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littlemomma 10-17-2005 01:36 PM

What is the deal with this? Does it help labor to start or make labor easier or what? Why do some books/people recommend taking it in late pregnancy? Are you taking it? How? I saw a bottle of 500 mg capsules at the health store- would I swallow this, or put it in my vagina? If I put it in my vagina, how far up? What is the regimen that is recommended?

Thanks mamas!

2tolove 10-17-2005 02:27 PM

So - I didn't do it with dd so I am not sure how well it works, but.... My MW told me at last visit 37 weeks to start inserting ( now ) 1 capsule into the vagina as far up as you can ( i put it right next to my cervix ) then the next night do 2 and the next do 3 etc... when it is dripping out in the morning that is the most you should do ( I stopped at 3 and am continuing with 3 a night now )
It is supposed to help ripen your cervix for dialation... You will want to wear a pantie liner at night & through the day cause it does cause a little extra discharge ( not that we all don't have enough this late in the pregnancy )
HTH Good Luck! Laura

littlemomma 10-17-2005 02:31 PM

Thanks for the advice! I haven't found any myself, but are there any risks to doing this? And are you doing it in an effort to encourage labor to begin?

2tolove 10-17-2005 02:49 PM

I am usually pretty cautious, so no I have not read/heard of any side effects or negatives. My MW is really more along the lines of let things happen when they should But she said there is no harm in assisting the cervix to ripen. It is not anything like taking castor oil or drinking Blue/black cohosh (sp?) to get contractions started though

Being 2 weeks late with my dd ( I walked around at 4 cm for 9 days ) Your body will begin labor when it is ready I think that it is really to make us nutty pregnant women FEEL like we are doing something to help it along

hrutledge 10-17-2005 03:28 PM

I used it with dd. It was suppose to help get things started. According to midwife. However, then I ended up with 42 hr. labor. Don't know if it helped or hurt situation.

giarose 10-17-2005 03:53 PM

I started using it a week before I gave birth to help ripen the cervix, inserting one capsule a night. Maybe if I had started sooner it would have worked!
My water broke and then I was having contractions 2-3 minutes apart for about 8 hours and was only 1 cm dilated. Luckily, everything started moving along all of a sudden, but the mw and dh were getting worried that nothing was going to happen...
I'm definitely going to use it this time around since my cervix wasn't cooperating last time. I haven't heard of any negatives or side effects.
2tolove - I'm going to try your method instead at 37 weeks and see if it works. I'll let you all know how it works out! But that's still 21 wks away

guestmama9911 10-18-2005 05:23 AM

What wonderful timing. I'm glad I found this thread.

My midwife just checked me today (I'm at 39 weeks) and I have had no dilation and my cervix is so far up in my vagina she could barely reach it. She recommended Evening Primrose Oil as a means of softening the cervix, but didn't tell me to insert the caps themselves. She told me to open them to get the oil out and get DH to massage the cervix with it every day. She also said we should have sex more. I kind of laughed because I barely have the energy to shower, let alone get my groove on, but since the sperm is the important part of that recommendation, I don't suppose I really have to do much!

Anyway, I found this description on

Evening Primrose Oil has long been recommended and used by midwives and women to help relieve the symptoms of PMS and taken orally or inserted vaginally, to help ripen, soften and prepare the cervix for labor. Evening Primrose Oil, when used for labor, is especially effective when applied regularly to the cervix several weeks before the due date. However, it is important that you consult your midwife, herbalist or doctor concerning dosages when using as a labor enhancer.

sewingbarbj 10-18-2005 10:20 PM

I used it with my second pregnancy and it put me into labout the first night I used it :LOL
My midewife said she only saw one other mom it worked that fast for!
I figure, if it is harmless and gives you a possible benifit..
I went over due 3 weeks with my first DD and ended up having a C section after she failed to drop with the induction.
I want a V back so any thing that helped me not go over due was a good thing.

neveryoumindthere 10-27-2005 01:19 PM

i thought this was taken orally

sewingbarbj, when u took it how far along were u? and did u takeit orally or use it vaginally?

Ryver 10-27-2005 04:26 PM

I take 3 500 mg orally everyday (gives you fatty acid goodness) and 1 1000 vaginally before I go to bed everyday (there is where you get your progestins). The trick is getting the pill high enough to your cervix. I'm so tired of things being stuck up there, but I can tell a difference!

NameThatMama 10-27-2005 04:46 PM

There's only one study that's been done on it, and it actually indicated that EPO might prolong and complicate labor!

Dove D, Johnson P., Oral evening primrose oil: its effect on length of pregnancy and selected intrapartum outcomes in low-risk nulliparous women. J Nurse Midwifery. 1999 May-Jun;44(3):320-4.

LoveMyLil'B 10-27-2005 06:53 PM

I used this when I was pregnant with my son. I took it orally beginning at 35 weeks, and vaginally at 37 weeks. My MW said start at 1 then go to 2 capsules. We also has lots of sex. I delivered at 38 weeks with a 2 hour and 45 minute labor. Not sure if the EPO did the trick or not, but you can bet I'll follow that regimen again!

Queen of Cups 10-27-2005 11:51 PM

My midwife reccomended that I start taking 500mg three times a day orally at 36 weeks. I might try vaginally inserting them starting a bit later, but not before I've had the GBS swab - I don't know where those pills have been! Or who packed them into the bottle! Personally, I think having sex every night sounds like a lot more fun, though... maybe I'll just use EPO vaginally nights DH and I don't get to DTD.

starlein26 10-28-2005 12:15 AM

Originally Posted by neveryoumindthere
i thought this was taken orally
me least i took it orally...i hope that was right.

KittyKat 10-28-2005 12:50 PM

You can use it both ways, orally and vaginally.

It does not contain "progestins" (or prostaglandins either) but it contains substances that are very SIMILAR to prostaglandins and which your body uses to make prostaglandins. And prostaglandins help ripen and soften the cervix.


IfMamaAintHappy 10-28-2005 02:10 PM

I took 2 caps orally at 39 weeks 1 day, and 2 caps orally and 2 caps vaginally at 39 weeks 2 days.

2 1/2 hrs after I inserted the caps vaginally, I woke with a horrible burning and stinging pain in my cervix. About 15 mintues later, I had my first contraction. They were between 2 and 5 minutes apart, and 30 seconds long for about a half hour, then they were 2 minutes apart and 45-60 seconds long for a half hour. they were the most excruciating contractions I had ever felt, and even my Bradley method breathing was not really helping me stay in control. I was crying at the peak of contractions, something Id never done with my other births. I had my first pushing contraction at just over an hour after labor started, and by an hour and 15 minutes after my first contraction, I had gone from a fingertip to 10 cm and delivered a baby.

My midwife said her textbook says to take orally but never vaginally, and that vaginal application can cause a "loose cervix" which may have been what I experienced.

An hour and 15 minutes sounds like a dream to some, but trust me, it was a traumatic runaway horse sort of labor for me. I much preferred my 3 1/2 hr labor with DD2 by comparison.

I wont be taking EPO vaginally ever again after this experience.

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