Sex Education for the Real World…

 


Awkward Question: Does Semen Induce Labor?

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Posted August 19, 2013 by Kimani in Love. Life. Erotica.

As girls progress into women, then into mothers – it is common to hear popular myths and urban legends regarding pregnancy and childbirth. Many of these are far-fetched and unrealistic – but have been carried from so many generations, some are bound to believe. The goal today is to look into one such myth, and find out what is truth and what is fiction.

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Does Semen Induce Labor? 

“I tell my patients to do that all the time,” says researcher Terry Harper, MD. Harper, who now practices maternal fetal medicine in Albuquerque. Although there’s no proof sex can start labor, there is a good reason why it might. Harper says sex releases prostaglandins, hormone-like substances that are like the medications used to induce labor.  And it won’t hurt to try!

“I think sex is a great idea,” says New York midwife Elizabeth Stein, CNM. Make sure your water has not broken and your doctor or midwife has given you the green light. She adds that it’s important for the man to ejaculate inside the vagina. “This ejaculate contains prostaglandins which stimulate the cervix … possibly leading to contractions.”

Researchers often present conflicting findings in regards to non-medicinal remedies to certain medical issues, and urban legends are no different.

But few studies have ever investigated whether sex really can initiate labor, and the small amount of existing evidence was inconclusive. Dr. Tan Peng Chiong, an obstetrics and gynecology professor at the University of Malaya (Malaysia) and his colleagues write in the obstetrics and gynecology journal BJOG. Tan said the belief also probably came from “the deep seated folk perception that intercourse in pregnancy may be unsafe and may cause pregnancy expulsion or miscarriage despite fairly replete evidence to the contrary.”

Tan assisted in conducting an experiment to find out whether sex had any impact on inducing labor.

“The rates of induced labor were similar in both groups: 22 percent of those advised to have sex and 20.8 percent of the other group had inductions, a difference so small it is likely to have been driven by chance.

Pregnancy also lasted an average of 39 weeks for both groups.”

These findings are somewhat inconclusive, so research still continues in this realm.

 

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Other Urban Legends: 

There are other myths and legends that have been linked to inducing labor, but do not have enough research behind them to verify the claims. If you are considering any of them, be sure to consult with your doctor before trying anything.

  • Nipple stimulation. Stimulating the nipples releases the hormone oxytocin, which naturally triggers contractions, but the cervix must already be ripe for this to work. Too much nipple stimulation also can produce very strong contractions that can actually be dangerous to the baby.
  • Herbal remedies. A number of herbs, including blue cohosh and black cohosh, have been touted for triggering labor, but there isn’t enough evidence to prove they work. What’s more, herbs can be dangerous if not used properly, so don’t take any herb for inducing labor without first talking to your doctor.
  • Castor oil. Research shows castor oil probably won’t do anything to induce labor, but it probably will irritate your gastrointestinal tract enough to make you feel sick to your stomach.
  • Walking. It’s always a good idea to stay active throughout your pregnancy, but studies haven’t proved that walking can induce labor.

Unless your doctor feels that it’s time to induce labor for medical reasons, it’s always better to let nature take its course.

 

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Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/inducing-labor?page=2

http://www.webmd.com/baby/inducing-labor-naturally-can-it-be-done?page=2

http://www.nbcnews.com/health/actually-sex-doesnt-induce-labor-study-says-1C7203852




About the Author

Kimani

A NY transplant in Florida, Kimani has taken on the task of educating the world on sexual health and education. The Mount Vernon native has seen AIDS and HIV spread through her community like wildfire, and hopes to cease the transmission of these and other diseases one person at a time. If you know better, you're inclined to do better.

  • Deon

    Great to clear up the myths! I had great sex to induce, (TMI) I know, but it worked for me!

    • Kimani

      Lol I know quite a few people who swear by it! 🙂

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