Having sex will not start labor, according to researchers who combed through the evidence to debunk the commonly-held belief. The old wives’ tale claims intercourse can trigger a birth in pregnant women at full term – around the 37-week mark.
But, until now, there was little scientific proof on whether sex truly works. Italian scientists pooled the available evidence – and at last put the claim to bed. The team, led by Luigi Carbone at the University of Naples, said the theory has been circulating since around the 1970s.
The team collected all the relevant trials on the technique published before June 2019. There were only three that were of high enough quality to include in their analysis, suggesting the topic hasn’t been studied robustly.
Overall, 1,500 women each pregnant with one child were included in the studies, according to the paper published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine. According to the findings, there was no correlation between having sex and having a spontaneous labor or an artificial induction.