Coitus to expedite the onset of labour: a randomised trial
Article first published online: 12 NOV 2012
© 2012 The Authors BJOG An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology © 2012 RCOG
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Volume 120, Issue 3, pages 338–345, February 2013
How to Cite
Coitus to expedite the onset of labour: a randomised trial. BJOG 2013;120;338–345., , , , .
- Issue published online: 14 JAN 2013
- Article first published online: 12 NOV 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 27 SEP 2012
- University of Malaya. Grant Numbers: grant PJP/UM/FS/137/2007c, PJP/UM/FS/137/2007c
- induction of labour;
- onset of labour;
- randomised trial;
- sexual intercourse
To evaluate the effect of suggesting coitus as a safe and effective means to expedite labour on pregnancy duration and requirement for labour induction.
A randomised trial.
Antenatal clinic in a university hospital in Malaysia.
Women from 35 weeks of gestation with an uncomplicated singleton pregnancy.
The advise-coitus arm was counselled that coitus at term is a safe, natural and effective means to initiate labour and to avoid labour induction. The control arm was told coitus was safe. Both arms were asked to record coital activity.
Main outcome measures
Pregnancy duration and labour induction.
The intervention to delivery interval (mean ± SD) was 3.2 ± 1.4 versus 3.3 ± 1.3 weeks (P = 0.417), with a gestational age at delivery of 39.4 ± 1.2 versus 39.5 ± 1.2 weeks (P = 0.112), and with labour induction rates of 126/574 (22.0%) versus 120/576 (20.8%) (P = 0.666) for the advise-coitus and control arms, respectively, with no statistical difference between the groups. Coitus prior to delivery was more often reported in the advise-coitus arm compared with the control arm: 481/574 (85.3%) versus 458/576 (79.9%) (RR 1.5, 95% CI 1.1–2.0, P = 0.019). Also, the median (interquartile range) reported number of coital acts of 3 (2–5) versus 2 (1–4) (P = 0.006) was higher for the advise-coitus arm. Other pregnancy and neonatal outcomes did not differ between the groups.
Labour onset and labour induction did not differ in the advise-coitus arm.