Sex and bathing with complete placenta previa - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-20-2004, 03:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I just found out a week ago @20 weeks that I had a complete placenta previa and was put on bed rest for the rest of my pregnancy and my dr said "nothing in the vagina" but he said nothing about alternatives and orgasms and I wanted to know if anyone can give me advice about this? Also, he said he didnt want me soaking in the bath tub, does anyone understand or know why?
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Old 07-20-2004, 02:49 PM
 
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Well, I would assume that orgasms are ok...though the bath thing stumps me. I don't get it. ?

I'm sorry about your diagnosis. I wonder, too, about the bedrest part. That seems really, really conservative. Hopefully another mama who has had PP will chime in.
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Old 07-20-2004, 03:37 PM
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no orgasms of any type. No fingers, cocks, or anything else "up there" unless it is done by a medical professional.

bathing is fine so long as you're not spotting.

I lost my babe to placenta previa/placental abruption 13 years ago. Have they told you if its partial or complete? Placenta Previa does mean cesarean, but at times it can move and clear the way as the pregnancy progresses. I hope that happens to you.
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Old 07-22-2004, 01:14 AM
 
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Jody824...Hi there, I saw your post and wanted to respond. Generally, no sex with a pp means nothing in the vagina and usually no orgasm as well. When the placenta covers the cervical os there is risk for bleeding and possibly hemmorhage (extreme bleeding.) Anything inserted into the vagina has the potential to come in contact with the placenta and cause a bleed. Or cause the cervix to dilate (thereby causing the cervix to potentially pull away from the cervix and cause bleeding.) Orgasm, the same in terms of its effect on the cervix. You want to avoid anything that makes the uterus contract, including orgasm. Did your doctor tell you whether your pp was complete or partial?? A complete pp covers the entire cervical opening and puts you at both greater risk for bleeding and greater likelihood of the placenta not migrating.

That said, at 20 weeks your risk of bleeding is pretty low. Usually a bleed occurs as the uterus grows upward, pulling the placental edges away from the cervix. Or as the cervix dilates and does the same. Typically bleeds with a continued pp occur after 28 weeks. The GREAT news is that over 90% of diagnosed pp's do migrate away from the cervical os as the pregnancy progresses and the majority of them go on to deliver vaginally. Many docs will not actually diagose a pp until after 20 weeks because of this.
Your level of activity restriction will vary dependent upon your practitioner and his or her familiarity with placenta previa. Often minimal restrictions from 20 weeks to 28 weeks (i.e. no sex/orgasm or heavy lifting but all else okay as long as not bleeding.) and restrictions increase after 28 weeks, with complete bedrest if any bleeding but modified otherwise. (i.e. rest as much as possible with feet up, but okay to be up in house and do light activity...maybe okay to work depending upon job...okay to drive.) Some docs are much more restrictive, especially if they have limited experience with this condition. They should be doing serial ultrasounds to determine placental migration...

It is very tempting to get on the internet and search for information...but be wary as you will find the horror stories, when the reality is that there is most often a good outcome for both mother and baby! There is a great placenta previa thread under pregnancy complications on the Baby Center community...it was a world of much needed support for me!

Even if your pp continues, your baby should do great! The downside is that you have to have a c-section with a pp that doesn't migrate (or at least it was a downside for me!) and that your baby will probably be born a little on the early side (35-37 weeks gestation.) Typically you would have an amniocentesis around 35- 36 weeks to check for fetal lung maturity and a c-section scheduled dependent on those results. There is a greater risk of maternal hemmorhage during the c-section and of hysterectomy because they often have to cut into the placenta itself...however, these risks are well planned for and most women do just fine. ( I wouldn't even mention it...but my OB brought it up and completely freaked me out, so I want you to be aware.)

