Okay, so for years we've been told that having sex at the end of pregnancy will help us bring on labor. It's a sure fire way to induce labor. I can't tell you the number of very pregnant women I know who are willing to do anything (and I do mean anything) to bring about labor at that point. Now there is a study about the whole topic that says it's not true. But wait! Another study says it is true.
Sometimes it can be really difficult to tell which of these statements is true. The truth of the matter is that it's really hard to say. You are already dealing with women at the end of the pregnancy, technically they could have their babies at any point. So if they have sex and have the baby tomorrow - was it the sex? Or would it have happened either way?
That's where is gets hard to say. Here's what I can tell you: Having sex with your partner or enjoying an orgasm (alone or together) is a great way to reduce anxiety and stress. It feels great. Many moms and dads report that having sex makes them feel closer. Whether it brings on labor or not, why not have sex?
Sure, you can give me a long list of reasons why very pregnant women might not want to have sex: too big, pretty awkward, feeling tired. There is nothing a little creativity, patience and love wouldn't work around if it was something you were willing to try. Being in a relaxed state of mind certainly helps labor progress faster once it's started. Many moms report that having sex helps them sleep. And simply connecting with your partner can be a really great thing as you both prepare to face parenthood.
So, can I promise you'll have the baby if you have sex at of your pregnancy? No. Could you? Sure. To me the benefits seem to be adding up for the sex at the end of pregnancy being a good thing and the potential to cause labor - well, that's just the cherry on top!
If you need to have the baby born because of a medical issue with you or baby, you will want to find a method if induction that has more oomph behind it. These can be natural induction methods (e.g. nipple stimulation, castor oil, etc.), medical induction methods (e.g. breaking the bag of water, Pitocin, etc.) or a combination of induction methods. Your doctor or midwife will tell you if this is the case. Sometimes they suggest natural methods in the days leading up to medical induction.
Leave me a comment about your thoughts on whether or not sex in late pregnancy causes labor.
Kavanagh J, Kelly AJ, Thomas J. Sexual intercourse for cervical ripening and induction of labour. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2001, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD003093. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003093
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