Cause for Concern
There are a few valid medical reasons for some couples to stick to heavy petting and stop the action before it rounds third base. Dr. Spetalnick recommends abstinence "only for problems like preterm labor, placental previa (when the placenta is located low in the uterus and covering the cervix), cerclage (a stitch placed in the cervix to prevent preterm labor), and cervical incompetence . . . high risk situations only."
Candace Barnhart, mother of a two little ones, was one such patient. "I was so anal with my first pregnancy that I just wasn't interested in sex at all," she says. "When I was diagnosed with placental previa and received a doctor's orders to abstain for two to three months I was so relieved! It was a cruel trick for my husband though, because my boobs were getting bigger and I was like, 'Don't even look at me!'"
Likewise, many women experience light spotting during their first trimester, and the very sight of blood can send an anxious expecting woman into a panic. Of course a call to the doctor is in order, but Dr. Spetalnick says, "If she (a pregnant woman) is going to have a miscarriage, it is not because she had sex." He does however recommend that someone who experiences vaginal bleeding wait a week or longer before resuming romantic activities. But a frightened mother is hard to persuade; "The problem is usually convincing them that it is safe, not convincing them to wait a week or more," he says.