My story is as follows: Early pregnancy with intermittent bleeding but baby okay...PP diagnosed at 20 week ultrasound as a complete, bowl shaped previa (centrally located over my cervix and the least likely to resolve.) Light activity/no sex/orgasm and light duty at work (I'm an ICU nurse,) from 20-24 weeks. Small bleed at 24 weeks...off work, modified bedrest at home (well as modified as possible with a 2 year old dd.) Increased bedrest at 28 weeks and a bleed at 32 weeks that landed me in the hospital for a week...with some contractions. Allowed home on strict complete bedrest only since I was within 10 minutes of hospital and with many promises to call 911 with any bleeding. ( First bleed with pp tends to be light and subsequent bleeds sudden and much heavier, tending to put person into premature labor.) Amnio at 35 weeks with c-section scheduled next day...LUNGS NOT MATURE ( I did whig out completely when they called to tell me baby was not going to be born the next day.) and Finally c-section at 36 weeks... Healthy baby boy born at a hefty 7 pounds, 4 ounces...had a collapsed lung, but spent one day in NICU. C-section for mom with lots of bleeding, a slight accreta (where placenta attatches more firmly to the uterus,) but I was okay and they were able to control bleeding without any complications (which is usually how it goes!) It was scarey and bedrest was brutal...but what counts now is my beautiful baby boy and I'd go through that all again!

Hope this helps...feel free to e-mail me privately. Chandra
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Old 07-22-2004, 02:15 AM
 
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so, what's the deal with not bathing? that just seems so weird. I can't figure out a physiological reason for that.

ok, on the orgasm thing - I mean, at this point in the pregnancy, would an orgasm really cause such cervical change? I guess I'm just not necessarily buying it, but then again, I don't deal with high risk birth.

But the bathing thing. That is just odd.
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Old 07-22-2004, 02:40 AM
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well.. my doc at the time didn't give me any restrictions other than "bed rest" but the people I was living with at the time didn't believe that mine or my baby's life was in danger. Bed rest didn't happen because I was supposed to watch out after the woman's grandson. This was a loudmouth, disrespectful, name calling, FAS/FAE brat who thought nothing of spewing a long phrase of hate at anyone not his grandmother. And he wasn't easy to take care of either.

anyway, since I wasn't told to stop doing anything and I couldn't rest, I carried about my day. Some days I didn't spot, other days I tossed huge clots. They finally believed that my life was in danger when I came out of the bathroom using 4 pads and 2 towels and had soaked through everything.

Even then, they didn't realize how serious it was and instead of calling an ambulance, they drove me themselves to the hospital.

That's where I was threatened with a hysterotomy (mini-c) and had passed a clot the size of my fist.

Some of the side effects of loosing that baby:
- I have a pin hole black spot that doctors don't believe me about in my vision.
- I had "seizures" for the better part of a year until my blood volume finally got back to normal. Using iron pills or iron fortified liquid vitamins just made me sick. I got accused of being a drug user several times during that time.
- I was told I could never carry a baby to term.
- I spotted during both of my previous pregnancies. Not spotting in this one is almost weirding me out.
- I still get "lightheaded" if my blood volume is "off." I've been like that for two days now. I blame the heat.
- Complete distrust of doctors.

I should have been put in the hospital under heavy bedrest when I saw that doctor the week earlier. Instead, she called me up the day after I miscarried and yelled at me for not going to see her or telling her I was that sick. The b-rhymeswith-snitch was rude to me over the phone and I was in a deep mourning period. More shock than anything else, but she should have gotten off her fat ass and saw me in the hospital and said she was sorry instead of demanding that I show up at her office the week after I get out to find out "what went wrong."

I know what went wrong. The doctor didn't believe that my baby was in that much danger, nevermind me. Nor did the people I was living with believe either. I had post partum fever that started the seizures, terbutaline which caused other problems, and the worst part of it all? The doc in the hospital, the one who told me I'd have to have a hysterotomy, he said that I wouldn't make milk....

I dripped for over a year after the initial surge died down.

But the worst trauma in the hospital was the ob on duty yelling at me because he was almost home when he got the call to come back. He knew that he had a patient in the maternity ward that was screaming for help and yet he left! And when he showed back up, he stayed long enough to rip the placenta out and then leave again.

I am going to have to tell my midwife that if my placenta has to be manually removed to calm me down about it and what the trauma was. I think she's allowed to carry some anesthetics... Or take me to the hospital.

But since the last one came out without help, I should be fine this time.
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Old 07-22-2004, 02:49 AM
 
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the bathing maybe is because it is quite easy to pull bathwater up into your vagina while lying down IME

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Old 07-22-2004, 02:51 AM
 
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why would that even be an issue? it would take alot of work to get water up in side there - I still dont' get it. lol
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Old 07-22-2004, 06:46 PM
 
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paramidwife...I don't get the no bathing thing either! That was never an issue for me and I did not hear that from nurse-midwife, OB or perinatalogist. Anyway, I don't think a little water in your vagina would have much effect on a previa. I suppose there is some potential for infection, but then they would need to tell all pregnant women not to take a bath.

