Birth control has come a long way in the past few decades, from using traditional methods like condoms or pills to more modern procedures like IUDs and birth control implants.
But did you know that there were once a bunch of crazy, old-school birth control methods out there? In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the craziest – and most effective – ways to prevent pregnancy in the past.
Methods of Birth Control Before the Pill
Birth control methods before the pill included using condoms, withdrawal, and the rhythm method. In the 1920s, condoms were first made from animal intestines. They were ineffective at preventing pregnancy, and people only started using them in the late 1960s.
Withdrawal was one of the oldest birth control methods and was used until the early 1900s. People would take a hot bath or douche to increase their chances of getting pregnant and then avoid sexual activity for several days.
The rhythm method was a popular way to prevent pregnancy in the 1800s. Women would count their periods and avoid sexual activity during their ovulation period.
In the past, people used several ways to prevent pregnancy without contraception. Some people would use rhythm methods, which is when you would have sex during the days leading up to your period.
Others would abstain from sex altogether for a certain amount of time before getting pregnant. There were also products like diaphragms and cervical caps used to prevent pregnancy, but they are not as commonly used anymore.
The Male Condom
The male condom has been around for over 50 years and is still one of the most popular methods of preventing pregnancy. Male condoms are made from a thin latex sheath that fits over the penis.
They are placed over the erect penis and inserted into the vagina. The condom stretches to work around the penis and creates a barrier between the penis and the vagina. This barrier helps prevent sperm from entering the uterus and prevents pregnancy.
Male condoms can also help reduce sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Condoms effectively prevent STIs because they create a barrier between your partner’s body and infected areas.
This barrier stops bacteria, viruses, and other objects from passing through and infecting your partner. Condoms also help protect against HIV/AIDS, which is another serious health concern when it comes to sex.
Male condoms can be bought at most convenience stores or pharmacies or obtained free of charge from many sexual health clinics. They are also available online at many websites, such as Amazon.com.
The contraceptive pill is one of the most popular and effective methods of contraception, but there were many other methods used in the past. Here are some of the craziest methods:
Having your spouse drink a unique herbal tea before having sex: This method was supposedly used by Native Americans to prevent pregnancy. The theory is that the tea blocks male sperm from reaching the woman’s egg and preventing fertilization. There is no evidence to support this claim, though.
Putting salt in your partner’s eyes: This old wives’ tale claims that rubbing salt into your partner’s eyes will make them unable to conceive. The reasoning is that the salt will irritate their eyes and prevent them from getting an erection. Again, no scientific proof supports this claim, so it’s probably an old wives’ tale.
Eating donkey meat: This method purportedly prevented pregnancies by making men sterile. Donkey meat contains a testicular anticoagulant substance that prevents sperm from meeting eggs and fertilizing them. Again, no scientific evidence supports this claim, and it is more of an urban legend than anything else.
Taking a bath with oiled woolen fabric on top: Oiled woolen fabric supposedly works as a barrier between the woman’s skin and her sperm, preventing fertilization.
Some people also believe bathing with oiled woolen fabric will make the water hot enough to kill the sperm. Again, there is no scientific evidence to support either of these claims, so it’s probably just an old wives’ tale.
Using a condom made of animal intestines: This method supposedly worked by creating a barrier between the man’s penis and the woman’s vagina, which would prevent sperm from entering and fertilizing the egg. Again, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim, which may have originated from ancient folklore.
How Effective Were They?
The ancient Greeks and Romans used various methods to prevent pregnancy, some more effective than others. Here are seven of the craziest:
Sex on an empty stomach: This was supposedly the most effective method, as it increased the chances of conception by up to 40%.
Restricting food intake: This was recommended to decrease libido and make it difficult for sperm to travel up into the female reproductive system.
Sleeping in cold water: This was thought to reduce heat production in the genital area, making it harder for sperm to swim uphill.
Pouring oil on one’s genitals: The theory behind this method is that this will block out any light and thus make intercourse less likely to result in conception.
Swallowing copper coins: Some people believed that copper was a natural contraceptive because it blocks the action of enzymes that can cause fertilization.
Taking black cohosh: This plant is traditionally used as an herbal remedy for women experiencing irregular menstrual cycles or problems with fertility. Some people believe extracts from black cohosh can help prevent pregnancy by preventing ovulation and altering sperm behavior.
Back in the day, there were a variety of ways that people used to prevent pregnancy. Some relied on abstaining from sex altogether, while others relied on contraception to prevent pregnancy.
Today, we mostly rely on birth control methods like condoms and birth control pills to prevent unintended pregnancies.
However, some still believe in the old-fashioned way of avoiding pregnancy by relying on abstinence. Each method has pros and cons, so it ultimately comes down to what works best for you and your partner.