evening primrose oil/vbac - Mothering Forums
VBAC > evening primrose oil/vbac
NCjen's Avatar NCjen 10:26 AM 05-23-2006
I was just reading another thread and saw that no one was taking their primrose oil vaginally. I was told to start at 36 weeks orally and vaginally. Anyone else? And has anyone heard if this is a no no for vbac women. I wouldn't think it is, since I definitely don't want to go late. Just wondering.

ckhagen's Avatar ckhagen 12:08 PM 05-23-2006
I'm sort of in the same dilemma. Well, I wanted to take it, but my mw suggests that I not take it and won't "prescribe" it at all. But, I really don't want to go late and last time I was late and my cervix never dilated past 1cm on it's own. I guess there's like one study out there that says it highers rupture risk, but that doesn't make sense to me... it has nothing to do with strength or contractions or your uterus at all right?
atrain's Avatar atrain 02:12 PM 05-23-2006
I think I have heard that what softens the cervix might also soften the scar tissue, but not sure about that. :
NCjen's Avatar NCjen 02:39 PM 05-23-2006
it worries me that my midwife spoke no concern what so ever about it. she said to go ahead and start it. i also never made it past one cm last time and it is important to me to get that cervix soft. i have an appt with her tomorrow i will see what she says about this.
kgrfcharlton's Avatar kgrfcharlton 03:40 PM 05-23-2006
I took it all through my pregnancy orally. I had a 50 hour labor plus 2 hours of pushing (I had pit & an epi). So, my body had a lot of stress on it. I ended up having another section , but they didn't say anything about my scar being in danger (I'm sure they would have b/c they usually tell you all the good reasons they sectioned you).

Just one girls experience.
KKmama's Avatar KKmama 07:18 PM 05-23-2006
Same here--just one person's experience--I haven't read anything on EPO and VBAC. I think this would be a good one for the ICAN listserve.

With my first VBAC, I did EPO starting around maybe 36-37 weeks, orally and then vaginally. I don't think it helped much. With my 2nd VBAC, I did EPO starting at 39-40 weeks, orally only, and I think it helped. But then again, there's no telling what it was that helped my cervix efface this time... could have been any number of things.
Mrs. B's Avatar Mrs. B 09:26 PM 05-23-2006
My mw told me I can take it orally. My doula said not to take it vaginally, I didn't ask why, though.
ollineeba's Avatar ollineeba 12:05 AM 05-24-2006
With my second pg I started taking it vaginally around 36 weeks. My midwife said she wasn't sure how effective it would be, but it couldn't hurt.
I did start to soften, but I still went 10 days past my due date, so I don't really know if it did anything
NCjen's Avatar NCjen 05:06 PM 05-24-2006
i asked both midwives today and they had not heard it could be dangerous. but said if i am uncomfortable with it to stop. i am going to keep it going until next week i start some homeopathic remedies for softening as well, and they told me to drink red raspberry leaf tea also. i am sure my body is going to do what it wants, but I am the type that likes to feel like i have tried EVERYthing. thanks for the input!
IfMamaAintHappy's Avatar IfMamaAintHappy 05:25 PM 05-24-2006
I took EPO vaginally one time, and had a 1 hr 15 minute freight train style delivery. Before you tell me this is your dream birth, let me tell you it was beyond f-ing excruciating to dilate 10 cm in 60 minutes. I was less than 50% effaced, and dilated a fingertip 3 days before birth. I have had an 18 hr labor, 2 hr transition, 1 hr 15 minute pushing birth, and a 3 1/2 hr home waterbirth. These were the most painful contractions I have ever felt, I was cursing at the peak of them and just could not grasp why I was having so much trouble staying on top of them and dealing with them. I hadnt used my Bradley birth method stuff during my second birth, didnt need it, but I was really working the low, moaning vocalization thing with this labor.

I woke with a horrible burning and pinching sensation in my cervix, and it lasted for about 20 minutes. My contractions started at that point, 30 seconds long, 2 minutes apart. My midwife's text said that in some women, taking it vaginally can cause a "loose cervix", which apparently is what happened to me.

I know women who take it orally and vaginally and nothing happens.

But I would never encourage anyone to take it vaginally after my personal exeperience.

