Myth That Sex Late in Pregnancy Hastens Birth

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Sex and Childbirth

A new study debunks the widely held belief that engaging in sexual intercourse during the final weeks of pregnancy can hasten labor and delivery.

In fact, just the opposite was true in 93 women studied at Ohio State University Medical Center. Women who were sexually active in the final three weeks of their pregnancies carried their babies an average of 39.9 weeks, compared to average delivery at 39.3 weeks among women who abstained from sexual activity at term.

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"Patients may continue to hear the 'old wives' tale' that intercourse will hasten labor, but according to this data, they should not hear it from the medical community," concludes Dr. Jonathan Schaffir, an obstetrician at OSU Medical Center and author of the study published in the June issue of the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Schaffir also said the data don't support a recommendation to engage in sexual activity, either.

Of the 93 women enrolled, 47, or 50.5 percent, reported they had sex during the final weeks of their pregnancies

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