Ask the Gyno: Inducing Labor Tips and Is a Late Period a Sign of Infertility?

Playing Can Labor Be Induced Naturally?

The following material contains mature subject matter. Viewer discretion is advised.

The Doctors are joined in the audience by Jae, a mother of a new baby girl, who shares her story of delivering her baby in her car! She was five days past her due date and ready for that baby to come out! When she experienced some contractions she had her doula come over, who told her it was early labor. Then, on the way to the hospital, things moved so fast her husband had to pull over and with the doula deliver that baby on the side of the road! Afterward, she wanted to just head back home, and that is what they did.

Jae shares that she tried everything to induce labor naturally and wants to know, so she can share with many pregnant friends, is there a way to do it?

OB/GYN Dr. Nita Landry says all of these popular methods to induce labor--sex, eating special salads, exercising, acupuncture, acupressure, eating spicy foods--are not backed by science. However, if you speak with your doctor and they suggest something like sex, it's worth a shot! When you're searching online and read about inducing labor and see suggestions such as supplements or herbs, always check with your doctor first.

With sex, penetration stimulates the lower uterine segment and if you orgasm, the oxytocin released could cause those uterine contractions. Doctors will sometimes give a medication to induce labor called prostaglandin, and when you have sex, semen contains prostaglandin. In an office, the doctor can also do something called stripping of the membrane to release those prostaglandins. "The good news is, they all come out!" jokes Dr. Nita.

Watch: Does the Uterus Double in Size during a Period?

The next question for Dr. Nita comes from Youtube from an 18-year-old girl who says she hasn't had her period since last November. She is hoping it is not her body's way of telling her she is infertile and wonders what is the cause of her not getting a period for so long.

There are so many possible factors--pregnancy, PCOS, thyroid problems, elevated prolactin, an eating disorder, stress--so this girl needs to see a doctor to get a full exam to determine what is going on. By age 15, 98% of women will have had their first menstrual period but in those first three years the brain and ovaries are learning how to communicate and sometimes ovulation is irregular. That being said, three months is a long time to not get a period. Dr. Nita notes there is no reason to jump to worrying about infertility just yet!

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