Is There Any Connection between Semen and Labor?

Article Details
  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 26 September 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
The average American has around 60 "bad days" a year; lack of sleep is the biggest contributing factor.  more...

October 20 ,  1973 :  The "Saturday Night Massacre"  more...

The connection between semen and labor is real, though not foolproof. Sexual intercourse that results in the deposit of semen inside a pregnant female can be used as a natural method of labor induction. This works — sometimes — because semen contains prostaglandins, which are hormones that help prepare a woman’s cervix for labor and childbirth. Doctors sometimes apply gel that contains these hormones to a woman’s cervix in the hopes of encouraging her body to begin labor, but some women also decide to take matters into their own hands by having sexual intercourse. Some doctors even recommend this tactic, which sometimes works but sometimes only provides a distraction for a woman who is impatiently awaiting her baby.

People spread many myths about things that supposedly can stimulate labor. The connection between semen and labor, however, is no myth. This method of labor stimulation actually has some chance of working, because semen contains the same hormones doctors often use to help prepare a woman’s body for childbirth. These prostaglandins work by softening the cervix and making it thinner. Exposure to these hormones alone is sometimes enough to stimulate labor.


When a woman’s cervix is exposed to prostaglandins and begins to soften and thin, the result is often contractions that start labor and stimulate the process necessary for delivery of a baby. In some cases, the contractions the hormones cause are stronger than those that occur with labor that starts on its own, and they may come more regularly, as well. This means a woman may face more discomfort as a result. The good news about semen and labor, however, is that abnormally strong contractions are less likely to occur when a woman is exposed to the prostaglandins in semen than when exposed to those in a prepared gel.

While the connection between semen and labor can translate into natural labor induction for some women, it is not a reliable method of stimulating labor. Some women may try this method multiple times and not get any closer to labor. In such a case, the expectant mother's body may not be ready for labor, and she may just have to wait for it to happen on its own. When it is imperative for a woman to deliver her child sooner rather than later, doctors may recommend prostaglandin gel to prepare the cervix and a medication called pitocin, which is delivered through a woman’s veins and is used to stimulate contractions.


You might also Like


Discuss this Article

Post 3

@turquoise-- Semen softens the cervix and provides the necessary hormones for labor. But it's only effective if labor is near. It will not induce early labor.

If it's tried too early, it might just end up causing discomfort for the mother. It might lead to contractions that are not labor related. So you will still be pregnant and probably upset too.

I would actually wait for doctor's orders before trying sex. My doctor actually told me to try this at forty weeks.

Post 2

@turquoise-- Are you dilated? Is the baby in the exit position?

Having sex did not induce labor for me but I have friends who said it worked for them. One had the baby the next day and the other, the same night. It might be coincidence though.

I think the baby will come when he/she is ready. If it's taking too long, the doctors will do what's necessary anyway.

Post 1

I will be thirty-nine weeks in a few days, my baby doesn't seem ready to come out. My mother and my aunt told me to have sex to start labor. I don't feel very comfortable with the idea though.

Has anyone actually tried inducing labor this way? Does it work? Is once enough?

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?