Evening Primrose Oil and Its Benefits During Pregnancy

November 12, 2012

Evening Primrose Oil and Its Benefits During Pregnancy

Evening primrose oil was popular in North America, where the wild flower is commonly found, with the original Native Americans long before it was recognised by anyone else. They used it extensively within their tribal medicines, recognising the many benefits it gave women during pregnancy and in treating feminine medical conditions. It was in Europe, where other people besides the native Americans began to recognise the qualities of evening primrose oil and went on to promote it’s effectiveness and to introduce it to other parts of the world.

Natural health practitioners, swear by evening primrose oil, also known as EPO in relation to pregnancy and childbirth. The use of EPO is considered to be a way of inducing labour as well as helping to make childbirth more comfortable. It is also though to be affective in aiding conception. European researchers found the oil to be useful in reducing some of the symptoms of the female menstruation including stomach cramps. It also worked particularly well as relieving tenderness in the breasts. Aside from these qualities, evening primrose oil can also improve the quality of the mucus, which lines the cervix, aiding the woman’s fertility and increasing the chances of her becoming pregnant.

A common misconception is that the oil is derived from the English Primrose when in fact it comes from the wildflower found in North America. The plant is rich in both vitamin E and an essential fatty acid, called gamma linolenic acid, which are where its health benefits are thought to come from. This essential fatty acid is converted in the female body into a substance similar to a hormone, known as prostaglandin. It has similar effects as a hormone and works as an anti-inflammatory. Therefore an increase in gamma linolenic acid results in an increase of the hormone-like substance, the anti-inflammatory properties of which promote female fertility and can act as a natural pain relief against certain conditions. For example, it is thought to relieve the pain associated with menstrual cramps such as back and stomach pain. Natural health practitioners recommend taking evening primrose oil as it reduces the need to take other medication, which could cause potentially harmful side effects.

The mucus lining the cervix plays a very important role during pregnancy. One of which is aiding the sperm on its way towards the egg. The use of evening primrose oil has been shown to increase the production and quality of the cervical mucus, increasing the survival rate of the sperm and therefore increasing the likelihood of a successful conception.

Fertility experts advise that women who are trying to conceive should take evening primrose starting from the first day of their menstrual period. In between their periods women can switch to flaxseed oil, which should also be used once pregnant and up until the 34th week when they should switch back to primrose oil to aid in the birth by preparing the cervix for delivery. It should be taken orally until after the 36th week of pregnancy, when the oil capsule can be inserted vaginally and massaged into the skin.

Evening primrose is starting to become popular with women looking for a more natural birth avoiding the use of chemicals and drugs. Evening primrose has been around for centuries and is a great natural aid from conception all the way through to birth.

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