Is Neem oil a contraceptive????
Pregnancy: Neem Oil As Contraceptive - Neem For Birth Control
Can neem oil prevent pregnancy?
Neem Oil And Birth Control
To use neem oil for birth control in developing countries seemed to be THE solution. A neem oil contraceptive would be safe, cheap, and easily available, since neem can be grown in most poor countries struggling with population growth.
Many reports of research into the use of neem oil as a contraceptive (mostly conducted in the mid eighties to mid nineties) conclude with the prediction that neem will be widely accepted as a means of birth control, and that the developments will have huge global impact.
When you dig through the experiments and results of neem birth control studies, it's obvious why researchers were excited.
Let me outline some of their findings in plain language. (If you are interested in the scientific details you can find the individual studies listed below.)
Neem Oil For Female Birth Control
Several small studies showed that neem oil appears to be a safe and very effective contraceptive, pre and post coital (before and after sex).
The way it was applied in the studies it was 100% effective in preventing pregnancies. During in vitro experiments (meaning, in a dish in the lab, not in real life) neem oil also totally immobilized sperm cells within 20 to 30 seconds of being in contact with neem oil.
Impressive, huh? But nothing new...
"In the first century B.C., Charaka, the Indian physician, gave a detailed method for using neem for contraception. Cotton soaked in neem oil was kept in the vagina for fifteen minutes before intercourse. This killed the sperm."
Newer studies showed that neem oil contraceptive indeed kills sperm in the vagina within 30 seconds and remains active for five hours. It causes no irritation or discomfort like the chemical based spermicidal foams do. (Apart from the awful smell.)
In addition neem oil acts as a lubricant, and it may also offer some protection from vaginal and sexually transmitted diseases.
Neem Extracts As A Male Birth Control Pill
A widely reported (misreported?) experiment took place in 1992: twenty married soldiers of the Indian Army took part in an experiment. The men took a small, daily dose of neem oil in a gelatine capsule for one year.
After six weeks the neem oil was 100% effective in preventing pregnancies, and the men remained infertile for the whole year of the trial. Not one wife fell pregnant. The soldiers did not experience any adverse side effects, and no change in their capabilities or desires. Six weeks after the soldiers stopped taking the capsules they regained their full fertility.
But even if the experiment had happened as described above, it is only one tiny experiment on humans, and not even a scientific study. All scientifically documented studies into the effect of neem oil on male fertility were done on animals. (The same is true for neem oil birth control studies on females.)
Those research studies, however, show that neem oil does indeed decrease sperm count and mobility, without affecting sperm production or libido. (Neem leaf extracts were shown to reduce fertility as well.) But we know nowhere near enough about those and other possible effects of neem oil when taken internally.
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