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Heart To Heart

Monday, December 10, 2018

Sex during menses
Is it safe to have intercourse during the menses? I have got very confusing and mixed answers from two different doctors. I read your column regularly and have made even a personal collection of your answers. I would love to have your answer for this question.

Biologically, sexual intercourse during the menses is not at all unsafe. If both partners are comfortable and willing then they can have sexual intercourse during the menses without affecting their health. However, from the cleanliness point of view, it may not be very aesthetic and thus pleasant to have intercourse during the menstrual flow. It is a matter of personal ‘choice’, mutually agreeable to both the participating partners. If either of you are carrying (knowingly or unknowingly) an infection on your private parts, the possibility of transmitting it to the other is far higher due to presence of blood during menses.

Want a chance to make it up
In one of your earlier answers you had suggested that, my wife and me should meet a sex therapist. But, the problem here is that she is not willing to meet anyone and she does not want a relationship with me. If there is some misunderstanding about sex, why does she hesitate to meet the doctor? It is again confirmed that she does not have any other relationship. Why behaves differently to her own parents when they take the issue with her. She has also not revealed anything to her friends about this. How should her parents convince her to visit a doctor? I am not in talking terms with her at this point of time. i would appreciate a reply for the query.

Her unwillingness to subject herself to any kind of joint therapy with you is a major obstacle. She seems to be tremendously put off with the encounters with you. It is important to get her to talk about it. Communication is the only way out. Arranging a meeting with her and telling her that you want to take responsibility for your contribution to the problem and that you are ready to make a change for the better, could probably open her to communication with you. You need to be very gentle and understanding towards her as she seems to be very traumatized by some behavior of yours. You could apologize for the pain caused during your attempt at intercourse and say that you want a chance to make it up to her if only she gives this marriage a second chance. Your admittance of inadequate knowledge of female sexuality and your apology could soften her stance.

Sex during pregnancy
I am a 23 year old married woman. I am expecting my first baby in five months time. Can we engage in sexual intercourse during my pregnancy? Kindly answer.

Intercourse during the initial six to twelve weeks of pregnancy as well as during the last eight weeks of pregnancy is not advisable. During the fourth to seventh month of pregnancy, intercourse is allowed unless you are otherwise advised for medical reasons. Avoid the missionary (man-superior) position during pregnancy. You may try ‘woman superior position’ or ‘spoon position’.

Father factor
I proposed to a girl who is also interested in marrying me. In fact loves me too! She fears her dad 'may' not allow her to marry me as he is "unpredictable" She herself was not able to understand him! So what can we do to go ahead and marry?

You have not specified your age and the girl’s age, so I presume that both of you are of the ‘right age’ to marry, which means that both of you have completed your academic education, well established in your respective careers and are able to financially support yourselves. Marriage is a serious commitment and both the partners must be ‘willing and able’ to shoulder all the responsibilities that come along with it. Therefore if both of you are ‘willing and able’ to take on the responsibility of marriage, then no one should or can come in the way. Of course, it is always better to have the blessings of the family. In this context you could arrange a meeting with her father to seek his blessings after she breaks the news to him. If he gives his consent happily it is good, if not, then both of you must emotionally prepare yourself to face your first major challenge together. Life is full of ups and downs and both of you need to be emotionally equipped to meet all that life doles out to you. Whether both of you can weather storms together successfully will determine the success of your marriage.

Urine infection after sex
Why is that whenever we have sex after a long gap my wife gets urine infection even though both of us maintain proper personal hygiene?

Mechanical rubbing during intercourse can cause urethral inflammation in females. In spite of all the so-called hygienic precautions, infection can enter the inflamed urethra and bladder causing urinary infection. This is a common complaint known as ‘honeymoon urethritis’. Whenever there is a longer ‘gap’ between sexual encounters, excitement levels are high. This causes aggressive movements and harder rubbing of organs. An aggressive mechanical rubbing during intercourse causes this problem. Try to be gentle during intercourse. Women enjoy it better that way. Also engage in prolonged (20-25 minutes) and mutually satisfying foreplay. This will produce adequate lubrication in her vagina for an enjoyable intercourse. Lack of lubrication (which is likely to be either due to a lack of interest, lack of relaxation during the act or lack of adequate foreplay) can also be the cause of urethral

Alcohol and sexual inhibition
I am a 34-year-old married woman. I find that I lose much of my sexual inhibition whenever I am under the influence of alcohol. Is this normal?

A few medical studies have been conducted on this subject and the results are rather puzzling. The largest study conducted on non-alcoholic women concluded that “female initiated sexual activity occurred twice as often without alcohol versus with alcohol”. This appears to be the opposite of what one would expect. Another study found that “the higher the blood-alcohol-level the greater the depressant effect on the orgasmic response, with longer time required to attain orgasm and reduced intensity of the sexual feeling”. The same study also revealed that with alcohol there was greater arousal and pleasure accompanied with orgasm. Very evidently, this is quite contradictory. Common sense suggests that most of our inhibitions get lessened with alcohol, so why should your sexual inhibitions be any different!

In my opinion, much would also depend on the quality and the quantity of alcoholic drink consumed. A small quantity may help one to relax and lose the inhibitions and larger quantities might have a depressant effect on the sexual responses.

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Dr. Rajan B. Bhonsle, M.D. (Bom)
Consulting Sex Therapist & Counsellor
Dr. (Mrs.) Minnu R. Bhonsle, Ph.D.
Consulting Psychotherapist & Counsellor
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