Contraception. Today it’s a common part of many people’s lives and pretty straightforward, it wasn’t always this way however. In fact, in the past women resorted to some rather unusual and potentially fatal techniques in order to keep a bun out of the oven.
Hold Your Breath
Thousands of years ago in Greece, a gynecologist named Soranus came up with this beauty. Soranus told women to hold their breath during intercourse, then, when it was all said and done, they were to sneeze to prevent the sperm from entering the womb. Yeah, we’re going to guess that people quickly stopped using this ridiculous form of birth control once the number of unwanted pregnancies shot up.
When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, or birth control. You see, many years ago it was believed that if you soak a sponge in lemon juice and then place it in the vagina, that would work as birth control, thanks to the acidity. Legendary Casanova went a step further and was known to use half of a pulped lemon as a crude diaphragm. Were glad we now just use them in drinks and pies.
Well, there are small thimble-shaped caps women used as contraception, the actual metal thimble is not a good choice. In Europe in the 1800’s, women actually thought that the metal thimble you use when sewing, would make a good choice when it came to stopping pregnancy. Small and lacking any flexibility, we imagine it was uncomfortable and didn’t really offer any benefits.
In ancient Egypt they were willing to try all sorts of things to stop women from getting pregnant. In this case, you add some honey to a generous portion of crocodile poop which you then put in your vagina. This may have dropped the pregnancy rate thanks to the fact that any sort of poop is a definite mood killer. However, in all seriousness, some argue it may have actually helped conception because the feces alter the PH in the vagina making it more sperm friendly.
Beaver Testicle Tea
Hundreds of years ago in what is now Canada, the women went through a phase involving birth control which is truly bizarre. Not wanting to get pregnant, they would take dried beaver testicles and soak them in a form of moonshine, then once enough time had passed, they would drink the beverage. We’re not exactly sure how drinking alcohol prevents pregnancy? After all, more than a few people have found out firsthand that too much can actually end up causing pregnancy.
Mercury is toxic and you shouldn’t ingest it or play around with it if you value your health. Many years ago, people didn’t understand this and they believe mercury to be some sort of magical element. In fact, women in ancient china were told to drink mercury to prevent pregnancy. Thankfully the trend lost popularity as user started dropping like flies. Although technically, we guess it worked because you can’t get pregnant if you’re dead.
Thousands of years ago, a concoction of tree bark, dates and honey was applied two balls of cotton. These were then inserted to act as a rather primitive form of diaphragm. This all-natural, get messy sounding method of birth control likely had some limited success simply because it blocked any potential pathway for sperm. In fact people at the time thought so highly of it that women were even buried with it so as not to get pregnant in the afterlife.
What better way to stop getting pregnant than by drinking the wastewater of blacksmiths or deliberately exposing yourself to lead? In ancient Greece, some people actually believe the water used by blacksmiths could prevent pregnancy. Some even believe that exposure to lead could help keep away unwanted babies.
Coke has had a lot of uses beyond just being a drink. In the 1950s, someone got the crazy idea that carbonic acid killed sperm. So naturally, it was reported that at least a few people tried using it as a form of birth control. How? Well after sex, you take a bottle and basically wash things out. Ultimately, all that happened was that anyone trying this got sticky and potentially pregnant. Actual studies reportedly found that coca-cola’s a form of birth control doesn’t really work out at all.
Seriously, what is it with people and animal testicles? Overall, it’s pretty ironic that people actually thought using the testicles of an animal would prevent them from getting pregnant. Nonetheless around a thousand years ago, women started wearing jewelry made from weasel testicles. They actually believe that somehow this would stop them from getting pregnant. Needless to say, the only females not getting pregnant at this time for surely the female weasel population.