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Is Evening Primrose Oil During Pregnancy Safe or Not?

5 min read

When you are pregnant, your family and friends will be full of advice for you on what to do and what not to do during this pregnancy period. This can be very overwhelming. But remember you are not alone. A lot of new moms and mothers to go through this situation. One such confronting view is the use of evening primrose oil during pregnancy – is it good or bad? Read on to know more about the evening primrose oil during pregnancy.
evening primrose oil in pre
What Is Evening Primrose Oil?
Why pregnant women take evening primrose oil during pregnancy?
Is It Safe To Take Evening Primrose Oil during Pregnant?
How To Use this oil during pregnant period?
When to Consult the doctor
Benefits Of Using this Oil During Pregnancy
Side Effects Of Using this Oil During Pregnancy
Where To Find Evening Primrose Oil?
Can Evening Primrose Oil Be Used During The Pregnancy?

What Is Evening Primrose Oil?

Evening primrose oil is a herbal oil that comes from evening primrose plant, a variety of herbaceous flowering plant that is mostly found in North America. Evening primrose is known for its yellow and white flowers that bloom at night. For long, it has been hailed for its medicinal properties. It has been known to relieve pre-menstrual symptoms and skin disorders. Evening primrose oil during pregnancy is safe or not.

Why pregnant women take evening primrose oil during pregnancy?

Some of them recommend evening primrose oil during pregnancy to induce labour in a natural way. The oil is to help thin the cervix, which can encourage it to dilate and jumpstart labour.

Is It Safe To Take Evening Primrose Oil during Pregnant?

When it comes to the question of whether it can be safe or not during pregnancy time, there are confusing opinions regarding use it. Though it is believed to be helpful in the first trimester, as the pregnancy progresses into the last phase, it is best avoided or used with precaution. Many doctors recommend that if you have been taking evening primrose oil during pregnancy, it is best to find an alternative when you’re pregnant for your daily dosage of essential fatty acids and other benefits that this oil offers.
If, however, you decide to take evening primrose oil during pregnancy, you should be aware of the quantity and dosage. Let’s take a look at the recommended levels or take suggestions from the known one.

How To Use this oil during pregnancy period?

It is recommended to start using evening primrose oil orally after 35 weeks and vaginally after 37 weeks; the ideal time being somewhere between 38-40 weeks.

  • Start with one or two 500 mg capsules orally, and you can gradually increase it to 2,500mg/day
  • This amount is to be divided by taking it 2-3 times a day and not all at once
  • If you plan to use it vaginally, make sure to take it when you are lying down for long such as at night
  • Exercise caution because in some women evening primrose oil is known to induce labour, though there are no confirmed studies to prove it
  • Dosages vary according to the brand you use so read the instructions on the pack carefully before use of it
  • If you have already decided on a C-section, avoid it as it could act as a blood thinner. Remember to consult your doctor before you decide to take it.

When to Consult the doctor:

If you are thinking of trying a DIY option to get your labour started. Whether it is evening primrose oil or any other natural remedy. To get permission or advice from your doctor or midwife before taking it. He or she can help you to figure out what type of labour induction remedies are safe, and when it is ok to start trying them.
Evening primrose oil is the most popular natural option for trying to kickstart labour. But there is no much research to support to use it, and it could have some potentially harmful side effects also. You are considering to give it a try, be sure to talk with your provider first.   

Benefits Of Using this Oil During Pregnancy

Even though there are contradictory opinions regarding consuming evening primrose oil by pregnant women, its benefits cannot be refuted.

  • It helps mitigate early discomforts and complications that many pregnant women face
  • It is known to relieve breast pain (mastalgia) that many women experience during the first trimester
  • It helps to prevent preeclampsia (high blood pressure) and late deliveries also
  • It helps the cervix ripen and prepare it for labour thereby the need to induce medically can be avoided
  • It reduces the risk of tearing during labour
  • It is rich in linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid that is used by the body to make prostaglandins that help in many important body functions.

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evening primrose oil

Side Effects Of Using this Oil During Pregnancy

Though it is believed that evening primrose oil can prepare the cervix to induce labour, some studies show that women who take it in the final week of pregnancy might have “arrest of descent”. This means that the baby stops descending into the vagina in the final stages. Moreover, as already mentioned earlier, it acts as a blood thinner, and therefore complications might arise if you are planning a C-section. This might necessitate the use of vacuum extractor to pull the baby out, which is quite risky. Other side effects associated with its use are usually mild, which include are given below:

  • Nausea, headache, and abdominal cramps when consumed in higher doses
  • Diarrhoea and bloating
  • Post-partum haemorrhage (PPH). However, this can be avoided by taking it along with raspberry leaf, which is known to decrease the risk of PPH.

Where To Find Evening Primrose Oil?

Evening primrose oil can be easily found at most health food stores in the form of capsules. These capsules can be taken orally or slit open and used for the purpose of massaging. It is easily absorbed through the skin.

Can Evening Primrose Oil Be Used During The Pregnancy?

Going by the pros and cons, it is sensible to avoid evening primrose oil during pregnancy, if possible. Remember, it prepares the cervix, which makes dilation easy. It may not induce labour and will not be of much use until your body is ready to go into labour on its own. Instead of opting for self-medication, make sure that you consult your doctor before you decide to take evening primrose oil in the later stages of pregnancy since there is little evidence to guarantee it’s safety. Don’t take chances and get into complications during pregnancy period. Stay safe and ask your doctor for instructions when you decide to take something out of your regular diet. Pregnancy is a phase of indulgence and enjoyment. Could you not go overboard to spoil it?
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