What is Vitamin C
Vitamin C, which is also known as ascorbic acid, is a water soluble vitamin found in a variety of fruits and vegetables.
It is also formulated as a pharmaceutical drug in different dosage forms and strengths.
It is found in most multivitamins formulations out there in the market.
Available dosage forms of Vitamin C include tablets, hard capsules, syrup, drops for infants, effervescent tablets, and injections. There is also vitamin C serum. This is often utilized in the cosmetic industry.
The most commonly available strengths of vitamin C include the following:
- Tablets: 100mg, 250mg, 500, and 1000mg
- Syrup: 100mg/5ml
- Effervescent tablets: 1000mg
The dosage of vitamin C is dependent on individual needs. Its dosage is individualized using age, body weight, health condition, gender and/or desired outcome.
Can vitamin C prevent pregnancy?
In this article, we will answer a popular question: “can vitamin C prevent pregnancy”.
We understand that some persons believe that taking large amounts of vitamin C can preventing pregnancy.
The following are the assumptions people have about vitamin C and how they feel it can prevent pregnancy:
- When taken in large amounts, vitamin C being an acid, would make the cervical mucus highly acidic such that sperm cannot survive in it. This way, the sperm won’t be able to reach the egg.
- When taken in large amounts, it will increase the viscosity of the cervical mucus thereby slowing down sperm motility which would eventually prevent them from getting to the egg before dying off.
That’s actually not true as there is no scientific backing on such assumptions, especially when taken orally.
When a large amounts of vitamin C is taken, the body takes the needed quantity and gets ride of the excesses through urine.
So, consuming a large amounts of vitamin C can actually make the urine to be acidic but not the cervical mucus.
Please note, consumption of large amounts of vitamin C indiscriminately can be harmful to the health. Read harmful effects of vitamin C abuse to learn more about this.
On the contrary to the above assumptions, vitamin C is believed to aid fertilization especially when the case of infertility is related to oxidative stress .
Moreover, a study claims that vitamin C is a good components of corpus luteum, quantity wise, in addition to progesterone and estrogen.
On whether vitamin C can prevent pregnancy, the short and straight answer to the question is no, none of the currently available dosage form of Vitamin C can prevent pregnancy.
In fact, it is being investigated for use in preventing pregnancy related ailments such as preeclampsia, stillbirth, and pregnancy induced diabetes, intrauterine fetal growth restriction among others.
Vitamin C helps in pregnancy and may aid fertilization as well.
Pregnancy is a complex process that involves the fertilization of an egg by sperm. Once fertilization has occurred, the fertilized egg implants itself in the lining of the uterus, where it will grow and develop into a baby.
There is no scientific evidence to suggest that vitamin C can interfere with this process and prevent pregnancy. Only hormonal drugs such as Levonorgestrel can interfere with this process.
While vitamin C is important for maintaining good health, boosting immunity, and preventing people from coming down with infectious diseases easily, it is not a substitute for using effective methods of birth control.
Consequently, you are to adopt an effective form of birth control such as condoms, oral contraceptives, implants, or intrauterine devices (IUDs) if you are sexually active and want to prevent pregnancy.
Can vitamin C prevent pregnancy if inserted into the vagina?
To start with, there is currently no approved vitamin C pessary designed to be inserted into the vagina.
Vaginal inserts like klovinal pessaries are specially formulated for insertions only.
Tablets meant for oral consumption should not be inserted into the vagina for any reason whatsoever, vitamin C inclusive.
But to answer the question raised above if vitamin C vaginal insert can prevent pregnancy, there is no conclusive evidence that it can prevent pregnancy.
But since its insert can acidify cervical mucus, it may have spermicidal effect and thus prevent pregnancy.
However, don’t celebrate yet. The acidification of the cervical mucus doesn’t happen after one insertion. This shows that it cannot be used as a substitute for emergency contraception.
Vaginal insert containing L-ascobic acid among other active ingredients, is being investigated for its contraceptive effect, but over a long period of consistent usage.
Should I use vitamin C to prevent pregnancy?
Vitamin C is not proven scientifically to prevent pregnancy, especially when taken orally. Therefore, don’t use it to attempt preventing pregnancy as the chances of it failing is close to 100%.
Instead, use proven and reliable contraceptive methods such condoms, oral contraceptives, emergency pills, IUDs, implants among others, to prevent prevent pregnancy.
In conclusion, vitamin C is an important nutrient that can help boost the immune system and promote good health with no scientific evidence to suggest that it can prevent pregnancy.
It is, therefore, important to use reliable forms of contraceptives if you are sexually active and want to prevent pregnancy.
- S. Leon Israel, David R. Meranze, Progesterone-like effect of ascorbic acid on the endometrium, Endocrinology, Volume 29, Issue 2, 1 August 1941, Pages 210–214, https://doi.org/10.1210/endo-29-2-210
- Probes, P. Intravaginal delivery of non-hormonal contraceptives from a biodegradable hydrogel. Fertility and Sterility. Accessed 11/12/22.