Do these ‘natural’ birth control methods work? Don’t count on it.

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Image: Bria Badu/Twitter

I asked some real experts—Robin Watkins, a women’s-health nurse practitioner and director of health care at Power to Decide, and Ryan Marino, MD, a medical toxicologist—to weigh in on which “natural” birth control methods actually work and whether they’re safe to use.

1. Papaya

Does it prevent pregnancy? No

Will it hurt you? Not unless you’re allergic

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2. Neem

Does it prevent pregnancy? No

Will it hurt you? If you attempt to inject it into your “uterine horns,” as the original tweet suggests, then definitely yes, says Dr. Marino. “Neem is used as a pesticide for plants.”

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8. Pennyroyal

Does it prevent pregnancy? No

Will it hurt you? Yes. Both Watkins and Dr. Marino warn that pennyroyal ingested in any amount can have dire side effects including liver toxicity and death. The chart in the original tweet mentions that pennyroyal can be used to initiate self-abortion, which is true, but a lot of things that were used to initiate abortion before it was legal often led to severe illness and death.

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TL;DR

“There are no herbs or plants that prevent pregnancy,” says ob-gyn Jen Gunter, MD, author of the forthcoming book The Vagina Bible.

Read full, original post: Do Any of These “Natural Birth Control Methods” Work? A List

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