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Can sex induce labor pains? Here’s what an ob-gyn has to say

Updated on:25 August 2020, 10:02am IST
Rumour (and pop culture) has it that sex when you are close to delivering can help induce labor pains. But is that really true? Let’s find out.
Nikita Bhardwaj
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Can sex get you out of the situation it got you in? Let’s find out. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Remember that episode from FRIENDS where Rachel was waiting for her water to break? Remember how her doctor advised her that sex can speed up the process, putting her in labor? As funny as the situation was, it got us wondering: can sex actually kickstart the process of childbirth?

Can sex induce labor pains?
Honestly, it depends on woman to woman because even medical studies seem to have mixed opinions on the subject. Case in point: a study published in the Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal which says that sex can indeed begin contractions and labor. But on the other hand, a 2019 study refutes this argument completely.

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So to get to the bottom of it all, we got in touch with Dr Sandeep Chadha, consultant obstetrician & gynecologist, Motherhood Hospital, Noida. Here’s what she has to say: “While having sex at the end of your pregnancy might not bring on labor, but many couples report that having sex makes them feel closer. Being in a relaxed state of mind certainly helps labor progress faster once it is started.”

sex and labor pain
Nope, sex and labor pain aren’t related to each other. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Then what’s the whole fuss is all about? According to Dr Chadha, one of the reasons could be semen. When it comes to labor there are two hormones that have a big role to play–oxytocin and prostaglandin. Semen also has these two. When it is released in the vagina, it can simulate your nether regions ultimately leading to labor.

But isn’t it risky to have sex when you are that close to your delivery date?
Well, the internet sure doesn’t think so because plenty of websites suggest plenty of sex positions for your third trimester. But according to Dr Chadha, if you have an uncomplicated pregnancy, then having sex to induce labor is fine. If you have a high-risk pregnancy, kindly consult your doctor.

sex and labor pain
Your reproductive health might go for a toss. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

“If you experience anything like a gush of fluid, pain or severe cramping, or heavy bleeding after sex please visit your doctor immediately”, she concludes.

So moral of the story is that sex CANNOT induce labor pains. So don’t try to be like Ross and Rachel, and be careful guys!

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Nikita Bhardwaj Nikita Bhardwaj

Six-pack abs are all that Nikita needs, along with her daily dose of green tea. At Health Shots, she produces videos, podcasts, stories, and other kick-ass content.