On Twitter, a post widely relayed advises women to consume papaya, neem leaves or pennyroyal to avoid getting pregnant. Not only are these methods ineffective, they can also be dangerous.
Papaya, fig, neem leaves ... all these natural ingredients are very effective to avoid getting pregnant if we believe a beloved tweet 14,000 times and widely relayed on the Internet since its publication on June 5. But do not swallow everything we tell you on the web, worried experts that the effectiveness of these remedies of grandmother or hipster, to choose, is not scientifically proven. Worse, some may even be dangerous.
"Some of these things should not be consumed at all," warns Nathaniel DeNicola, an assistant professor at George Washington University in the United States interviewed by BuzzFeed News. Indeed, if some of the ingredients listed in the offending Tweet were used in medieval medicine, many plants mentioned can be very dangerous toxic, like the example of pennyroyal, used in pesticides.
"Pennyroyal causes premenstrual flow and helps to initiate an automatic abortion.It is often prescribed with other herbs to prevent pregnancy.To boil 8 ounces of spring or distilled water," is it vaguely recommended in this tweet. However, this plant can cause serious damage to the kidneys, liver and nervous system. It can also cause nausea, vomiting abdominal pain, high blood pressure and even lung and / or brain problems.
Many people poisoned themselves by eating pennyroyal
Worse still, it has caused its death toll over the centuries. Among the victims, an 18-year-old girl who had taken 28 grams of pennyroyal to try to abort by herself. Another unfortunate woman died at age 23 after swallowing a spoonful of pennyroyal in hopes of triggering her period.
But fortunately not everyone is fooled on social networks. "You tell us to poison ourselves," an Internet surfer irritated. "It's completely wrong and you do misinformation, you know what works, the contraceptive pill and the condoms," retorts another. "Nobody thinks that eating papaya twice a day will prevent him from getting pregnant, right?", "I have an idea how a papaya could avoid getting pregnant, but it must hurt a lot," mocked. two other Twitter users.
At a time when the conventional methods recommended by modern medicine are less attractive, many people want to return to more natural techniques, which push them to relay any kind of information on serious social networks. Thus, on YouTube, several videos circulate affirming that drinking milk with garlic can prevent risks of pregnancy. But the scientific truth is quite different since garlic, on the contrary, makes the contraceptive pill less effective.
The contraceptive pill less and less appreciated
Not long ago, another crazy piece of the genre had been controversial on the web. For example, several young women encouraged them to put garlic cloves in their vaginas for three days to treat fungal infections. This recommendation, ineffective and also dangerous, had screamed an American gynecologist named Jen Gunter who had personally seized the subject.
But if these methods of grandmother are strongly discouraged by health professionals, it is clear that the pill is less popular with women, not only because they are afraid to forget to take it daily at a fixed time. Decreased libido, weight gain, irregular bleeding and bloating for some, controversy over the risks of cancers of the breast, cervix and liver ... this method of contraception has had bad press in recent years.
Also, if you want to get rid of your hormonal contraceptive system (pill or implant) and are afraid to get pregnant, rather than turning to the Internet, go to your gynecologist to discuss other possibilities. Among them, the non-hormonal IUD (to avoid for those suffering from endometriosis). And in the meantime, think of condoms.