Evening Primrose Oil Pregnancy Benefits
Are there evening primrose oil pregnancy benefits? What is the connection between the two?
Evening Primrose Oil (EPO) is derived from a common North American wildflower. Though not actually a primrose, the plant was so named because of its resemblance to the English Primrose.
Rich in vitamin E, this oil also has gamma linolenic acid (GLA), an essential fatty acid.
Though Native Americans used it for a number of ailments, including several involving female disorders, it was the Europeans that actually made it popular. Because of its many useful properties, it became known as the king's cure-all once it was brought back to their country and put into use.
In women, it was especially helpful for relieving breast and menstrual pains, and for improving fertility as well as the quality of cervical mucus.
In a woman, the gamma linolenic acid is converted to a hormone-like substance called prostaglandin, which will help her throughout her life because of its anti-inflammatory properties. This includes during her youth, with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms, as well. This is because the anti-inflammatory properties of the oil help women who suffer the pains, aches and cramps of the menstrual cycle.
How about the evening primrose oil pregnancy link?
As far as evening primrose oil pregnancy benefits are concerned, this oil aids the period of a woman's life when she is trying to conceive, by having a positive effect on cervical mucus. It helps her body produce more egg white cervical mucus, the type that can best aid the sperm on its journey through the uterus to the egg. Egg white cervical mucus is the type in which the sperm has the greatest survival rate before implantation.
So, this benefit contributes to the evening primrose oil pregnancy connection.
It is recommended by some that evening primrose oil should be taken from the menstrual cycle to ovulation. From ovulation to the next cycle, replace the EPO with flaxseed oil. Once pregnant, continue taking the flaxseed oil until the 34th week, as the baby will need all of the essential fatty acids it can get from the mother's body. This is due to its rapid cell growth, new tissues, etc.
And there are more evening primrose oil pregnancy benefits.
In preparing for delivery, the prostaglandins of gamma linolenic acid will ready the cervix for labor. After the 34th week, the GLA can gradually prepare the cervix for a safe delivery as well as a healthy baby. Taken orally, this will give the oil ample time to ripen the cervix gradually. By ripening the cervix in this manner, the baby's head can drop deeper into the pelvis, which will, in turn, help with the dilation process of the cervix.
The entire capsule can be inserted into the vagina as well, after the 36th week of gestation, to help with the cervical ripening, or the capsule can be opened and the oil massaged into the skin of the perinea area for comfort. The oil can also be rubbed onto the cervix itself for maximum absorption each evening, during the last few weeks leading up to delivery.
Midwives recommend increasing the amount of capsules you are taking each day to three or four when you reach 38 weeks' gestation. However, if you experience nausea or diarrhea (the two common side effects of evening primrose oil), decrease your doses.
Besides evening primrose oil pregnancy benefits, this oil has many other health benefits, too. Learn more in the other related evening primrose oil articles and pages.
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