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With education and awareness increasing, we see an emerging trend of young women and couples consulting a gynaecologist for premarital counselling and check-ups. This is a healthy trend, as a lot of problems can be averted when armed with the correct and necessary information, explanation and investigation.
Young couples normally have doubts and fears in their mind about the honeymoon night. The fears range from pain during intercourse, to bleeding during intercourse to establishing whether the bride to be is a virgin, pregnancy planning, etc.
If the girl is a virgin, the initial tearing of the hymen during penetration may cause pain. However, this is bearable pain. To enhance the experience, couples can use a lubricating jelly, indulge in adequate foreplay and be mentally relaxed. The pain and discomfort reduced after having intercourse a few times. However, many brides do harbour misconceptions that the initial intercourse causes unbearable pain. As a result, out of fear they push away their partner, close their thighs tightly and prevent penetration, thereby making the initial intercourse a painful experience. This is fairly common in most brides. Subsequently, we see many couples coming with the problem of unconsummated marriage post months and even years of marriage.
Premarital counselling with a good gynaecologist helps get over these unreasonable fears. At the same time, timely and good advice aids the couple in coping with the situation.
Yet another myth about virgin brides bleeding at the time of the first intercourse needs to be busted for both the partners once and for all. This myth creates unnecessary doubt in the mind of the husband and the bride goes through unnecessary grief that 'What if she does not bleed at the time of the first intercourse?...' Hymenal rupture is not uncommon in women who exercise regularly and/or participate in vigorous sports like gymnastics. These women may not bleed at all during their first intercourse. That does not indicate that the woman was not a virgin at the time of the first intercourse.
Planning Pregnancy And Contraception
The need to plan a family is also very important as many women become pregnant in the first few months of marriage and are totally unprepared for pregnancy. Pregnancy at such a time becomes stressful and often the couple is not mentally ready to take on the responsibility of being parents.
In order to avoid such a situation and have a planned family, it is essential that the woman starts taking contraceptive pills prior to her marriage. This not only puts the woman at ease but also helps her get used to taking pills every day, thereby protecting her from pregnancy right from the first day of marriage. Additionally, the use of condoms and the proper way to use condoms also needs to be explained to the couple.
During the honeymoon, many women experience 'honeymoon cystitis.' In this situation, a woman can experience burning and increased frequency of urination. This happens due to friction and superficial injury and infection of the urinary opening. There may be a urine infection as well. Increasing the intake of fluids eases the situation. Antibiotics may be required in consultation with the gynaecologist.
Pre Marriage-Tests And Investigations
Undergoing some medical tests prior to marriage is also a good idea.
Tests such as the thalassemia profile for both partners are important, especially in the case where both the partners suffer from thalassemia minor. The thalassemia profile helps rule out the probability of their child being born with a fatal condition of thalassemia major.
HIV test as well as Hepatitis B test is also advised. If one of the partners is positive for Hepatitis B and the other is negative, the uninfected partner can be given the vaccine immediately to protect himself/herself from getting afflicted with this sexually transmitted disease.
Checking haemoglobin count is also an important pre-marriage medical test. Low haemoglobin levels can lead to anaemia, which can cause pregnancy-related complications.
Stress and environmental conditions such as bad air pollution are now considered factors that can impede conception. A combination of lifestyle stress along with the usage of contraceptives has a direct impact on a woman's chances of conceiving. Such couples who wish to plan their family should share their concerns with their gynaecologist and undergo appropriate medical tests as prescribed.
All doubts and misconceptions can be clarified with sex education. Awareness results in building a good rapport between the couple and their gynaecologist so that for all their future problems they have a friend to whom they can turn for advice and help.
I strongly recommend Pre- marital counselling to all couples who are venturing into a major new phase of their lives to make it as smooth and easy as possible.
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