If you are expecting, you've probably read about some ways that you can jump-start labor. There are some old wive's tales that say eating spicy food will do the trick as will walking. Mommies have even said that having sex will send that baby out quicker.

However, a recent Malaysian study has concluded that intercourse does not kick the birthing process into high gear. One of the reasons that sex was thought to help was because semen contains prostaglandin, which can start labor in its synthetic form. Furthermore, the touching of the breasts and orgasm can result in uterine contractions.

''We are a little disappointed,'' Tan Peng Chiong, a professor at the University of Malaya and one of the authors of the study, said in a statement. "It would have been nice for couples to have something safe, effective and perhaps even fun that they could use themselves to help go into labor a little earlier if (they) wanted."

The scientists had more than 1,100 women participate in the study. All of them were between 35 to 38 weeks pregnant and none of them had sex for the past month and a half. Around 50 percent of the females were told to have sex frequently as a way of inducing labor. The other group was told that they could engage in intercourse if they wanted to but its effects on the birthing process were unfamiliar to doctors.

Analysts concluded that the rates of women who went into labor that had sex often were not much different from the other female participants.

According to Reuters, Jonathan Schaffir, an associate professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the Ohio State University College of Medicine, said that even though having intercourse did not impact when a woman would go in labor, the study showed that it was completely safe to have sex during those nine months.


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