opinions and facts on sex inducing or helping along labor - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 26 Old 10-20-2008, 11:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am almost 35 weeks pregnant and just so sick of being pregnant. I have been throwing up every night, sometimes more then once, due to reflux that I have never before had until this pregnancy! I know it's common to feel "done" at this point but i just could cry imagining this lasting another 7 weeks! so, my midwife apprentice friend claims that either injesting semen or havings sex will help ripen the cervix and hasten when labour will happen but i haven't seemed to be able to fine any evidence that this is tru. i am just curious. obviously i wouldn't do anything that would start premature labour but i am wondering if the claims about semen and prostaglandins stimulating cervical changes are true. the below article refutes the claim, anyone have anything else on it?

oh, and obviously there are other reasons to be intimate but i am just wonering if it brings any physical changes about.


http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniont...z1c18fact.html
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#2 of 26 Old 10-20-2008, 11:53 AM
 
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Yes, it's true. Semen contains prostaglandins that help ripen the cervix. I have heard that ingesting it works better, but just having sex works just as well. Also, the movement of sex and the uterine contractions from orgasm, as well as the oxytocin that surges through your body, all help to bring on labor. As my midwife says, the prostaglandins help ripen your cervix, but if your body isn't "ready" to go into labor, it's not going to put you into premature labor. You have to be very ready.

Also, I know that in some bradley classes they encourage you to have sex *daily* from 37 weeks onward because of the good stuff that comes from it.

The last time DH and I DTD I had contrax for 24 hours, fairly regularly, then got checked by my midwife and I was 80% effaced and a fingertip dialated. I'm into my 39th week, though...

I don't know about that article that you posted... it's a fact that semen contains prostaglandins (google it) and that prostaglandins ripen the cervix... sooo...

But about the reflux... gosh, is there anything you can do for it? Seems like there should be something you can be doing to make yourself more comfortable here at the end. Papaya enzyme? Have you spoken to your midwife about it?

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#3 of 26 Old 10-20-2008, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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for reflux i am taking a natural enzyme supplement and papaya enzymes and chewing sugarless (but natural no scary stuff) gum to help increase digestive juice. my midwives suggested a chiropractor to "pull my stomach down" but we don't really have a lot of money for that at the moment and it just doesn't appeal to me. i have also tried mass amounts of tums to little avail. it's really horrible. in my earlier pregnancy i had hyper emesis and lost 12 lbs by 12 weeks, so i think this pregnancy is just really senstive to food. but maybe thats a good thing, maybe my baby won't inherit my allergies. gotta be a bright side right!
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#4 of 26 Old 10-20-2008, 12:01 PM
 
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I agree with what the PP said about the prostaglandins and ripening the cervix, but also want to reiterate that if your body isn't ready, there is really nothing you can do that will start your labor. Believe me, at 38 weeks or so, and carrying a 10 1/2 pound baby (plus the other 40 I put on ) I was ready and tried just about everything, except castor oil, including acupressure, TENS unit, sex, walking my tail off and even skipping! (that was a sight!) and she was still 5 days over my "due" date. She just wasn't ready.

I remember how exhausted I was at 35 weeks and I wasn't even sick like you are, so I can't imagine how ready you are! I would try to find something for the reflux, if at all possible, and hopefully your baby will be with you soon!

Kelly - wife to the best DH and : Mama to 6 younguns
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#5 of 26 Old 10-20-2008, 12:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arismama! View Post
for reflux i am taking a natural enzyme supplement and papaya enzymes and chewing sugarless (but natural no scary stuff) gum to help increase digestive juice. my midwives suggested a chiropractor to "pull my stomach down" but we don't really have a lot of money for that at the moment and it just doesn't appeal to me. i have also tried mass amounts of tums to little avail. it's really horrible. in my earlier pregnancy i had hyper emesis and lost 12 lbs by 12 weeks, so i think this pregnancy is just really senstive to food. but maybe thats a good thing, maybe my baby won't inherit my allergies. gotta be a bright side right!
I think the chiropractor would be a good idea, if you could somehow find the money. Maybe it wouldn't take more than 1-2 sessions. If nothing else, it may just make you feel better. It always did me.

Also, be careful with the Tums. I ate them like candy with my third LO and ended up with a kidney stone at 38 weeks pregnant. OUCH!!! I guess just try not to take the ones with added calcium and maybe that will cut your risk.

