The 22-year-old sought medical attention earlier this week after experiencing stomach pain. When the nurse examined her, she found roots "emerging from the patient's vagina." Thankfully, the potato was removed without surgery and the young woman wasn't left with any lasting damage. Apparently, it was the patient's mother who told her a potato could be used as birth control. And, yikes: It had been up there for about two weeks.
Sadly, this points to a much larger issue: According to a report published by the Guttmacher Institute in 2011, there are about "89 unintended pregnancies per 1,000 women of reproductive age" in Colombia — compared to about 57 per 1,000 in the U.S. Although the report says conditions have improved somewhat since a 2006 ruling that partially legalized abortions and a 2010 one that improved access to birth control, better education about reproduction and contraception is still needed. The original article cites the Instituto Colombiano de Bienestar Familiar as an effort to improve access to and knowledge about effective contraceptive methods. But, the article continues, this organization is up against a culture of young people who tend to reject common contraceptive methods and instead pressure women into having unsafe sex.
So, just in case you were wondering, we have now established that a potato is really not an effective method of birth control. But, other things are.