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Sex Won’t Jumpstart Labor

min read

By Emily Lockhart

Researchers from the University of Malaya have disproved the widespread belief that sex during the later stages of pregnancy can jump
start labor.

The findings, published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, found that timing of delivery was no different for women who had sex near term versus to women who abstained.

This contradicts physicians who recommend women have sex frequently as a means of safely expediting labor as sex is safe during pregnancy, and semen, which contains a hormone-like substance called prostaglandin, is believed to induce labor. Orgasm is also believed to speed trigger uterine contractions.

This particular study called on approximately 1,100 women, ages 35 to 38 weeks pregnant who had obtained from sex for the previous six weeks. Half of the women were encouraged to have sex. Even those women who had sex frequently for the remaining duration of their pregnancies showed similar  rates of induced labor—at 22-percent labor rates for those women who had sex and 20.8-percent for those who did not.

Tan Peng Chiong, an Obstetrics and Gynecology Professor and one study authors, said that many women believe intercourse can induce labor, so “we are a little disappointed…it would have been nice for couples to have something safe, effective and perhaps even fun that they could use themselves to help go into labor a little earlier.”

But the good news is that even though this particular study did not show any increase in the rate of labor due to frequent intercourse, it does prove that sex is safe even close to the end of pregnancy.

Source:  The Vancouver Sun

Emily Lockhart


Emily Lockhart is a certified yoga instructor and personal trainer. She believes that being healthy is a lifestyle choice, not a punishment or temporary fix to attain a desired fitness or body image goal. Anna helps her clients take responsibility for their own health and wellness through her classes and articles on ActiveBeat.

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