some sort of orgasm and I can't wait until I am allowed to again. I would say, unless you have complications do what you feel is best. Maybe only once a week or so just in case doing it too much can cause too many contractions and "throw" you into preterm labor.

nonmember avatar Megan

I was just put on pelvic rest yesterday, no sex, no lifting - I have a 15 month old baby at home now, no cleaning (oh darn), no standing for long periods. All to prevent a pre-term birth. Like the author says I would feel so horrible if something was to happen because I didn't follow these directions. I guess I just have to suck it up, but good to know I am not alone. I did look at my husband when the doctor told us yesterday and said - I knew we should have done it last night!!!

nonmember avatar *

Im 19 weeks, and doctor just put me on pelvic rest. Until my next ultrasound in a few weeks to see if everything is moving along the way it should. Or if I still need to take it easy. Its getting so nice out that it's hard for me to imagine, but yesterday i went walking with my mom (shopping really) for a few hours, but I was so sore by the end of the day i didn't mind the idea of taking it easy---I like being lazy when i can, though my husband is going a little over board asking friends and family to help me clean the house, i can still clean, just slower then normal. i should take it as a loving gesture but on normal occasions if he asks if i need help i say no, i can do it. i like to be able to do things my self. so accepting and or asking for help is hard for me. ALSO, no sex? so what? if the only way your close to your parnter is through sex, find other ways to be intimate. use this as an excuse to get all the back/foot rubs you can. all the pampering you can squeeze out of it. FInd other ways of being close to your partner, hold hands, sit closer on the couch, date nights, get a babysitter and just go out together. give to your partner if sex type acts are a MUST, spend this time building up I OWE YOUS <3
dont feel guilty for wanting sex, but be realistic, what is a few months apposed to a sick baby for life? plus thing how much your partner can do for you in the long run, the pampering now and if you pamper him in the bedroom now he can pamper you later. <3 always find the silver lining, only way to get thru the day <3

nonmember avatar Priscilla

I am 28 weeks preggo, & was put on bed rest & pelvic rest a week ago!!! OMG it's killing me, this may be tmi, but sitting at home with all this access to keep myself "busy", & not being able to take advantage is just awful. I wouldn't do anything to jeapordize my baby girl, but man it sure takes some will power!

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