As for the no orgasm thing...it doesn't necessarily have to dilate your cervix to cause a bleed with pp. Any uterine contraction can cause the edges of the placenta to pull away slightly from the cervix or uterine wall. This is more likely to happen to the part of the placenta over the cervix but can happen without pp as well. However, a normally placed placenta is attatched higher up in the body of the uterus (fundus) where slight bleeding is less likely to irritate the uterine muscle and cause contractions. Also, if bleeding were to occur in a normally placed placenta, the uterus would most likely be able to contract and stop the bleeding. With a pp, the placenta is attatched in the lower uterine segment where the muscle is thinner and less contractile and more easily irritated. Preterm labor with pp generally occurs because a bleed startd, the uterus attempts to contract, worsens the bleeding and contracts again...Thus, treatment of pp consists of being very cautious and avoiding any possible bleeds. I do personally "know" of 2 people who had there first bleeds following orgasm, though it was farther along than 20 weeks.

That said, I tend toward orgasmic dreams when pregnant and my bleeding never related to that. I think the concern is mostly pre-emptive, especially earlier on.

Oh, and for the original poster...someone mentioned never letting anyone do a vaginal exam or cervical check...That's right, not even your OB. If it were necessary for other reasons...they should be prepared for bleeding and c-section. You'd think your OB would know...but some do not.

Chandra
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Old 07-22-2004, 08:46 PM
 
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yeah, but from the minute your baby implants in your uterus, your uterus contracts.

I guess I just don't understand how orgasms - especially before 32 weeks or so - can be an issue/risk.
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Old 09-10-2004, 02:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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well dr gave permission for orgasm with a complete previa and 2 days later, i was in hospital with blood clots size of football and severe bleeding. well it all stopped and sent me home and now at 28 weeks they said its moving and now instead of complete its between partial and low lying. i found out bathing is out cause of straining to get out of tub. now makes little more sense.
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Old 09-10-2004, 03:27 PM
 
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Hi I was on Bedreast with a complete PP from 15 weeks on. I did have orgasms but now I know more and would not reccomend it. There is no reason for you not to take a bath infact if anything you should not be showering. Taking a bath is safer for several reasons. You do not need to be standing for that long because the movement of you standing, bending, streaching ect... could cause the placenta to streach if you have a complete and cause you to bleed. It may also cause you to begin having contractions as I did early on. If I were you I would also keep a bottle of wine on hand should you begin having minor contractions a glass will help you relax and stop them. But I would not have more than one glass and only when contracting. If you are too early doctors will not even admit you for contractions because the baby will not survive so it would be on you to try and stop them if you can. How was it determined you had previa? I would get a second opinion due to the bathing issue, because that is not right and he may not have experence with previa. Also if you do go to the emergany room for any reason you do not let them examine you for any reason, dr's will try and check your cervix for dilation and tell you it is ok, It is NOT ok. If you want them to check because you are worried they can look at it with a spectlum(?) but do not allow them to check with their fingers. They do not like to admit they don't know about previa. Also you don't want to carry to full term with previa, the larger you are the better chance you have of placenta abrupto. SO they may want to check for lung development and deliver as soon as they can. Don't read to much on it you will only find horrer stories and they can scare you besides there is nothing you can do to change it so stay on bedrest and get to know your baby. Sorry for my spelling, It is horrible. Good luck you will be fine.
I had a complete, a C-section and a premature baby and we are both fine.

Jennifer

Super Crunchy natural birthing, extended breastfeeding, non-Circing, non vaxxing cloth diapering, Student midwife and Mama to Hannah 14 Abby 9 and Liam 1
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Old 10-08-2004, 07:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello. Well heres an update. I went in for ultrasound at 28 weeks and found out placenta went from complete to partial then at 30 week i went to hospital for heavy bleeding. well today at 32 weeks, i went in for ultrasound and found out placenta had completely moved away from cervix and is completely on right side but DR wont remove bed rest or sex restrictions and i was wondering if anyone else had this happen and if you could tell me why he wont remove restrictions?
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Old 10-08-2004, 10:49 PM
 
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Have no clue. That is a bit odd. Is there any way you could get a second opinion?
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Old 10-09-2004, 12:09 AM
 
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Quote:
I guess I just don't understand how orgasms - especially before 32 weeks or so - can be an issue/risk.
Many women(myself included) go into labour from orgasms. For me it starts at 5weeks, I cannot have sex, I cannot have orgasms because my uterus contracts to the point of going into labour. For someone with PP even if they don't know if orgasm will affect the uterus like it does with me the risk is higher because of the bleeding/hemorraging risk.

