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No, uda water won’t prevent pregnancy – use proven contraceptive instead

Uda water can be used as a natural contraceptive, claims a message posted on Facebook in Nigeria in September 2020.

“I have decided to help mothers by informing them on how to effectively use a natural method of contraceptive called UDA water. You should note that unlike hormonal contraceptives, there are no side effects to using UDA water to prevent pregnancies,” it reads

“Immediately after sexual intercourse with your husband, shake the bottle very well and pour the UDA water into a glass. A glass of this contraceptive water should be just fine. Some women also prefer to take this before sex (this is because some spermatozoa are stubborn).”

Uda, also called Ethiopian pepper (Xylopia aethiopica), is a plant that produces an aromatic seed used to spice food and as a remedy. It grows in tropical regions of Africa, from Senegal eastwards to Sudan and south to Angola, Zambia and Mozambique.

Visit hospital for medically proven contraceptive

Babagana Bako, a professor of fetomaternal medicine in the department of obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Maiduguri, told Africa Check that uda water should not be used as a contraceptive.

“I am hearing the claim for the first time,” he said. “There are all sorts of herbs that people say can work as a form of contraceptive. The claim has not been scientifically proven. If a woman desires to space her children or doesn’t want to conceive, she should visit a hospital. There are various kinds of contraception methods.”

Cosmos Enyindah, a professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Port Harcourt’s faculty of clinical sciences, told us uda did not have “any fertility property”.

“The claim has not been scientifically proven. Whoever came up with the claim should subject it to some form of evidence-based research, and it should be published in a peer-reviewed journal.” – Motunrayo Joel

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