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Does Castor Oil Induce Labor?

Last updated on October 13, 2011

Does Castor Oil Induce LaborDoes castor oil induce labor? Many people swear by this home remedy for labor induction, but it is debatable whether it is safe and effective. Some women swear that it works while others say it may not work and may have severe side effects. Here’s what you need to know.

Efficacy of Castor Oil
The truth is that the idea of using castor oil to induce labor is a controversial topic, simply because there has been conflicting evidence found by researchers. Some studies have found that it is a great way to induce labor and others have found that it is not effective. One study in Asia reported that it might even be dangerous to use castor oil to induce labor, because one woman experienced a ruptured uterus after using the oil.

Why it Works
The reason that castor oil may work to induce labor is due to the fact that the oil stimulates the walls of the intestines. This stimulation has a laxative effect and it causes cramping for many people. Even though the cramping is in the intestinal area, it is believed that those cramps can affect the uterus and start contractions.

Dangers
Many medical professional recommend against using castor oil to induce labor because it can cause side effects such as vomiting, loose stools, dehydration, and fetal distress.

High Risk Pregnancies
If you have a high risk pregnancy or if you aren’t full term, then it is a good idea to talk with your doctor before using castor oil during the pregnancy. Indeed, even if you don’t have a high risk pregnancy and are overdue, it’s still important to talk with your doctor before taking castor oil.

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