Salt and Water: Can These Prevent Pregnancy?

Table of Contents:

  • Can Salt and Water Prevent Pregnancy?
  • How did this start?
  • How do people use salt and water to prevent pregnancies?
  • Is this safe and effective?
  • Misconceptions about the salt and water for birth control
  • How to stop pregnancy after a day?
  • When to take a pregnancy test?
  • When to call a Doctor?
  • Conclusion

Time and time over history, we always experimented or looked for innovative ways to prevent pregnancy, there are lots of pregnancy birth control methods but in this article, we are going to talk about the OG pregnancy prevention method that a lot of women use – Salt and Water.

For this article, we will deep dive into the use of Salt and Water as emergency contraception and how it differentiates from other birth control. So if you’re having a pregnancy scare and you might want to use salt and water, then read this article and be enlightened if you should try this or not!

Can salt and water prevent pregnancy?

The answer is: No. Salt and water birth control is an unreliable form of pregnancy prevention. 

There’s a study that shows that using salt and water after sex is one of the “most unproven, unscientific misconceptions of emergency contraceptive methods among students.” Moreover, the study shows that this method has no ability to prevent pregnancy. 

History of the Salt and Water Method

“But why does my mom always tell me to try this method after sex? Where did this method come from?”

Well, there is no known history of why this method is passed on from generation to generation but according to some experts, it started from the ancient civilizations – Greek, Egyptians, and Romans! Since there were no experts on how to prevent pregnancies during those times, these civilizations used honey and other natural substances that were deemed effective. The salt and water, specifically, were passed on from generations of women in India and Africa because access to contraception is limited in these countries. 

How do people use salt and water to prevent pregnancies?

“How does this work? Should I just use it after sex or will I just wait for how many days before drinking it?”

There are many variations on how to use it but the most common method is: mixing a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water until dissolved and then using a syringe to insert it inside the vagina within 10 minutes after sex. Another method is: waiting 30 minutes before urinating or washing to prevent dilution of the effects of salt and water. And then, there’s the final method: Drinking salt and water after sex.

There’s a caveat when using this emergency contraception. It will not guarantee you that you won’t get pregnant and that it DOES NOT prevent sexually transmitted diseases.

Is the Salt and Water effective?

“Even if there’s no scientific explanation, is this method effective?”

This is still an object of debate since a lot of experts are still fighting whether or not it is effective but there are studies suggesting that it has an effectivity rate of 50-85%, depending on the timing, proper use, and individual biology of the ones who used this method. 

In addition, this method is considered “safe” by ordinary people because salt and water are always readily available, accessible, affordable, and can be bought without you being guilty or conscious about it.

Misconception/s about the salt and water for birth control

There are many misconceptions about this method BUT we will answer the MOST COMMON misconceptions and what is the truth about it!

Myth: Works best when used days after sex.

Fact: It works best when used IMMEDIATELY before and after sex.

Myth: It is safe and has no side effects.

Fact: Frequent use of salt and water as a birth control method can cause irritation, inflammation, and even infections in your vagina. It is better to ask or consult your doctor before using this method or better, use other contraceptives that have the best chance of preventing pregnancy. 

Myth: It protects me from STIs and STDs!

Fact: NO. It does not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases and infections because these infections and diseases are contracted via skin-to-skin contact and bodily fluids. 

How to stop pregnancy after a day?

“I just had sex last night and I’m scared that I might get pregnant! What birth control methods should I use instead of salt and water?”

If you just had sex – planned or unplanned and you’re scared that you might get pregnant, it is better to use these contraceptives and other pregnancy prevention methods that are scientifically proven:

Emergency Contraception

Emergency Contraception pills are useful if you have sex. These pills are best used within 5 days after your sexual intercourse. You can access this by asking your doctor about the EC pills or at your trusted pharmacy.

Other Options For Pregnancy Prevention

  • Condoms
  • Is the “barrier” method for contraception. Made of thin latex (or rubber – in layman’s terms), these are designed to prevent the sperm cells from meeting the egg cells during sex. 
  • Birth Control Pills
  • Pills are a kind of medicine with hormones. It usually comes in a pack and you will take 1 pill every day. There are two kinds of Birth Control Pills. One is Combination Pills (Combined Oral Contraceptives) – the most common Birth Control Pills that have estrogen and progestin, and the other one is the Progestin Only Pills (Pops or Mini Pills), where the estrogen is absent and only progestin is present.
  • IUDs
  • Intrauterine Device (IUD) is a form of birth control where the doctor will insert it into your uterus. When inserted, it can prevent pregnancy for up to 10 years or more! This is the most effective birth control option for pregnancy prevention. 
  • Implants
  • Contraceptive Implants a.k.a Implants is a contraceptive implant that is placed under the skin of the upper arm. This implant produces progestin that prevents pregnancy by pausing ovulation and it thickens the mucus of the cervix.

When to take a pregnancy test?

“I think the salt and water method is not effective because I feel like I have some pregnancy-like symptoms. What should I do?”

If you feel that the salt and water are not effective for you after you use it as a birth control method, you may take a pregnancy test on the first day of your missed period. If you don’t know your menstrual cycle, it is best to take a pregnancy test 21 days after you have unprotected sex. 

When to call a Doctor?

“I think I’m pregnant. Should I call a Doctor now?

If you have pregnancy-like symptoms such as Missed periods, Vomiting/Nausea, Sore breasts, Fatigue, and Increased urination, you might want to call your doctor so that you will be assisted in your pregnancy journey. 

Note that you should take pregnancy tests first so that you are confirmed pregnant before going to your doctor just to be sure that you are having a baby!


In conclusion, it does not hurt to try the salt and water method to prevent pregnancy! But just take it with a grain of salt (pun intended) because what works for generations of women that were passed to you like a tradition might not work for you. It will be best to study and research all types of birth control methods and try to discover and explore these methods to find what will be suited for your lifestyle and for your body. Remember to listen to your body and practice safe sex, girlies!


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