Evening Primrose Oil?

Can evening primrose oil really help ripen my cervix?
save article
profile picture of Melissa M. Goist, MD
Updated January 30, 2017
Hero Image

Although it’s been used for decades — and even longer — as a way to help nudge your body into labor, there’s very little scientific evidence to show that evening primrose oil can actually get the job done. Many midwives will prescribe a dose of the oil (inserted vaginally) to hasten cervical ripening (which itself will bring about delivery), but research published in the Journal of Nurse-Midwifery has shown that women who took the oil did not have a shorter length of pregnancy or length of labor compared to a control group who did not use the oil.

Unfortunately, most obstetricians agree there’s really not that much you can do beyond administering certain medications to make that due date come any sooner. But if it can help you feel like you’re gaining some control over when your baby actually arrives, it probably can’t hurt to try it (just check with your health care practitioner first).

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

save article
Related Video

Next on Your Reading List

Article removed.
Name added. View Your List