To most people, the phrase birth control doesn’t evoke mental images of herbs, sneezing, or crocodile excrement. But women and men in ancient cultures used a variety of unusual methods to prevent pregnancy, with differing levels of success (and hygiene). Here are nine forms of birth control used in the ancient world, from Greece to China.
Lemon Cervical Caps
Shoving lemons into your hoo-ha as a contraceptive method dates back to the Old Testament era; the citric acid was thought to kill the sperm. In the 1700s, notorious s.ex-haver Casanova, known as the “world’s greatest lover,” wrote of his own experiences with partners who used lemon rinds to keep sperm from entering their cervix.
So … did it work? Well, how many pregnant lemon trees have you seen lately? (Kidding. This is a terrible birth control method for modern women, please do not put lemons in your vagulius caesar).
Animal Intestine Condoms
Fellas, were you feeling left out by this list? Don’t worry, we’ve got one for you, too. Modern latex condoms have only been around since 1919 — but condoms have been used for the past 15,000 years. What were they made of? Pretty much anything you could wrap around a d onger, including animal intestines, animal bladders, and, according to some historical records, tortoise shells. (Sounds cozy for the woman.)
After the invention of vulcanized rubber in 1850, condoms were manufactured out of that infinitely more comfortable material — but they were actually much closer to today’s diaphragms than modern condoms. They were made of thick rubber custom cut to fit each individual’s churro, they only covered the tip, and they were made to be washed and reused multiple times. Sexy!
Crocodile Poop Spermicide
Historically, the weight of contraception has always been on the female partner, which sucks. It sucks now, when many of us have to deal with the side effects of hormonal birth control pills; and it sucked in ancient Egypt, when women inserted a paste made of crocodile poop and honey into their vag.inas to form a barrier between se men and their cervixes.
Amazingly, historical records suggest that this method was actually fairly effective — the poop’s acidic properties may have made it an effective spermicide. So we’re not talking about one month when everyone went crazy and stuck weird junk all up on their junk (you know, like vajazzling); we’re most likely talking about centuries when some poo in the vag was a lady’s best shot at having non-procreative se.x.
Many old-fashioned contraceptive methods display an impressive, if rudimentary, understanding of how conception and pregnancy occurred. The weasel testicle method is not one of them. Many medieval Europeans believed that weasel testicles could prevent conception — if they were hung around a woman’s neck like an amulet during int.ercourse (and, presumably, were removed from the body of the weasel beforehand).
But if weasel balls hanging from around your neck sounds like a turn off, don’t worry! You could also wear weasel testicles around your thigh for birth control purposes. Charms made from donkey poop, a mule’s uterus, or a specific bone from the body of a black cat were also believed to offer the same level of magical pregnancy protection.
In ancient China, women were were encouraged to drink hot mercury to prevent being pregnant. It was effective to make woman not pregnant. But, we know that, mercury is extremely toxic, causing body’s disorder even de.ath.
Rhythm method was also used in ancient China and women also inserted sponges into vagina to avoid pregnancy.
It seems that there are many birth control methods in ancient China. Whether palace concubines or street wh.ores, they all had unique ways to avoid pregnancy. these methods may cause sterility or even death. However, they had no choice, as an unwanted child means a de.ath sentence in ancient China.
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