Drake. He’s caused a stir with this one. Well it involves Drake at least. The rumor is that he attempted to use hot sauce as a spermicide by placing it on his condom. Well, I’m not here to discuss the rumor. Instead, I wanted to actually find out if there is anything in the scientific literature that supports it. Well, let’s put an end to the rumor for good, shall we?
So, does hot sauce kill sperm? There is no direct evidence that currently supports the notion that hot sauce kills sperm; either if eaten or placed directly on sperm (and used as a spermicide). However, the acidic nature of hot sauce may have an impact on sperm mobility and longevity. Regardless, medical professionals strongly advise that hot sauce should never be used as a contraceptive measure.
Important disclaimer: This article is not offering contraceptive or medical advice. Seek a medical professional if you have any questions about effective forms of contraception.
Why Hot Sauce Should Not Be Used As A Spermicide
You should not use hot sauce as a spermicide due to its likely ineffectiveness, and the potential to cause pain and irritation to the area in which it is applied.
You know that burning sensation hot sauce can cause to your tongue?
Well, imagine that in sensitive areas.
Actually do not.
The active compound Capsaicin, which gives chili peppers their heat, is actually a chemical irritant.
You don’t want that anywhere near your genitals.
Besides, it is classified as a chemical irritant, causing a burning sensation to any tissue in which it comes into contact.
So, placed in the wrong areas. Sensitive areas, it would cause a lot of pain.
Thankfully there would be no long damage, but that irritation would and you could indirectly cause damage in an attempt to relieve the burning sensation it would give you.
Then there is the fact that hot sauce is unlikely to prevent pregnancy, at all.
There is no concrete evidence in the literature that states hot sauce can prevent pregnancy.
While there is some evidence hot sauce may alter the longevity of sperm (see below), there would likely still be time for fertilization.
And this is really not something you want to gamble with.
Can Hot Sauce Destroy Sperm?
Some studies in the scientific literature report that acidic environments may have an impact on sperm mobility and longevity.
And at this point its important to consider the ingredients of hot sauce.
The majority are made of chili peppers, salt, water and vinegar.
And it’s the vinegar here that’s in question.
It’s important to note here that there has been no direct study into the effects of vinegar and sperm.
However, some research has concluded that acidity impacts sperm motility and longevity.
Now, normal sperm typically has a PH balance of between 7.2-8.0 – making it alkaline, by nature.
This 2000 study at Johns Hopkins University collected sperm samples before introducing hydrochloric acid (with a pH of 4.0).
The study showed that within a minute, the sperm were immobilized. In 10 minutes, the sperm had been killed.
Now, hot sauce ingredients vary, as do the amount (and type) of vinegar used.
However, hot sauce must have a PH of at most, 4.6. Otherwise bacteria could grow.
So with this in mind, there is the possibility that hot sauce could in some capacity, alter sperm.
It could immobilize it, and with sufficient time, it could kill it.
So, there is some potential possibility if the circumstances aligned that pregnancy could be prevented through hot sauce.
But not definitively.
And it should never be used as such.
We’ve touched on why above (the pain), the risks etc.
But, it’s not completely unfounded.
So what can we conclude from all of this?
Well, hot sauce as a contraceptive is not entirely unrealistic.
But it’s certainly not recommended, advised or preferable.
Besides, when you can buy spermicidal condoms, this is not something you should ever need to test.
- Understanding Semen Analysis – Stony Brook Medicine (Urology)
- The rate at which human sperm are immobilized and killed by mild acidity – PubMed
- How to Make a Safe Hot Sauce – South Dakota University
Hi there. I’m Jeremy – a passionate food technologist with several decades in the food industry. With a love for sauces, food, and nutrition, I decided to create WeWantTheSauce. Here I share my experience, knowledge, and recommendations; from ingredients and recipes to storage all the way through to nutrition for every sauce imaginable.