Do Papaya Seeds Cause Infertility?

A number of factors are involved to bring a new life into the world. One of the crucial factors is fertility.

Fertility refers to the ability and capability to reproduce offspring on reaching sexual maturity.

This phenomenon applies to both men and women.

It is also the natural capacity of a human to conceive a young one. In contrast to this, the inability to produce children is known as infertility.

Globally, at least 15% of people are infertile as of today. In this article, we will be discussing fertility in-depth and various other concepts related to it. (1)

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1. Female Fertility And Ovulation

The terms female fertility and ovulation are two different terms, both related to the concept of pregnancy. (2)

Both these phases occur within the menstrual cycle of women.

One of the major differences between these two is that fertile period is the phase in which both the sex cells, the egg and the sperm, are viable inside the female body.

Where as ovulation is just the release of an egg by the ovary in the reproductive system. The fertile window comes into action 5 days before the ovulation day and ovulation occurs in the middle of a menstrual cycle.  

Image source: Medical News Today 


2. Diet And Fertility

‘You are what you eat’ stands true when it comes to human fertility. Nutrition and a good diet are key to being fertile.

There are certain food groups that support reproductive health.

A balanced diet with high content of unsaturated fats, whole grains, vegetables and fish has proved to be beneficial for reproductive health. (3)


 Type Of Fertility Diet You Can Adopt
Keto-based diet for fertility
Plant-based diet
Gluten-free diet
Endometriosis diet


On the other hand, saturated fats and refined sugar lead to poor fertility. In women generally, the deficiency of vitamin B12 can cause temporary infertility.

It can be cured by consuming supplements and it is advised for men to have these supplements regularly as it increases the quality of sperm. 

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3. Papaya Seeds And Fertility

Papaya is not a favourite among most people. In spite of this, papaya as well as its seeds are a warehouse of beneficial nutrients.

People do not know the wonders papaya seeds can cause and that is the reason why most people peel the fruit and discard the seeds.

The seeds are definitely not pleasant for the taste buds but are loaded with antioxidants and a bunch of health benefits.

Some of the benefits include increased digestion, cure of liver diseases, remedy for acne and fertility. 

Although its effect regarding fertility is yet to be proved, it has made evident changes in human fertility. (4)

Papaya seeds help in increasing the production of the sex cells in men, i.e sperms. It is known to maintain the fertility of eggs in the women's reproductive system. 


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4. Papaya Seeds And Female Fertility

Papaya is an exotic fruit easily found in all parts of the world. It is also known as a superfood.

Papaya provides different benefits in different forms.

Raw, unripe papaya helps with immunity, digestion and general healing of wounds. The juice of this fruit is known to aid in treatment of boils and burns.

The leaves are specifically known to treat severe ulcers and the seeds help with treatment of intestinal parasites. In spite of numerous health benefits, it has a negative impact on the fertility of women.

In the West Indies papaya seeds are consumed in order to abort a baby by natural means.

According to Ayurveda, this is because of the presence of a proteolytic enzyme known as papain. (5)

This enzyme causes miscarriage and abortion in the early days of the gestation period.

Raw papaya acts as a contraceptive measure for women. It has a negative impact on women's fertility because of hot energetics. 

Image source: HuffPost 



5. Papaya Seeds And Male Fertility 

Papaya seeds seem to be a better proposition for men than women.

It improves sterility in men. Sterility is known as the inability to reproduce. If consumed as prescribed, it increases the quality of the sperms.

On the other hand, if raw papaya or papaya seeds are consumed without professional help, it proves harmful for men’s fertility as it reduces the production of sperms.

Most researchers refer to the seed as a spermicide.

Many experiments have been carried out on animals which have proved that papaya seed extracts can have a harmful and negative impact on male fertility. (6)

The seeds tend to lower sperm count and suppress sperm motility. So it is better to avoid consuming this exotic fruit if you are trying for a baby. 

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6. Pregnancy And Papaya Seeds 


Generally there is a lot of confusion around papaya and its seeds and its relation to pregnancy.

Some researchers say it's safe to consume it while others disagree.

In clearer words, papayas contain a substance that causes complications during pregnancy and uterine contractions and the seeds and skin of it can disturb the production of sperms.

This phenomenon can be explained chemically as well. (7)

Papaya and its seeds contain enzymes that trigger uterine contractions. Papaya contains an enzyme called papain.

The human body perceives papain as prostaglandins which lead to early labour or sometimes miscarriage.

This also weakens most membranes that hold the foetus in place. 

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7. Foods For Boosting Fertility

Fertility depends on a number of factors, one of them being diet. (8)

It is essential to consume a healthy diet in order to stay fertile or become fertile, if one is not already.

One can choose from a wide range of fruits and vegetables to include in their fertility diet.

Some of these foods are listed below. 

  1. Citrus fruits- Citrus fruits are liked by all for its delicious taste.

    But apart from being packed with Vitamin C, it also contains major amounts of potassium, calcium and folate - a vitamin B that helps in getting pregnant by regulating the process of ovulation and creating a healthy environment for eggs. 

  2. Leafy greens- Dark green veggies like spinach and kale are houses of prenatal nutrients like calcium, iron and folate which help in avoiding birth defects in newborns which develop in the first few weeks of pregnancy.

  3. Berries- Any type of berries are full of natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients which help in increasing fertility in both men and women.

    Berries too are high in folate which help in the overall development of the foetus. 

  4. Quinoa- Quinoa is an excellent source of protein, zinc and folate. Switching from animal based proteins to plant based protein like quinoa, can help to increase one’s odds of conception.

    The complex carbs present in it help in regulating the cycle. This makes it easier to determine the fertile window.
  5.  Lentils and beans- They are full of vitamin B, folate, fibre and iron. They promote fertility in men and women.

    The only precaution one should take while consuming beans is that if they are canned, check if it's free of BPA. BPA tends to disturb oestrogen levels in the body and has a negative impact on fertility.  

  6. Fertility Tea: There are a variety of pregnancy teas you may try. 
    Since their recipes are pretty easy compared to other fertility diet recipes, they are consumed by many women in their daily diet. 

    Some of the few that are beneficial for fertility are:

    - red raspberry leaf tea
    - nettle tea 
    - ginger tea
    - rooibos tea
    - fennel tea

    Teas that you should avoid:

    - senna tea
    - hibiscus tea
    - cerasee tea
    - echinacea tea

  7. Guava Leaves: Guava leaves may support healthy ovulation.
    They are known for regulating menstrual cycles

  8. Clove water

Image source: The Spruce Eats 

8. Conclusion  

Papaya seeds in particular have proved to be harmful by many medical researchers.

The fruit is extremely hot in nature and has negative impacts on the system chemically.

The induce extreme blood flow in women which lead to early labour if they are pregnant and miscarriage if they have just entered the gestation phase.

It is not a good idea to consume papaya excessively at least while being pregnant.

Consuming its seeds are a safe and natural method to carry out abortion. It also affects male fertility and quality of sperms.

However, it is good to include just a cup of ripe papaya into your diet to benefit from its other health benefits.

Its properties help in healing of numerous diseases but it is definitely not a fruit to be consumed if you are trying to conceive. 

Image source: Etsy 

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