As we ease into this Friday morning, I'm taking a bit of time to answer a question I hear in birth prep classes often: Can Sex Really Induce Labor? The short answer here is: "Not Really!"
Obviously, if it were that straight forward there wouldn't be a need for a blog post, right? So let's break down this old wives tale (or do you think men came up with this one? No one knows...but it is possible! lol)
Let me first say, safe sex during pregnancy is perfectly ok. The baby has ample protection in the uterus and no form of clitoral or vaginal stimulation or penetration can harm it. (Please understand that this is under normal circumstances. If your doctor restricts sex for any reasons, please adhere to their requests.)
So about that sneaky freaky you were wondering about, while it is perfectly healthy, it is unlikely to send you to labor & delivery with actual active labor contractions. But it could help if you are in early labor already. Orgasms, as awesome as they are all on their own, can help trigger contractions. You may have already felt these stomach tightening sensations by now in your pregnancy (go you!) These contractions are unlikely to continue if you haven't already experienced a sustained pattern prior to the sexual activity.
And of course, finishes are good for all (seriously)! In this case, male ejaculation can actually help soften the cervix with it's high content of prostaglandins. This can aid in the ripening, effacement, and thus dilation of the cervix. I mean, it is pretty cool that the semen that was needed to get you pregnant can help in the end game too. That stuff is quite crafty!
All in all, sex during pregnancy can be just as awesome as it was before. And being all entangled in someone you love can be a temporary escape from the changes that are soon coming. But even this can trigger oxytocin which is a powerful aid in the progression of labor.
So the next time you are staring at the circled "Due Date" on your calendar with the echos of that "you are maybe dilated 1 cm" that your doctor said earlier, and someone advises you to "get busy" to speed things up, go for it! (If you feel up to it, of course) Enjoy your time with your spouse. It is imperative that you all remain connected. Just know, babies truly do come when they are ready.