Despite the fact that nowadays there are a great number of effective birth control methods, some people still rely on home-made contraceptives to avoid unwanted pregnancy and STD's. What are the most common "natural" birth control methods that should be avoided?
One of the most widespread myths is that Coca-Cola can be used as an effective birth control method. The idea of using this soft drink to prevent pregnancy came from the study conducted by Harvard medical school team that won IgNobel prize. Scientists claimed that the acidity of the Coca Cola works as spermicide, while the shape of the bottle can be used as an applicator for douching.
However, Deborah Anderson, professor in obstetrics and gynaecology at Boston University and Harvard debunked this common misconception. The study proved that Coca-Cola was not effective in killing sperm and sperm reached the egg faster than Coke. Besides, Coca-Cola can do more harm to vaginal tissues, making woman vulnerable to STD's and bacterial infections.
Through the centuries women used acidic solutions like lemon juice or vinegar as birth control. It was commonly believed that sperm does not survive in highly acidic environment. Besides, a couple of years ago, the study suggested that lemon juice could be used as microbicide, protecting from HIV infection.
Though, there is not enough data on the safety and efficacy of lemon juice as birth control option, this method is potentially harmful for women. The study conducted at Carol Lackman-Smith of the Southern Research Institute showed that pure or 50 percent solutions of lemon juice damaged the vaginal tissues. The study also found that lemon juice does not prevent against sexually transmitted diseases.
Many couples use personal lubricants during intercourse if a woman has vaginal dryness or to increase pleasure. However, if a man and a woman are trying to conceive, they are advised against using personal lubricant because the use of personal lubricants such as K-Y jelly makes it difficult for sperm to move. Though, this does not mean that lubricant is an effective birth control method. Even if it does not contain spermicide, personal lubricant does not provide protection against unplanned pregnancy or STD's.
It is known that exposure to high temperatures can significantly damage male fertility. Even though hot tubs for more than 30 minutes really reduce sperm count, it does not make hot tubes an effective birth control method. In fact, low sperm count does not guarantee a man will be unable to become a father because it takes only one sperm to fertilize an egg.