Evening Primrose Oil to Induce Labor: Is it Safe?


Evening primrose is edible and medicinal plant known for its beautiful white and yellow flowers, which bloom at night. Many women, midwives, and alternative health practitioners have recognized the powerful healing properties of this oil and have shared many stories of its success in pregnancy and a variety of health conditions. If you really want to know whether evening primrose oil works or not, then this article is for you. In this article, we will discuss how evening primrose oil is used to induce labour.

evening primrose oil

In This Article:

A Guide for Evening Primrose Oil to Induce Labor

Is Evening Primrose Oil Safe to Use?

While evening primrose is considered safe for short-term use, always consult with your doctor before use and take the following risks into account:


How to Use Evening Primrose Oil to Induce Labor Naturally?

Please note that you should not take EPO before the 38th week of pregnancy.

Consult your Doctor Before Beginning

Although this supplement is considered safe for short-term use, there are some general risks involved that you should discuss with your doctor or midwife before proceeding. They may also give you more specific instructions on proper use and dosage, especially for inserting the capsules vaginally.

Start Taking the Supplement Orally

As soon as you get the green light from your doctor, you can start taking evening primrose oil supplements during your 38th week. Start with a low dose of 500mg daily and gradually increase the dose up to 2000mg per day as you get closer to your due date. This should only be performed during the last two weeks of your pregnancy. Reduce the dose if you start experiencing side effects such as nausea, diarrhea, or upset stomach. Discontinue treatment if the symptoms persist.

Insert Capsules Vaginally

In addition to ingesting the supplement orally, you may also insert capsules directly into your vagina once you are in the last two weeks of pregnancy. Inserting one capsule each night before bedtime will do. As a precaution, make sure you properly wash and sanitize your hands, especially your fingers, before you do this to prevent bacterial infection. The capsule will melt within a few minutes, and the oil will leak into the cervix and help to soften it. This is an important contribution to labor induction and an easier delivery. Using liquid evening primrose oil as a lubricant for perineal massage may also help.

Health Benefits of Evening Primrose

Evening primrose oil may be beneficial for the following conditions:


PMS and Breast Pain

GLA and its subsequent production of prostaglandins minimizes the effect of prolactin—the hormone responsible for production of breast milk. Evening primrose oil is highly effective in minimizing symptoms of depression and irritability, breast pain and tenderness, and bloating caused by premenstrual syndrome. These benefits may be boosted by taking evening primrose oil alongside magnesium, zinc, and niacin which increase the conversion of GLA to prostaglandins.

Hot Flashes

There is significant improvement in frequency, duration, and severity of hot flashes after taking evening primrose oil for a certain period. Reduced hot flashes also improve relationships, social life, and sexuality.

Hair Loss

A popular evening primrose oil product is evening primrose shampoo. This is believed to prevent hair loss due to its natural components. Phytoestrogens may relieve hormone-related and menopausal hair loss, arachidonic acid may stimulate new hair growth, and vitamin E may relieve oxidative stress and protect hair follicles.

Heart Disease

Evening primrose oil may reduce blood cholesterol and inflammation related to heart disease.

Diabetic Nerve Damage

Linolenic acid found in evening primrose oil has been shown to alleviate symptoms of diabetic nerve damage such as weakness, numbness, and tingling.


Risks for Use During Pregnancy

  • There are general risks involved with any attempt to induce labor.
  • According to the American Family Physician, it is possible that evening primrose oil may contribute to bleeding complications during a Cesarean section, postpartum hemorrhaging, increased chance of premature rupture of membranes, arrest.
  • Do not take evening primrose oil if you have epilepsy, schizophrenia, or a bleeding disorder, or if you are about to have surgery. Evening primrose oil may increase the risk of seizures and bleeding complications.
  • Evening primrose oil interacts with several medications, so consult your doctor before using.
  • Since there is not enough medically-supported information about evening primrose oil, proper dosing is uncertain. Always start with a low dose and reduce or discontinue use if you experience negative side effects.

Where can you Buy Evening Primrose Oil?

You can buy evening primrose oil at nearest pharmacy or online. Just make sure to check the label before buying it.

Therefore, to conclude, it might not be a bad idea to use evening primrose oil to induce labour. However, since pregnancy is a crucial period, you should always consult your doctor before doing anything.


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