Many pregnant women reach the 38th, 39th or 40th week of pregnancy and start looking for any proven way to induce labor. Sex is often one of the first tactics many pregnant women will use to try to get labor started. Interestingly enough, though some doctors do not support the theory that sex induces labor, there is some proof that it may just be one of the safest and most effective methods to bring on labor.
Semen injected into the vagina will inevitably hit the cervix. Semen contains prostaglandins which are known to soften the cervix. The softer the cervix, the easier the ripening and opening of the cervix will be. Thus, having unprotected intercourse with your partner may help to soften the cervix enough to aid in the inducement of labor.
In addition to semen’s effect on the cervix, nipple stimulation can cause a release of the hormone Oxytocin. Any mother who has been through labor induction or a C-section will remember the name Oxytocin. Oxytocin is used to induce labor intravenously in the hospital and is also used to help the uterus contract after a C-section. Any natural release of this pregnancy-induced hormone will help to stimulate labor.
Sex is safe throughout pregnancy as long as it is comfortable, but any pain or bleeding associated with sex should be reported to your doctor.