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Embarrassing Question: Will a Vibrator Induce Labor?

Orgasm–no matter how or when it is achieved–releases oxytocin, the same hormone that causes labor contractions. If you orgasm at term (around 40 weeks), when your body is basically ready to go, this oxytocin burst *may* help trigger labor.

We don’t really know how effective this is, but it makes enough sense that sex is recommended as a “natural” way to induce labor. It’s often assumed that having “sex” to induce labor, means heterosexual sex.

This is because semen contains prostaglandins, the hormone-like substances that help ripen the cervix which, in turn, can trigger contractions. So you can go solo, or bring in some support. However you want to do it is fine though once the amniotic sac has ruptured, putting anything in the vagina is not recommended. Without the protection of the sac, risk of infection goes up. Sex and masturbation are still fine, just keep the vibrator and/or other parts of bodies on the outside.

And don’t worry, orgasm before term (from vibrator or anything else) will not trigger labor.  Some women are advised by their doctor or midwife to avoid sex during pregnancy but that may refer to penetration and not orgasm, so try to get a more specific answer. For almost all women, orgasm during pregnancy is a dandy idea. And if a vibrator gets you going, when the time comes, it may get your birth going, too.

photo: Rachel Kramer Bussel/flickr

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