Skip to Content
Home > Your Health > Health and Wellness Library > Pregnancy: Avoiding Papaya
View Additional Section Content
If you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, avoid eating unripe papaya. Papaya that is unripe contains a latex substance that may cause contractions of the uterus. Papaya or papaya enzymes are
sometimes recommended for soothing
indigestion, which is common during
pregnancy. Although a fully ripe papaya is not thought to be a problem, it is not known for sure if papaya is completely safe during pregnancy.footnote 1
The papaya enzyme that helps soothe indigestion is called papain, or
vegetable pepsin. Papain is found in the fruit's latex and leaves.footnote 1 Unripe papaya latex may act like
prostaglandin and oxytocin, which the body makes to start labor.
Synthetic prostaglandin and oxytocin are commonly used to start or strengthen
Papaya (2010). In A DerMarderosian, J Beutler, eds., Review of Natural Products. St. Louis: Wolters Kluwer Health.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerSarah Marshall, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerKirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Current as ofMay 30, 2016
Current as of:
May 30, 2016
Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine & Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Communicate with your medical team, request medication refills and manage appointments through MUHealthe. Learn More
Schedule an appointment today with an MU Health Care provider.
Our support team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 877-621-8014.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
Copyright ©2017 — Curators of the University of Missouri. All rights reserved. DMCA and other copyright information.
Equal Opportunity/Access/Affirmative Action/Pro Disabled & Veteran Employer. For website information contact the Office of Communications. Disclaimer