Can Sex Bring On Labour? October 19, As the saying goes — the last two weeks of pregnancy are the longest. Not to mention everyone you meet has a sure fire way to get labour going. Yes, sex is one of the most talked about methods of naturally inducing labour. If the idea of attempting to have sex with a big bump in the way is a bit daunting, you could try some of the other methods.
Here is how sex and other methods help: Ever experience cramps during your period? When you experience orgasm, your uterus and vagina contract but you may not notice it. Pregnant women are more likely to notice these contractions in late pregnancy, experiencing them as strong Braxton Hicks. During sex and orgasm, your body releases the love and bonding hormone, oxytocin. Oxytocin is also one of the most important hormones for labour and birth, stimulating receptors in your uterus to trigger contractions.
But later in pregnancy, the number of oxytocin receptors increase in preparation for oxytocin release. During sexual arousal, oxytocin increases rapidly, with a big surge at orgasm. A small study has shown the strength of orgasm is directly related to the levels of oxytocin present. If the alternative is induction with artificial oxytocin with all the extra challenges and risks, staying in bed and creating your own natural oxytocin might be a better idea. Help From Dad Semen is a natural source of prostaglandins.
During a medical induction , your care provider may place a prostaglandin suppository high in your vagina, near the cervix. This gel has a higher concentration of prostaglandin than naturally occurs in semen, so there can be side effects such as nausea, diarrhea and vaginal irritation. The effect of natural prostaglandins found in semen can depend on the volume of semen and concentration of prostaglandin within semen.
Unlike synthetic gels, natural prostaglandins in semen are unlikely to cause unpleasant side effects. Nipple Stimulation Mothers who are feeding an older baby or toddler during late pregnancy may notice increased Braxton Hicks contractions when their child is nursing.
This is the effect of nipple stimulation, which triggers an oxytocin release. Nipple stimulation may be suggested to women who want to start labour or speed up slow contractions. You or your partner can try nipple stimulation in conjunction with orgasm and ejaculation in the vagina, or on its own. Find out how to perform nipple stimulation. So Does Sex Really Work? So far, science is divided as to whether sex really does work as a method to initiate labour. One study found having sex at full term was associated with earlier onset of labour and reduced need for labour induction at 41 weeks.
Yet when the research was repeated, the results were reversed — women who had sex at term were less likely to go into labour than women who did not. While the science is out, pregnant women who make it to 40 weeks or more are usually keen to try something to get things moving along. Most hospitals have an induction policy as well, so the pressure from care providers begins around this time.
Inserting anything into your vagina once the membranes have broken increases your risk for infection. Nipple stimulation or orgasm achieved without penetration is still fine to try, and may be the only level of sexual activity you are up for.
The main thing to remember is spontaneous labour will begin when baby is ready to be born and not before. See our article, what causes labor to start?