Can Infertile Men Help Induce Labor?

by beagooddad on October 3, 2007

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BeAGoodMom had a doctor appointment last night and found out she is 1 cm dilated with no signs of the baby being ready to start thinking about sleeping in her own crib yet. We are a few days past the time when the Geetle and Pookie were born so we were both a little bummed to think that we really might have to wait a few more weeks.

BeAGoodMom told me that the doctor told her there are a couple things we can do to help encourage Taco Supreme along.

First is walking more. There are only a couple things that 37 1/2 week pregnant women want to her less than to walk more. But after the kids came home from school we headed off to the mall for a little wandering.

Second, the doctor encouraged sex
. Wait. What’s that you say, Doc? Apparently there is a thing called prostaglandin that is found in semen that is supposed to help “ripen the cervix.” Also, females having orgasm releases oxytocin which is supposed to help remind the body that the baby doesn’t really need to stay inside forever.

Hey, I’m willing to do just about anything for science.

But then I had a thought. Do I even make prostaglandins? After all, I am infertile. I didn’t know whether this magic prostaglandin is supposed to be in the semen or in the sperm. That is a big difference since I make the former but not that latter.

I did some Googling on naturally inducing labor and saw prostaglandin referenced about equal amount of times as being sperm-based as semen-based. But since almost all of that chatter was just normal people talking, I figured they may not really know the difference or they might just assume that nobody would care about the fine level of distinction between the two I know I never really thought about the difference until I found out I had a difference. Fortunately, I ended up checking the Wikipedia where they mention this:

The name prostaglandin derives from the prostate gland. When prostaglandin was first isolated from seminal fluid in 1935 by the Swedish physiologist Ulf von Euler,[1] and independently by M.W. Goldblatt,[2] it was believed to be part of the prostatic secretions (in actuality prostaglandins are produced by the seminal vesicles); it was later shown that many other tissues secrete prostaglandins for various functions.

I take everything I read from the Wikipedia with a grain of salt, but it does seem to indicate that prostaglandin is something in the seminal fluid and unrelated to the sperm.

Apparently, my particular kind of infertility will still allow me to help induce labor. For the record, we are not really going out of our way to induce the labor. But when the doctor says that we should start walking more and have sex, well, who am I to get in the way of a doctor’s orders. And before anybody starts to say something about “typical male doctors…blah, blah…men,” I would like to point out that this doctor was a woman and just might be the greatest doctor ever.

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