Vitamin C To Prevent Pregnancy: Does It Work?

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There is no scientific evidence on the use of vitamin C to prevent pregnancy. Vitamin C is a micronutrient that helps bone and tissue development and wound repair (1). Although some anecdotal beliefs exist that higher doses of vitamin C can be an alternative to birth control pills or abortion methods, experts do not recommend it for preventing or terminating a pregnancy. You may seek a doctor’s advice to know more about safe and effective birth control measures.

Read on to know about the use of vitamin C to prevent pregnancy and its side effects.

Can Vitamin C Prevent Pregnancy?

Some studies stated that more than the recommended levels of vitamin C could interfere with the progesterone secreted from the corpus luteum. Since progesterone prepares the endometrium for implantation and sustains the pregnancy, reduced pregnancy hormone levels may help prevent pregnancy (2).

Vitamin C intake as an alternative to birth control pills has been discussed, but there is not evidence to prove its efficacy. Hence you should consult with your OB-GYN about effective contraceptive methods.

How Much Vitamin C Should You Take To Prevent Pregnancy?

It is believed that if taken above the limit of 2000 mg per day, vitamin C can cause abortion or prevent pregnancy. However, there is no enough evidence to confirm this claim, and it is advisable to consult your OB-GYN for better abortion techniques or contraception methods.

The dosage of vitamin C is 85 mg per day for pregnant women of 19 years and above and 80 mg per day for pregnant women between the ages 14 and 18 years. The upper limit for safe consumption in both cases is 2000 mg per day (3).

How To Use Vitamin C To Prevent Pregnancy?

The use of vitamin C supplementation to prevent pregnancy has not been studied enough to confirm its efficacy. However, some of these methods are believed to prevent pregnancy, but are not recommended by medical practitioners

  • Vitamin C tablets placed inside the vagina during intercourse can prevent the sperm from passing through the cervix by killing them.
  • Vitamin C, along with lemon juice, can probably reduce the chances of conceiving. If taken after conception, large quantities of lemon juice are likely to cause a miscarriage.

What Are The Other Impacts Of Vitamin C Overdose?

Besides miscarriage, another serious concern of vitamin C overdose during pregnancy is scurvy. Scurvy is a condition characterized by muscle pain and bleeding or swollen gums due to vitamin C deficiency. Babies born to mothers taking around 6,000mg or more of vitamin C may suffer from rebound scurvy because there is a sudden drop in the level of vitamin C post-delivery (4).

Deficiency of vitamin C during pregnancy is also believed to increase the risks for preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure. However, the research to support this subject is minimal (5).

What Are The Other Options Of Abortion?

Given that vitamin C supplementation to prevent pregnancy lacks evidence, you may consider other conventional options of abortion after consulting with your OB-GYN. These include medical abortion (abortion pills) and surgical abortion.

Medical abortion involves the administration of abortion pills. It is a course of two abortion pills, namely, mifepristone and misoprostol, taken in a specific order. The misoprostol is a pack of six tablets and should be taken after the first pill, mifepristone.

In the case of surgical abortion, it may either be a vacuum aspiration or dilation and evacuation method. In the first procedure, a suction device inserted through the dilated cervix is used to empty the uterus. For the dilation and evacuation method, the process is similar to vacuum aspiration, except other medical instruments and the suction are used to empty the uterus from remaining pregnancy tissues (6).

Vitamin C supplementation for pregnancy prevention may seem like an easy alternative for contraceptives or abortion methods. However, the studies lack evidence to prove its efficacy; hence you should consult your healthcare provider before self-administering such treatments to avoid future complications.

Key Pointers

  • When consumed in adequate amounts, vitamin C aids in proper tissue growth and repair.
  • But vitamin C may act as a contraceptive when taken in excess.
  • Consuming more than 2000mg of vitamin C during pregnancy may cause miscarriage.

References:

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
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Dr. Miguel Angel Razo Osorio

(MD)
Dr. Miguel Razio Osorio began his career in 2004. After two years of internship and social service, he decided to specialize in G&O. Since 2013, Dr. Razo has dedicated his training and practice to improve his patients' obstetric and gynecological health, getting his degree as a certified specialist in 2017. He then began working at the different health systems in... more

Aneesha Amonz

Aneesha holds a Bachelor's degree in Biotechnology from USTM, Meghalaya and Master’s degree in Applied Microbiology from VIT, Vellore. She has worked on different research projects in the field of Food Sciences. In addition, she has an internship experience in Oil India Limited as an R&D project trainee. As a writer at MomJunction, Aneesha ensures her content is engaging and... more

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