I once visited a friend, who was hospitalised at the obstetrics and gynaecology ward of a government hospital, during one of my trips to the South-south part of Nigeria. The pregnancy had developed some complications. While trying to catch up on old times and cheer up my friend, an angry looking man walked into the antenatal clinic. As it turned out, his wife had come to the antenatal clinic on the day assigned for her to see the doctor, who was managing her case. So, the man knew where to locate his wife. The obviously tensed up man made frantic efforts to see the Chief Matron on duty.
The nurses stopped him, and inquired to know exactly what he wanted. He insisted on having a private discussion with their boss. The matron overheard the conversation and stepped out to know the reason for the August visit. As she tried to usher her guest in, right at the door the man raised his voice loud enough and said: “Matron my wife has been denying me sex since she became pregnant. I want to ask is that pregnancy more important than myself, who is her husband?”
Wisely, the matron promptly responded: “No sir, the pregnancy is not more important than you, but we need to sit down and talk.” On hearing the man’s earthshaking question, there was pin-drop silence as nurses exchanged glances and stifled the laughter that tried to escape through their clamped lips. Perhaps, never before had they heard a husband come all the way to the antenatal clinic to make such a report about his wife. After a few seconds, the matron adjusted to the situation and asked him: “Is your wife here?” He said yes and earnestly pointed at her. As expected, all eyes turned in the direction he pointed. The woman became embarrassed and moved away from the pew where she sat to an inner hidden place, to shield herself from public view. The matron took the man to another office to get the clear picture of the situation. One could still hear the raging anger from his voice complaining bitterly how he had become a lone ranger since the wife took in. The matron tried to calm him down. After a short while, the matron moved up to leave, and said “if need be, I would invite you again if I have access to your telephone number. But that will be after discussing with your wife.”
In a like manner, a pregnant wife came to a hospital and requested to be admitted. And what were her reasons? She said: “We have been married in the last four years without a child. The gynaecological clinic became our abode and luckily, our efforts resulted into my first pregnancy. Within months, I had a heartbreaking miscarriage that resulted from frequent sex. It was such a trying and despairing period for me. Now, this is our sixth year in marriage. God has just remembered us with another pregnancy, but my husband demands sex from me regularly. I told him to give the foetus chance to survive, but he will not heed to my plea; I have gone to ask for the support of my mother-in-law who pleaded with him to let me be, but he will not. That is why I came to be admitted in the hospital because I do not want a repeat of my last experience. I want to carry a baby in my hand.” Her doctor smiled at her show of wisdom.
Then there is the account of a female banker, who always requested to attend conferences, seminars and workshops outside her state during her first trimester. If such are not coming through for her, she would request to go to her mother to take care of her new condition. Her heart was gladdened by anything that would take her away from home. If her pranks did not work, she would sit in front of their television set until all her favourite channels had closed for the day. Going to bed to be with her husband had become a nightmare for her. All that mischief was meant to keep her away from her husband’s daily demand of sex during pregnancy.
Interestingly, the Bible enjoins both men and women not to deny each other marital intimacy except on the grounds of ill health. But women seem to run away from their husbands many a time, especially during pregnancy. The big question is: should women put sex with their husbands on hold during pregnancy? Again, have we bothered to find out why they run away from intimacy from their husbands during pregnancy?
On the other hand, do men get more aroused at the sight of their pregnant wives? Is there something about pregnant wives that husbands find very exciting enough to want them badly despite the pregnancy?
It is noteworthy to remember polygamy had its roots in the olden days in this very fact: husbands wanted to have another wife that would satisfy their sexual urge when one wife was pregnant. Most men never touched their pregnant women; instead they would rather go for a new wife and thereby increasing the family’s virtues and vices. In their days, it was not fun to go near pregnant women just like that.
The primary reason women keep away from their husbands during the first trimester is the fear that the erect male organ could cause a miscarriage as the man thrusts repeatedly. But the fact is that intercourse at this time won’t affect the womb where the baby is developing and the cervix is firmly sealed.
Surprisingly, it is amazing that women rather enjoy sex more during the second trimester because their physical attractiveness has began to fade, and this makes them crave reassurance of their husband’s love and closer bond, which intercourse with him at this period seems to provide.
On this issue, a friend, Paula, shared her opinion with me: “I do not understand why my husband is always demanding sex from me in my pregnancy. I am obeying the instruction of my pastor who says it is wrong for couples to deny themselves sex except on health ground. The Church tries to reinforce intimacy, love and unity among married couples no matter the condition. And a pastor said: “Sticking to one partner will avoid HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted related diseases. It will also bring the required intimacy and maintain the family pocket. It also drives away family sorrows and reassures love and care.”
Apart from the pastor’s points, sex during pregnancy has real benefits. Better orgasm could be achieved because of increased blood flow to the genitals during pregnancy. Sex burns calories and thereby helps both partners keep fit; it produces strong bonding between partners leading to increased marital harmony.
Sisters, stop running away from your men during pregnancies. It has been confirmed that it is very safe for pregnant women to have sex with their husbands except on the advice of a medical doctor. One such instance where a pregnant woman would not be advised to have sex is when the cervix is weak. The belief is that it may lead to miscarriage. When a woman is pregnant with twins or triplets that are very discomforting, sex could be avoided. In cases where the woman has a risk of going into premature labour or there is discharge or bleeding, she might be at the risk of infection.
My Nigerian women, rather than avoid sex completely at this time, you and your husband should explore more comfortable positions other than the age-long missionary style, to keep your man to yourself. The new positions should not ‘disturb’ the growing foetus in the womb.
And you men I have a word for you: ‘Inasmuch as you are entitled to your demand, you should also know that too much of everything is bad. Sex is not food. You should understand the need of your woman. You should not toy with her pregnant state, because childbirth solidifies a home. If you men give your wives a little space (do not unwittingly abort the growing), you will be the first beneficiary of your work and bond.’