An ice lolly wrapper will not stop you from falling pregnant!

11 July 2018 - 10:28 By Nivashni Nair
Image: 123RF / Anjokan

Kitchen sponges‚ ginger‚ extended breastfeeding and jumping up and down after sex will not prevent you from falling pregnant.

Disinfectant‚ vinegar and lemon juice‚ for instance‚ are sometimes used vaginally.

On World Population Day on Wednesday‚ the United Nations said 50 years after global leaders recognised family planning as a human right‚ people were still resorting to "ineffective and harmful methods" to prevent conception.

Often based on rumours and myths‚ the methods ranged from damaging chemicals like disinfectants to household supplies like cleaning sponges.

"Some involve ingesting or inserting harsh chemicals into the body. Disinfectant‚ vinegar and lemon juice‚ for instance‚ are sometimes used vaginally. These can cause burns‚ irritation and other damage‚" the United Nations Population Fund said in a statement.

"Some people use herbs‚ such as ginger‚ that are useless in preventing pregnancy. Other herbs‚ like rue and neem‚ have been used since ancient times‚ but experts warn that there are no known dosages to make them safe or effective."

In its latest report‚ Unsafe‚ unreliable: Dangerous pregnancy methods‚ the United Nations agency found that these methods were found all over the world in both wealthy and poor countries.In at least one country‚ the stiff wrapper of a Popsicle is used as a condom replacement.

Sri Lankan obstetrics and gynaecology professor Hemantha Senanayake explained in the report that some use plastic bags or balloons instead of condoms.

"But condoms are made using advanced technology and tested individually for reliability‚ to protect from infections and pregnancy while plastic and balloons on the other hand are prone to breakage‚" she said.

According to the report‚ only breastfeeding could potentially be seen as a contraceptive but only under the right conditions‚ and only temporarily.

"Extended breastfeeding‚ a method employed by women around the world‚ does not provide reliable contraception. These ineffective methods can have serious consequences."