Evening Primrose Oil advice - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-15-2007, 09:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello Mama's,

I would like any info you have on using EPO at the end of pregnancy. I am confused, because some things I've read say that EPO is used to INDUCE labor, and other things say that is just prepares/softens the cervix. Some articles say it's perfectly fine and advisable to take it from 36 weeks on in pregnancy, others say not to use it until 39 weeks.

So which is it? Does it INDUCE labor, or does it just help prepare the cervix? I am 37 and a half weeks pregnant now. I'm not in a rush to have this baby, and wouldnt want to do something that would force her to come before she's ready. But I would like to take the EPO if is JUST helps prepare the cervix.

Can anyone clear this up for me?

Melanie
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Old 02-15-2007, 03:24 PM
 
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I was wondering the same question myself, and was thinking about posting it. I hope someone knows about it.
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Old 02-15-2007, 03:38 PM
 
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EPO contains prostaglandins which help ripen the cervix. You can take EPO capsules both orally and as a vaginal suppository. My midwife advises taking EPO orally from about 36 weeks on.
It will not cause your body to do anything that it is not ready to do and therefore will not induce labour.
Check with your practioner for recommended dosages as this seems to vary between person to person.
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Old 02-15-2007, 03:38 PM
 
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Old 02-15-2007, 03:48 PM
 
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You can do the EPO orally or as vaginal suppositories to help prepare the cervix. And then if you get sick of waiting, you can break open the capsules and use the oil as a lubricant on DH, and then get down to business. That, apparently, is pretty effective in bringing on labour. I'm only 30 weeks, but at 36 I'll start taking the oil orally, at 38 I'll start taking it vaginally, and then if I'm past my estimated due date, I'll do the whole lube thing. DH is looking forward to that.
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Old 02-15-2007, 05:06 PM
 
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when we're ready to take it, how much do you take? Before I conceived this baby, I was taking it as a supplement I think 2 or 3 times a day (??), but I remember it giving me the poops after eating (sorry TMI).

wasn't it the EPO that you had to stop taking it after ovulating when TTC because it could cause uterine cx? I could be wrong as I was taking a couple different supplements.
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Old 02-15-2007, 05:21 PM
 
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My midwife suggests EPO 3x a day, 2 capsules at a time, and then one as a vaginal suppository at night, which seems like a lot. I'm game for softening my cervix, but I googled "evening primrose oil pregnancy" and half the sites come up saying you shouldn't take EPO in pregnancy because it's unproven and could be dangerous. Anybody have any thoughts on this aspect of it?
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Old 02-15-2007, 05:31 PM
 
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So if it is used as lubricant it CAN induce labour? Thats' how I was planning on using it...:
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Old 02-15-2007, 07:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the input, mamas. After reading what you all said, and doing some more research on my own, I think it is ok if I take it orally at this point. I'm going to go with the more conservative article I read, which suggested taking two 500mg capsules orally every day from 36 to 38 weeks, and then bump it up to 3 - 4 casules every day. Some of the other articles suggested higher doses, but I think I'll wait until I'm within a week of my due date to do that.

Melanie
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Old 02-15-2007, 08:56 PM
 
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It is my understanding that EPO encourages the production of prostaglandins, acting as a precursor.

....and from the Gentle Birth Archives:

"The local prevailing dosage here is 500 mg orally three times daily and 500-1000 mg vaginally at night from 36wks on."
http://www.gentlebirth.org/archives/herbs.html#Evening

HTH
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Old 02-16-2007, 07:20 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baby1inMarch07 View Post
My midwife suggests EPO 3x a day, 2 capsules at a time, and then one as a vaginal suppository at night, which seems like a lot. I'm game for softening my cervix, but I googled "evening primrose oil pregnancy" and half the sites come up saying you shouldn't take EPO in pregnancy because it's unproven and could be dangerous. Anybody have any thoughts on this aspect of it?
Nearly every herbal and homeopathic remedy will have this disclaimer somewhere, simply because they are not clinically tested on pregnant women, so we rely on the anecdotal evidence of all the wise women who came before us. Even RRL tea, one of the most effective uterine tonics that has been around and used for centuries carries a disclaimer on most websites. You are not likely to find any research studies on the use of EPO because there's no money to be made in it. EPO should not be used prior to full-term pregnancy (38 weeks) because it does soften the cervix and can lead to miscarriage/preterm birth. Just a little common sense there--why would you want your cervix to be softening prior to term?
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Old 02-16-2007, 12:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Island_Mama View Post
So if it is used as lubricant it CAN induce labor? Thats' how I was planning on using it...:
If only!!! I went 3 weeks past my EDD with DD and we used it quite a bit, orally, vaginally and combined with sex. But man was I ever totally effaced!

I think it will "induce" only if the baby is ready to come out. It is more like encouraging labor.

IMO sex was a much cheaper, pleasurable and more effective form of getting prostaglandins to were they needed to be.

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Old 02-16-2007, 01:57 PM
 
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ok totally ignorant to this, to use it with sex, you just pop the little pill open and use the oil?? or do they sell and oil version?
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Old 02-16-2007, 03:50 PM
 
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Just a little common sense there--why would you want your cervix to be softening prior to term?
If you're facing a medically necessary induction and want to maximize your chance of avoiding a c-section?
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Old 02-16-2007, 05:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Samjm View Post
If you're facing a medically necessary induction and want to maximize your chance of avoiding a c-section?
I guess I wasn't clear. I meant as far as taking EPO early in pregnancy, which is generally what the warning labels are for.
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