Does hot sauce kill sperm? You may have heard the internet rumblings that hot sauce functions as a DIY contraceptive. The concept surfaced when Canadian rapper and singer Drake was accused of putting hot sauce into a used condom to prevent an undesirable pregnancy.
Is the idea that hot sauce kills sperm rooted in factual truth? We will take a comprehensive look into the science behind this claim and underscore once and for all the connection between scalding sauces and fertility.
Drake’s “Hot Sauce in a Condom” Trick
In 2022, Canadian superstar Drake was threatened to be sued by an Instagram model for coating a used condom in hot sauce.
He hoped the hot sauce would prove an effective spermicidal agent in preventing the model from utilizing his sperm to get pregnant.
Allegedly, she did just that and poured the contents of the condom into her vagina. She immediately experienced an intense burning sensation. She later posted about the incident on social media and threatened to sue the rapper.
There is no factual evidence that this story is true, but it has sparked a dangerous notion that hot sauce is an effective spermicide or that consuming loads of it might work to weaken sperm cells in the male body.
CAUTION: Do Not Use Hot Sauce As A Spermicide
Dr. Earim Chaudry, Medical Director of the men’s health platform Manual, warns against using hot sauce as a spermicide.
Hot sauce contains a chemically active component called capsaicinoids, which set off the same receptors in the brain as those triggered when we are burnt.
Sensitive areas that come into contact with hot sauce can suffer from severe pain and inflammation. Opt for real spermicide rather than your go-to spicy condiment, please.
Can Hot Sauce Affect Sperm Count?
The short answer is: it depends. Research on this topic is limited, and findings vary depending on the ingredients, formulation, and application.
Two active ingredients in hot sauce are said to affect sperm and fertility: vinegar and capsaicin. No clear evidence consistently supports the claim that capsaicin destroys sperm when eaten or applied directly to the sperm. However, some studies show that vinegar can kill sperm.
Here’s how capsaicin and vinegar affect sperm:
Capsaicin’s Effect on Sperm
Research on capsaicin’s effect on sperm varies.
Some evidence suggests that capsaicin, when applied to sperm, can damage cells and impair their ability to move and fertilize eggs.
Consuming capsaicin can increase sexual function. A study from The International Journal of Science and Research shows that capsaicin consumption increases blood flow and circulation throughout the body, stimulating the genitals and enhancing libido.
Capsaicin also triggers the release of endorphins that make a person feel exhilarated and euphoric, increasing sexual function. 
Another study from the Royan Institute for Biotechnology found that consuming capsaicin improves sperm concentration and motility in rats with experimental varicocele. 
What does this mean? If you’re eating hot sauce for contraception, be careful: it could have the opposite effect, putting you “in the mood.”
Vinegar’s Effect on Sperm
Can applying hot sauce directly to sperm kill it? The answer is yes, thanks to vinegar.
A study in Fertility and Sterility found that exposure to mild acidity (pH 4.0) rapidly immobilizes sperm.  Shelf-stable hot sauces tend to have a pH of 4.0 or lower. Therefore, applying a vinegar-based hot sauce directly to sperm can effectively immobilize and kill sperm.
What Else Affects Male Fertility?
It is important to remember that many influences beyond hot sauce consumption affect male fertility.
Lifestyle factors such as smoking, consuming alcohol, and poor diet can harm male reproductive health.
As with anything, consume capsaicin in moderation and consult your healthcare provider before ingesting dietary supplements or making significant changes to your diet.
What To Consider Before Using Hot Sauce As A Spermicide
If you’re considering using hot sauce as a spermicide, here’s our advice: don’t.
There is no guarantee that hot sauce will prevent pregnancy. Using hot sauce to terminate a pregnancy could be dangerous and painful.
Hot sauce for contraception is not scientifically proven, nor do medical professionals recommend it.
Explore all options and make an informed decision about which method is best for you and your sexual partner.
Other, Less Spicy Methods Of Contraception
Consuming excesses of hot sauce to affect your fertility or pouring spicy condiments into used condoms is neither the most savvy nor effective method of contraception.