Quote:
I went in for ultrasound at 28 weeks and found out placenta went from complete to partial then at 30 week i went to hospital for heavy bleeding. well today at 32 weeks, i went in for ultrasound and found out placenta had completely moved away from cervix and is completely on right side but DR wont remove bed rest or sex restrictions and i was wondering if anyone else had this happen and if you could tell me why he wont remove restrictions?
It has only been 4 weeks since it was partial and only 2 weeks since you had the heavy bleeding. I'd guess that even though it isn't PP anymore it is still low lying and can cause some of the same problems as PP does just at a lower risk.

With my 2nd dd I was told I had partial PP at 11 weeks which usually isn't a problem because it moves by 18. I was already on restricted duties/no sex because of the contraction thing I mentioned earlier in my post. At 18weeks it had moved but stayed low lying, no problems anymore. During labour I had horrible tailbone pain. I figured she was posterior. I knew her being born would make the pain go away. Right before pushing the pain got worse and I figured either it was her or I had to have a bm. I didn't care, something was leaving my body, she was born a couple of minutes later. The pain in my tailbone did not go away though. I was stuck on that stupid table unable to change positions to relieve the pain. After they took her for the newborn checks and the placenta was delivered then the pain went away. My placenta had been low enough it pressed against my tailbone causing the pain that I thought was posterior baby pain. I couldn't sit for more than 1-2 minutes without it hurting until she was a few weeks old.

With my last dd there was no known placenta problems, we had sex at 34 1/2 weeks. I was supposed to be on no sex until 35weeks due to preterm labour at 30weeks. I figured 4 days was no big deal. I immediatly started bleeding and went into labour again. We went to the hospital and I was checked upstairs, then they made me walk downstairs to ER where my dr was working. I saw his wife instead because he was too busy, she called the obgyn in. Nobody could figure out where the bleeding was coming from, but they didn't do an us to check the placenta either. She was born 6 weeks later.
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Old 10-09-2004, 02:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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the ultrasound tech said it would be ok to resume sex but she called DR and he said NO WAY and to stay restricted. also i didnt mention that i had cervical cancer with last baby 5-03 and had to have leap procedure and someone told me that is why he wont let me have sex......????????? i dont know but my DR seems over cautious but hes seen more cases of this than i have so who knows?
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Old 10-26-2004, 03:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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heres a more recent update, i dont have previa anymore, it completely moved to my side. well i am still having bleeding and dr says its mild abruptions since my placenta moved from complete to nothing in 13 weeks and he is doing a csection on November 19th. I am scared so I could use a little support and you guys to tell me what to expect(even the worst parts)
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Old 10-26-2004, 10:46 AM
 
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I think you should post a whole nother thread for that. You'll get more help.

So is the baby comprimised because of the small abruptions? I'm so sorry!
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Old 10-26-2004, 02:27 PM
 
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I don't understand the tub thing at all. They did studies with color changing tampons and women do not have water going up. Now if you intentionally try to pull water up that is another thing.
Orgasm on the other hand might pose a problem for some women. Our uterus contracts all the time pregnant or not, but with orgasm the contractions can be stronger. With placenta previa the contractions could pull at the os enough to start some bleeding.
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Old 10-26-2004, 09:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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no the baby isnt in any trouble, the dr just doesnt want to chance the placenta completely abrupting during pushing.

the bath thing was because of the strain of pulling myself out of the tub since the placenta was completely covering my cervix.
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Old 10-30-2004, 01:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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well i went to the dr today and he is going to induce me on the 19th and try to let me have vbac but if there are any problems with bleeding i will have to have csection done. i am so glad that there is a chance because i know recovery will be rather quick. i had my last son at 12:54am and was home for dinner that night and cleaned all day the next day.
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Old 11-23-2004, 07:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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UPDATE!!!! I delivered a beautiful healthy baby girl friday by emergency csection. she weighed 5lb 4oz which is small because placenta stopped nurturing her in last few weeks but she is healthy and a joy to have!!!!
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Old 11-23-2004, 07:25 PM
 
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congratulations, jody!
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