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Dawn Stacey M.Ed, LMHC

Myth Busters - Aspirin as a Birth Control Method?

By May 20, 2010

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I just recently read an internet article in which the author claimed that aspirin is an effective birth control method. After doing some research, I have found that this is a common (inaccurate) belief among teenagers and adults as well. The only tidbit which I could find that may lead people to this conclusion is that men who take regular doses of aspirin may have a decreased sperm count. Just because the number of sperm may be lowered, remember, it only takes ONE to fertilize an egg! I also found a study that suggests that high doses of aspirin may cause uterine contractions (which could possibly cause a miscarriage), but the odds of this really happening are relatively low.

So, here are my two "myth busters" for the day. For those of you who believe that taking 20 Aspirin right after sex will stop conception from taking place, there answer is clearly FALSE! Aspirin does not have any effect on sperm or on the implantation process. Also, taking three Aspirin while drinking a Coke prior to having sex will not prevent pregnancy either. Also, in case you are wondering, soaking in a hot bath or applying a heating pad on the stomach after sex also does not work either. Some people "buy" into this myth because of the notion that heat kills sperm. Though this is true, it is more applicable when talking about destroying a small amount of sperm with a large amount of heat, so a warm bath or a heating pad is not strong enough to zap sperm.

These old wives tales may come from the idea that people may wish that there is some type of magical solution to preventing pregnancy. Yet, the truth of the matter is that there is no magic when it comes to getting pregnant - if a sperm joins an egg, conception will occur. When evaluating some of these myths, remember that the average ejaculate contains 300-500 million sperm, and these sperm can live inside a female's body for up to 5 days. Also, after being ejaculated, the fastest sperm can take only 20 minutes to reach an available egg. Going back to the aspirin belief, if you are determined to use it as a form of birth control, I will leave you with the following suggestion: the only way that an aspirin can prevent pregnancy is for a woman to carefully place it between her knees and HOLD it there (by keeping her knees and therefore her legs) closed.

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May 24, 2010 at 1:48 pm
(1) embroidery says:

Great post. Very informative. Site has been added to my RSS feed for later browsing.

February 1, 2012 at 3:04 pm
(2) Norah F says:

Your final suggestion is technically not true!

I understand your sentiment that the aspirin holding is meant to prevent sex from occurring but it is still VERY possible to keep ones legs together and have intercourse. If you are unable to keep your legs together during sex you are either A) very large B) not flexible in your lower back C) not very creative in your sexual positions.

February 16, 2012 at 6:55 am
(3) website says:

3 cheese

February 16, 2012 at 5:08 pm
(4) Gup20 says:

Though it is an old wives tale, aspirin can be an effective birth control if used properly. The problem is you don’t take it orally… a woman must hold the tablet tightly between her knees to avoid conception. (this old wives tale was a funny comment meant to convey the idea that abstinence was the only 100% effective means of birth control).

February 17, 2012 at 8:01 pm
(5) ThriftyDiva317 says:

It is an old (very old) myth told to young ladies back in the day. The tale is told as a method of birth control NOT based on the effect of the aspirin as contraception, but based on the fact that as long as the young lady held the aspirin between her knees, she could not open her legs. Thus preventing her from supposedly having intercourse. The wives tale was never to explain the medicinal benefits of the aspirin itself.

February 18, 2012 at 6:45 pm
(6) Greg says:
July 5, 2012 at 10:33 am
(7) maitsthamibra says:

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