Preparing For Labor: Evening Primrose Oil

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Now that I’m 38 weeks, I have a new bedtime routine that includes evening primrose oil. There have always been whispers of using this to ripen the cervix in the Midwifery community, but I wanted to take a look at the research to decide on which way to take it. ⁣

You can buy evening primrose oil in capsule form; it’s extracted from the seeds of the evening primrose plant. The oil contains gamma linolenic acid, which is a precursor of prostaglandins that help ripen the cervix. ⁣

Research is still limited but there have been benefits found when taking 1000 mg of evening primrose oil vaginally starting at 38 weeks. The benefits were as follows:⁣

  • More favorable cervix⁣


  • Shorter average length of early labor⁣


  • Fewer C-sections ⁣


  • Less use of pitocin to induce labor⁣


On the other hand, studies that looked at taking evening primrose oil orally did not show significant benefits. ⁣

Always check with your healthcare provider to see if this is safe for you before inserting anything vaginally. If you get the okay, it’s best to insert right before bedtime because you want to lay down for at least 2 hours to allow it to absorb. ⁣

I linked to the one I’m using HERE

Did you try evening primrose oil? How did you take it?⁣


xoxo, Global Midwife


Disclaimer: This is only to be used for educational purposes, not as medical advice. Always check with your individual healthcare provider.


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