I recommend overexerting yourself in the garden, or doing a difficult exercise tape. I did a 6 day "bootcamp" with my favorite workout every night to try and get baby to come out. Worked after one night with my second baby, so I was a little irritated that I had to do it 6 nights in a row for it to help at all. LOL!
EarthyLady's Avatar EarthyLady 07:38 PM 05-26-2006
I had a mw on another board tell me I shouldn't take EPO (nor 5-W...for different reasons) because like someone else said...that it can soften the scar tissue of the uterus just like it can soften the scar tissue of the cervix. (Which can cause more painful and slower dialations.)

However, my own personal mw (who has done lots of VBACs) suggested it to me when I was pg (and before this other mw told me I shouldn't) AND she suggested I start taking it around 32 weeks starting really low dosage and then working my way up. Then, started 5-W at 35 weeks.

Ds was born at 39 weeks 1 day after 36 hours of labor.

BTW...I took it orally. Taking it internally through any other orafice was not ever suggested by the mw.
Drummer's Wife's Avatar Drummer's Wife 07:43 PM 05-26-2006
my midwife told me to take it both orally and vaginally. I didn't start though until 38 weeks and DS was born right before 40 weeks... I was attempting a vba2c but ended up with another section. Not sure if it made any difference.
coloradoalice's Avatar coloradoalice 07:53 PM 05-26-2006
I started taking it at 35 weeks, both orally and vaginally. Unfortunately it didn't do me a lick of good, I got stuck exactly where I was with my first birth and had a repeat section.
nfpmom's Avatar nfpmom 04:21 AM 05-27-2006
I took it orally and vaginally for my VBAC attempt starting at 38 weeks and I went into labor at 39 weeks.
Some folks say that since it has a prostaglandin-like effect then they would avoid it since the prostaglandin gel docs use to artifically ripen cervixes is contraindicated in VBAC moms due to increase in uterine rupture. But semen contains prostaglandins too and sex is not contraindicated in VBAC moms... so obviously there is a difference in prostaglandin strengths in the artificial gel and something like semen or evening primrose oil... that said, you don't *need* anything to go into labor and dilate on your own, besides patience... if you have doubts about it, then don't take it.
(sorry for the runon sentences )
take care
grumpyshoegirl's Avatar grumpyshoegirl 12:52 PM 05-28-2006
I did every "natural" induction method in the book because I wanted to avoid induction. EPO taken orally and vaginally didn't help (neither did anything else).

What concerns me reading this thread is the number of women who had the exact same situation as I did.....labor, contractions, and never dilated past 1cm. In my case, the softening wasn't an issue; I was 70-80% effaced when the decision to section was made after four days of nonproductive labor. I found out after the fact that my baby's head was in an asynclitic position, something that a skilled OB or midwife should have been able to fix-- and should have known about prior to labor beginning, especially given how many u/s I had near the end! I'm wondering how many other women "failed to progress" for the same reason. You might want to review your medical records if this happened to you.
beautyful's Avatar beautyful 05:01 PM 05-29-2006
I've been taking it (1500mg orally) since 28w on advice from my mw. She's had a lot of experience with VBAC's, so I trust her. (And I couldn't find any strong evidence not to take it with my searching.)
cathicog's Avatar cathicog 08:51 PM 05-29-2006
Originally Posted by ckhagen
I'm sort of in the same dilemma. Well, I wanted to take it, but my mw suggests that I not take it and won't "prescribe" it at all. But, I really don't want to go late and last time I was late and my cervix never dilated past 1cm on it's own. I guess there's like one study out there that says it highers rupture risk, but that doesn't make sense to me... it has nothing to do with strength or contractions or your uterus at all right?
Sounds to me more like you weren't even due yet....your body will ripen on its own, as no one has ever been pg forever. But I don't see EPO as a problem. As a matter of fact, one mw i know recommends it pretty often....she rarely has late babies....(most are 40-41 wks). hth....I would do more research on my own and ask other mw, there might be some difference of opinion on that....
ollineeba's Avatar ollineeba 08:21 PM 05-31-2006
Has anyone else had the recommendation to put it on DH ( ) before intercourse? I completely forgot about this until now.. but that is what our midwife recommended