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Newsletter - Week 10

Welcome To Week 10

10 Week Old Embryo

Your Baby: Measuring Up

It's getting increasingly difficult to measure the embryo's total length, legs included, because of the way it's curled up in your uterus. An easier and more common measurement is from crown to rump -- the distance from the top of the head to the buttocks - which is about 1.57 inches. The embryo's estimated weight is about 1/5 ounce. All the major body organs have begun to form, as have the bones of the skeleton. Its eyelids are growning and the outer ears are forming. Usually, after 10 weeks, fetal dopplers can find the baby’s heartbeats, and ultrasound can show the baby’s body movements (wiggling).

Your Body: Safe Sex

Almost every expectant mother wonders if it's safe to have sex during pregnancy - and the answer is yes. There is no need to refrain from making love or having an orgasm at any time during your pregnancy as long as it is proceeding normally and you are not at risk for premature labor and do not have a condition called placenta previa (when the placenta is covering the cervical opening or canal). If you are diagnosed with a placenta previa, you will not be allowed to place anything in the vagina and your doctor will have you abstain from intercourse.

At the beginning and end of your pregnancy, you might worry that sexual intercourse can be dangerous for different reasons. In the first trimester, some are concerned that lovemaking could cause a miscarriage. Rest assured that miscarriages at this early date are not related to your sexual activity. Miscarriages usually happen because of genetic defects unrelated to anything that you do after conception.

In the last few weeks before delivery, some physicians may recommend holding off since orgasms can cause uterine contractions. Some studies show, however, that if you have a normal pregnancy, orgasms -- with or without intercourse -- do not lead to premature labor, premature rupture of your membranes, or premature birth. In fact, some studies suggest that women who have regular intercourse are less likely to deliver preterm, unless they get a sexually transmitted infection like gonorrhea or Chlamydia.

For many couples, it is actually very thrilling to have sex without using birth control. So look at it this way: Enjoy it while it lasts.

Weekly Tip

Have fun taking weekly or monthly photos of your beautifully blossoming body. By the end of your pregnancy, you'll be able to see just how far you've come.

Updated: 12/9/2012

Irina Burd, MD, PhD, Maternal Fetal Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

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