#AskDrMalik: DOES DRINKING SALT AND WATER PREVENT PREGNANCY?

And a Review of Other Strange Methods of Contraception

Salt and water prevent pregnancy

QUESTION: Does drinking salt and water prevent pregnancy? Can drinking salt solution (or salt water) immediately after sex kill sperm? What about Andrew’s Liver Salt? [Paraphrased]

ANSWER:

In my years of medical practice, this is one of the commonest questions I get asked by ladies, especially.

There are a lot of lies and myths out there about how to prevent pregnancy immediately after unprotected sex, like urinating immediately after sex, washing the vagina as quickly as possible, drinking heated alcohol (like whiskey), using lime (or lemon), and so on. None of these actually work!

But, one very common one ( and that many ladies believe in) is drinking salt and water solution immediately after sex.

Does it work? Does drinking salt and water prevent pregnancy?

No! Drinking salt and water immediately after sex doesn’t work, even if you use it to wash the vagina! Now, if you think it has worked for you in the past, you’re wrong…it didn’t; it wasn’t what protected you — you were most likely on your safe period — and that was why you didn’t get pregnant! You were only lucky!

But, wait!  How on earth did you think it would work?

First, neither salt nor water nor salt-solution has contraceptive properties — they don’t have ability to prevent pregnancy (on their own).

And, also, if you’re thinking of direct action, no! There’s no direct connection between the stomach and the womb! So, drinking salty and water is a wrong move! The best taking excessive salt solution can do is to make you vomit immediately — and that is useless (in preventing pregnancy) and harmful to you health!

In fact, it is a dangerous move! Because, we, medical people and nutritionists, discourage excessive salt intake and advise people to cut down the amount of salt they take.

As you might have rightly known, regularly taking this salt solutions increase the risk of hypertension and leads to poor blood pressure control (for people who already have hypertension).

In cases of diarrhea and vomiting, we advise you to take salt and sugar solution (and ORT) because the body is losing water, salts, and sugars! It’s logical! We are simply replacing what is being lost in the diarrhea and vomiting!

So, salt-and-water doesn’t prevent pregnancy. It doesn’t kill sperm. It doesn’t prevent the sperm from reaching the womb. It doesn’t do NOTHING!

But why use this fake method when there are simple and very effective ways of preventing pregnancy?

Like, you could use Emergency Contraceptives like Postinor, are very effective in preventing pregnancy if taken within 72 hours after sex — the earlier, the better. If you vomit within 3 hours of taking the tablet, take another one. It doesn’t protect for subsequent sex. It may, however, affect your next menses in timing (it may come earlier or later) or in volume (it may be heavy or scanty, or not at all!)

Read this: POSTINOR 2: HOW EFFECTIVE IS IT IN PREVENTING PREGNANCY? IS IT SAFE OR DANGEROUS?

Other methods like use of condoms, calendar method (and calculating of safe period), and withdrawal methods, if properly and correctly used, have a great level of effectiveness.

Also read this: SAFE SEX 101: PREVENTING UNPLANNED PREGNANCY

So, I repeat: Does drinking salt and water prevent pregnancy? NO!

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Dr. 'Malik Haruna King is a practicing Nigerian Medical Doctor and Sex Therapist. He helps people with sensitive health issues find answers to questions they are too ashamed to ask!