I had hyperemesis with my first two and I know how horrible that is. Believe it or not, you do forget how horrible it was. . . and you have three more

Kelly - wife to the best DH and : Mama to 6 younguns
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#6 of 26 Old 10-20-2008, 12:44 PM
 
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I am living proof, and so is my son, that semen can not only ripen the cervix, but ALSO bring on premature labor in some. With DS1, DH and I DTD one night, (I was 34 weeks and 1 day) and by noon the next day I was in tirage getting bag after bag of salin to stop the contractions, and I was 1 cm. Now, we waited to STOP using condoms, yes condoms, (didnt want to take any chances) until I was in my 36th week, and low and behold, 2 days later, I was 70% effaced having back labor. I drank tons of water and it stopped because I want to be atleast 37 weeks before allowing labor to go into full swing. But atleast my husband and I have found what works for us incase we have anymore kids. It might not work for everyone. but it doesnt hurt to try right?
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#7 of 26 Old 10-20-2008, 01:33 PM
 
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We DTD on Thursday night, and I had four hours of strong contractions. We DTD again on Friday afternoon, and DS was born just after midnight

Mama to DS R (June/06), DD K (September/07), DS M (October/08), DD R (June/09)... waiting for #5 in late 2013!!

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#8 of 26 Old 10-20-2008, 02:19 PM
 
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I went into labor with DS about 36 hours after DTD, and we hadn't done it for a long time before that so I really feel they were related.

I remember being in Bradley class though, and the teacher telling us that pressing with a "hard object" like your thumb or a lolly pop on the soft palate can induce labor, and ingesting semen can too, and I'm sitting there putting the two together and thinking hm....who came up with this? And nipple stimulation too? Let's see, does making your husband a sandwich and ironing his shirts induce labor too?

Hehehe, I do think there's something to it, though. And for those with female partners, mama's orgasms can bring on labor too. (I think anyone who's had one in the third trimester can attest to the contractions it brings on.)

SAHM to 6.5yo DS and 4yo DD. PCOS with two early m/cs. Married 8 yrs. Certified birth doula, writer, editor.

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#9 of 26 Old 10-20-2008, 03:11 PM
 
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Wow, I'm glad DH doesn't read this board. I don't ever ingest semen because, well, it's yucky. But maybe if I were overdue and miserable...

Do orgasms for the pregnant partner help bring on labor at all?
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#10 of 26 Old 10-20-2008, 03:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Katielady View Post
Let's see, does making your husband a sandwich and ironing his shirts induce labor too?


Too funny!!

Mama to DS R (June/06), DD K (September/07), DS M (October/08), DD R (June/09)... waiting for #5 in late 2013!!

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#11 of 26 Old 10-20-2008, 03:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ambotchka View Post
Wow, I'm glad DH doesn't read this board. I don't ever ingest semen because, well, it's yucky. But maybe if I were overdue and miserable...

Do orgasms for the pregnant partner help bring on labor at all?
Yes- they release oxytocin, which can bring on contractions.

SAHM to 6.5yo DS and 4yo DD. PCOS with two early m/cs. Married 8 yrs. Certified birth doula, writer, editor.

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#12 of 26 Old 10-20-2008, 05:02 PM
 
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Okay, this is pretty embarrassing but I guess the boards are anonymous enough...

DH and I haven't had sex since I was about 16 weeks pregnant. We've done a few other things but mostly I've just been feeling the antithesis of sexy and he's been awesomely understanding.

Do you think it's safe to have sex now, at 38+ weeks, for the first time in months? Is there any danger of him damaging or penetrating my cervix? Or would ingestion be a wiser move at this point?

Oh man... :

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#13 of 26 Old 10-20-2008, 06:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay, this is pretty embarrassing but I guess the boards are anonymous enough...

DH and I haven't had sex since I was about 16 weeks pregnant. We've done a few other things but mostly I've just been feeling the antithesis of sexy and he's been awesomely understanding.

Do you think it's safe to have sex now, at 38+ weeks, for the first time in months? Is there any danger of him damaging or penetrating my cervix? Or would ingestion be a wiser move at this point?

Oh man... :

i would totally go for it. you'll probably even have fun mama! there is no damage that sex can do in a normal pregnancy. a penis cannot penetrate through a cervix, it's not physically possible. he cannot damage it in any way. ask you mw or MD if you still feel uncertain but if thats all thats holding you back do not worry about it.
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#14 of 26 Old 10-20-2008, 08:22 PM
 
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Oh Katie you are too funny!

SAHM to DS (11/08) and EDD 3/8/11!
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#15 of 26 Old 10-20-2008, 08:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by peainthepod View Post
Do you think it's safe to have sex now, at 38+ weeks, for the first time in months? Is there any danger of him damaging or penetrating my cervix?
i have to say, my cervix is pretty low, but we still manage. being on top helps so you can control how everything goes. at least for us it helps.

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Originally Posted by andi-mama View Post
We DTD on Thursday night, and I had four hours of strong contractions. We DTD again on Friday afternoon, and DS was born just after midnight
i'm just impressed you have that much energy.

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#16 of 26 Old 10-20-2008, 08:35 PM
 
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I've been in labor twice this pregnancy, both times 4-5 hours after DTD. The first time was at 33 weeks and it took two days of Mag Sulfate to stop the contractions, but I was 4 cm dilated at the end of that one.

