I get many questions about the safety of neem during pregnancy or when trying to conceive. The scientific studies and results that I describe on my page about the use of neem oil as a contraceptive have many women concerned.
There is no reason to be worried about using neem oil or neem products externally.
And while it makes sense to avoid ingesting neem leaf when trying to conceive, there is no reason to panic if you did eat or drink some unknowingly.
(I mention only neem leaf here because you should not ingest neem oil at all anyway.)
I have addressed these concerns in many reader questions already, but let me spell it out again.
People ask me the same questions all the time. For example, "How much neem leaf exactly is safe to eat?" or, "How much neem oil exactly is required to prevent pregnancy?"
I understand that you would like to know the definite answers. So would a lot of other people and researchers and scientists. But we can't answer these questions unless someone does that research, and nobody will do that research unless someone pays for it. And don't hold your breath for that to happen!
The other questions that come up all the time are questions like, "Oh my god I was spraying neem oil in the garden and then I found out I may be pregnant. What will happen now?" or, "I am trying to conceive. Can I use neem shampoo?"
Nothing will happen and yes, you can use neem shampoo. Of course you can. Bear with me, I'll try to explain everything again and hopefully this time make it clear enough.
Here is what we know from the neem experiments that have been done so far:
And last but not least:
Please keep in mind that neem is a big and important part of Indian culture. Neem soaps and creams, neem toothpaste, neem shampoo, the use of neem oil and neem cake on crops, all those uses are widespread and have been for several thousand years. Last time I checked, the population of India was not exactly in danger of becoming extinct.
Do you think that would be the case if use of neem in agriculture or skin care would reduce fertility in any way?
Please do think this through applying some common sense before you send me the same questions again.
Most importantly, please stop worrying. Because stress is something that very well could interfere with your ability to conceive!
Avoid ingesting neem when pregnant or trying to conceive, but don't sweat it if you accidentally had some.
Read about other uses of neem oil.
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J Ethnopharmacol. 1999 Nov 30;67(3):287-96. Early post implantation contraceptive effects of a purified fraction of neem (Azadirachta indica) seeds, given orally in rats: possible mechanisms involved.
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J Assist Reprod Genet. 1994 Sep;11(8):419-27. Neem oil inhibits two-cell embryo development and trophectoderm attachment and proliferation in vitro.
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