Numerous contraceptive methods, backed by science, can prevent that unwanted pregnancy far more successfully than a bottle of Cholula. Here are a few of your options:
- Spermicide and Gel: Hot sauce is not spermicide. It’s a condiment. Actual spermicide is a type of birth control that attacks the outer layer or membrane of sperm. According to Planned Parenthood, spermicide effectively prevents pregnancy about 72% of the time. 
- Spermicide condoms: Spermicide condoms are coated with spermicide, a chemical that damages sperm. Condoms are about 98% effective in preventing pregnancy when used as directed. Add spermicide to the mix, and that number increases slightly.
- Birth control pills: Birth control pills are a type of medicine containing hormones. The pill is a safe and affordable contraceptive measure when taken as directed, and according to Planned Parenthood, it’s 99% effective. 
- Intrauterine Devices: An Intrauterine Device (IUD) is a tiny device inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. It’s a long-term, reversible, and highly effective birth control method. According to Planned Parenthood, IUDs are more than 99% effective. 
Other alternative methods for contraception include cervical caps, diaphragms, and contraceptive sponges. Consider all these options before reaching for your favorite hot sauce as a contraceptive measure.
How Does Hot Sauce Affect The Body?
Capsaicin is the active ingredient in hot sauce, giving it a spicy sensation. According to Pfizer, capsaicin triggers heat receptors in the skin, tricking the nervous system into thinking the body is overheating.
Capsaicin is why when we eat spicy food, we physically feel it. 
What Are The Health Benefits Of Hot Sauce?
Most advantages associated with hot sauce consumption are unrelated to fertility. The health benefits of consuming capsaicin-rich hot sauces are plenty and include:
Capsaicin induces body weight reduction, satiety or sensation of fullness, and energy expenditure while reducing energy and fat intake. 
Research proves capsaicin possesses noteworthy analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that contribute to heart health by preventing plaque buildup on blood vessel walls. 
A 2017 American Society for Clinical Nutrition study showed that diabetes patients who had a spicy meal had more normalized insulin levels than those who ate a meal without capsaicin. 
Is There A Such Thing As Too Much Hot Sauce?
Ingesting too much hot sauce overproduces acid in your stomach, which can cause Gastroesophageal Reflux (acid reflux) and disturb the digestive system.
Too much hot sauce consumption could lead to stomach ulcerations in susceptible populations.
Additionally, hot sauce can be sodium-dense. People with salt-sensitive disorders like hypertension, congestive heart failure, and kidney or liver failure should consume salt-rich hot sauces sparingly.
To Wrap Things Up
Even if mega-celebrities like Drake are pouring hot sauce into their condoms as pseudo-spermicides, we recommend that you do not follow suit.
While acidic hot sauces can effectively kill sperm, hot sauce as a contraceptive is neither backed by science nor proven effective.
Hot sauce is not likely to harm your fertility and can actually increase libido and sexual health.
Do not as celebrities do. Listen to your doctors, and use spicy condiments on your favorite dishes, not in your used condoms.
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 Guyamin, M., et al. “Effects of Capsicum frutescens L. (Siling Labuyo) on the Sexual Behavior of Male Rattus norvegicus (Albino Rats).” International Journal of Science and Research, 2018.
 Hosseini, M., et al. “Capsaicin Improves Sperm Quality in Rats with Experimental Varicocele.” Comité Internacional de Andrologia, 2020.
 Olmsted, S., et al. “The Rate at Which Human Sperm Are Immobilized and Killed by Mild Acidity.” Fertility and Sterility, 2000.
 “How Effective is the Birth Control Pill?” Planned Parenthood.
 “How Effective Are IUDs?” Planned Parenthood.
 “Bodily Functions Explained: Spicy Food Reaction.” Pfizer.
 Narang, N., Jiraungkoorskul, W., Jamrus, P. “Current Understanding of Antiobesity Property of Capsaicin.” Pharmacognosy Network Worldwide, 2017.
 Williams, V. “Mayo Clinic Minute: Capsaicin’s Connection to Heart Health.” Mayo Clinic, 2020.
 Clark, R., and Lee, S. “Anticancer Properties of Capsaicin Against Human Cancer.” Anticancer Research, 2016.
 Ahuja, K., et al. “Effects of Chili Consumption on Postprandial Glucose, Insulin, and Energy Metabolism.” American Society for Clinical Nutrition, 2006.