At 36 weeks, we DTD again and blam! contractions started again. This time I dilated to 6 cm before the labor stopped on it's own.

So now I'm home, dilated to at least 6 cm, but not in labor. At least now we are 37 weeks and for twins that's pretty damn good.

Joanna - wife to Mike, mamachicken to Cub(8/98), Kitten (4/07), Dew-man, and Woe-boy(twins, 10/08)
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#17 of 26 Old 10-20-2008, 09:07 PM
 
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Kind of funny story one of my co-workers told me.. She was past due and went into the hospital to be induced, the corpmen asked if she wanted to do potcin or they could try some more natural ways. When asked what the response was, "Well, sometimes leaving the husband and pregnant woman alone for a while so they can have sex can bring on contractions.. We can move you to a room with a bigger sign and put up a do not disturb sign.." She didn't know whether to laugh or blush.

My husband was just told that sex brings about labor the other day so now he has a reason to go along with just wanting it. I do feel a little bad since its been since I concieved that we've been intimate. Maybe we should try, if anything it would be fun. Now to convience DD to sleep in her own bed.

~Heather~ Mama to Miss E (1/07), Miss A (11/08), Mr.T (2/11) and Miss A (10/12) Expecting our newest blessing sometime late Sept/early Oct.. Wife to my Marine since 11/2005
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#18 of 26 Old 10-20-2008, 09:38 PM
 
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You are all wonderful. Thank you for the reassurance!

I admit I've wanted to for a while but I had this fear that since it's been so long and my cervix is so mushy and low, it might be dangerous. Good to know it isn't!

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#19 of 26 Old 10-20-2008, 10:08 PM
 
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Nah, totally go for it. You'll have fun and maybe it will get things started! DH and I have been DTD regularly (like every 2 days or so) this whole pregnancy and it does wonders for keeping us close (emotionally and physically!).

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#20 of 26 Old 10-20-2008, 11:42 PM
 
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I am going to be the devils advocate, With DD we had sex everyday per MWs orders, (gosh that was tiring) and we still managed to get to 41w1d before we had her. This time we have had sex a few times since coming of bedrest and they barely me contractions.

As for the reflux, try zantac. it has really helped me, gone from throwing up aci to keeping food down.
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#21 of 26 Old 10-20-2008, 11:46 PM
 
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i'm just impressed you have that much energy.
Me, too!! We've been trying for a week or more...one or the other of us keeps falling asleep!


peainthepod-you'll be ok! Give your hubby some love, because soon it'll be a couple months before you are in the mood again!

"Listen, are you breathing just a little and calling it a life?"~Mary Oliver

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#22 of 26 Old 10-21-2008, 03:00 PM
 
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I think sex can absolutely help. There are the obvious physical reasons- semen softens the cervix and orgasm causes the uterus to contract. Then there are more spiritual reasons...

Ina May talks about the relationship between the mother and father helping or hindering the labor, and that being loving towards one another can cause labor as well as speed it up.

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#23 of 26 Old 10-21-2008, 04:55 PM
 
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I don't have contractions after DTD. Hopefully the prostaglandins are doing something.

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#24 of 26 Old 10-21-2008, 05:03 PM
 
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okay...i have a question...if semen is "supposed" to work better if ingested rather than applied, well...the other way lol...then does EPO work better if ingested rather than inserted next to the cervix?

This is my 4th pregnancy in 6 years time. i have used EPO inserted vaginally at night starting at 36 weeks, gradually increasing dosage around 38 weeks, in my last 2 pregnancies. I DO beleive it has helped to ready my cervix for labor, but it has never induced me INTO labor. (btw, i only do the EPo on nights myself or dh are too tired to DTD.)

after dtd or using EPO, i usually do notice more frequent braxton hicks or light light cramping, but it has never actually induced...but i am a strange gal, i don't usually dialate until i am in active labor (one reason i decline internal checks now) and each of my babies comes 5+ days later than the last birth. however...just so you know, my first birth was 23 hours, my second birth (used EPO in pregnancy) was 12 1/2 hours, my third labor (used EPO and a HB) was 9 1/2 hours. it could just be that each one is quicker just because they are subsequent pregnancies, OR it could be that EPO really does help facilitate my dialation during labor...either way, it can't hurt right?
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#25 of 26 Old 10-21-2008, 11:36 PM
 
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I went into labor a few hours after DTD with my son. No ingestion though, just regular sex with mind-blowing orgasm.
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#26 of 26 Old 10-24-2008, 10:54 AM
 
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I was just given the ok from my nurse to continue to have sex. I must have misunderstood the doctor. I thought he didnt want us DTD at all. But the nurse said its fine unless my water has broken. Like I would want to have sex after my water broke anyway. So since I will be 37 weeks tomorrow, i think we are going to see what it does. It worked last time. Or atleast it seemed like it did.
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