If you’re beyond 40 weeks in your pregnancy, you might have heard of numerous natural methods to try and induce labor. There are indeed many things you can do to prime your body for the job ahead. One possible alternative is evening primrose oil (EPO), which can be used vaginally for the function of inducing labor.
Pregnant women like using evening primrose oil because it’s widely available and reasonably priced.
Still, you may be wondering if it’s right for you. Here’s everything you need to understand about this natural supplement, its usages, and precautions.
What Is Evening Primrose Oil?
This oil originates from the evening primrose plant. It consists of linolenic acid, gamma-linolenic acid, and vitamin E. Over-the-counter EPO pills can be purchased at a lot of drug stores or vitamin and herbal treatment stores. It’s sometimes utilized in alternative treatments for a range of health problems, including neuropathy, premenstrual syndrome, menopause, and rheumatoid arthritis. However, while it’s been considered many years, EPO’s positive result on labor remains relatively unknown.
How It’s Used
Evening primrose oil is available in capsules, which can be taken orally or placed vaginally. While there is no standard dose, it’s necessary to take 500 to 2000 milligrams daily after the 38th week of pregnancy has started. If you choose to utilize EPO, always start with very low doses.
Does It Work?
According to American Family Physician, evening primrose oil may assist the cervix to soften and efface (thin out). Other research studies suggest that it can help shorten labor duration. This is due to linolenic acid discovered in EPO, which may activate a prostaglandin action in the body. Doctors and midwives may provide different standards depending upon your distinct case history.
As far as its effectiveness, there aren’t enough formal studies on EPO to show its influence on labor or cervical ripening. Studies that have been published usually do not indicate an especially strong association with oil and kick-starting labor. For example, one study found that women taking the supplement remained in labor 3 hours longer usually than those who didn’t take EPO.
The majority of the positive experiences of evening primrose oil are anecdotal. The capsules are typically taken in conjunction with other natural induction methods, including usage of red raspberry leaf tea, nipple stimulation, and sexual intercourse. For this factor, it’s hard to separate EPO’s private effect on the procedure.
Question: I heard that evening primrose oil ripens the cervix. For how long does that take? My baby remains in the birth canal, he has been there for 3 weeks now. When the cervix ripens will I enter into labor or will my water break?
Answer: Evening primrose oil was suggested to me by my OBGYN considering that I have to do with a week overdue, I naturally ran out and bought a bottle (Rite Aid nonprescription) even if the stuff doesn’t * actually * work I will at least seem like I’ve been proactive in assisting the process along. Any results also if they are psychosomatic will be welcomed. The method I figure it … It’s worth the $6-8 that you invest just in giving yourself the piece of mind. When your cervix is ripened labor will not be far behind (your uterus has to be dilated to 4cm to be confessed into many healthcare facilities). A lot of women do not experience the breaking of their bag of waters up until they are already pretty far into labor … so do not utilize that as your only indicator. I’ve heard a couple of different guidelines on when to head to the hospital, but the one that I have the most natural time remembering is the 4-1-1 guideline … contractions are 4 minutes apart one minute long for one hour.
Benefits and Side Effects
While there is much clinical research that still needs to be done to evaluate the security and efficiency of EPO entirely, there are some pros and cons we can consider based upon the details we have now.
Pros of Evening Primrose Oil
- There are no known negative results on breastfeeding.
- It’s commonly used by midwives all over the world (not including the United States) as an alternative to harsher chemicals for preparing the cervix for labor.
- It might reduce the requirement to induce labor clinically.
- While there may be benefits to utilizing EPO, there are some cons that need to be considered.
Cons of Evening Primrose Oil
- It can serve as a blood thinner.
- There is a possibility that EPO could set off issues or problem with the shipment.
- It can come with side effects like headaches or intestinal upset.
Other Safe Ways to Induce Labor
There are other approaches typically used to help women naturally induce labor. These methods include:
- working out, which can consist of a walk or climbing up a set of stairs
- sexual relations
- consuming hot foods
- raspberry leaf tea, which is suggested by some midwives and believed to turn irregular uterine contractions into regular and productive ones
Always consult your doctor before attempting to induce labor. Do not attempt to induce labor before 40 weeks of pregnancy. Depending upon medications you’re currently taking, underlying conditions, or issues with your pregnancy, it may be dangerous to try to induce labor by yourself.
There isn’t much scientific evidence to show that taking evening primrose oil to induce labor is either safe or hazardous. Many women use EPO without incident, but an early study discovered that the oral consumption of EPO could activate delivery issues or issues. Regardless, it would help if you did not take any supplement throughout pregnancy without seeking advice from your care company.
It would be best if you spoke to your OB/GYN or midwife before beginning any new supplements at any stage of your pregnancy. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists defines a full-term pregnancy as 39 weeks or longer. Since research studies are lacking in this area, it’s best to prevent anything that may promote labor before your baby is fully mature.