Birth control and I have never really gotten along. A combo of the weird way the hormones play in my body and the fact that I can’t take any with estrogen due to having Factor V Leiden – we are not ‘friends’. Back in June the husband and I decided to stop hormonal birth control and rely on non-hormonal barriers to pregnancy until we figure out this whole ‘how big should our family be’ thing. I have an allergy to latex, so condoms are out (yes I know we can get latex free ones but they are pricey!) so we had to come up with some other ideas. Currently we are using the family planning method – tracking my cycle with temperatures and all that.
While researching, I came across some hugely strange things that were used as a method for contraception.
1. Squat and Sneeze
Way back in ancient Greece times, Soranus – a physician – recommended women squatted and sneezed after intercourse to prevent pregnancy.
2. Hare Anus
In the middle ages amulets were worn, including one made with hare anus, to prevent pregnancy.
3. Beaver Testicle
Mixed with alcohol, beaver testicles were ground into a fine powder and would be consumed to prevent pregnancy.
The thought behind using honey was that if placed within the vagina it would change the acidity and prevent pregnancy. Sounds like the perfect way to get a yeast infection if you ask me…
5. Cola Douche
I died laughing with this one — who thinks of this stuff? Coke products used as the cleaning agent in a douche was recommended to help prevent pregnancy. Used after sex, it was thought that the combination of sugar and carbonation would prevent pregnancy.
6. Wild Carrots and Lace
A combination of wild carrots and lace was said to be prescribed by Hippocrates to Queen Anne back in ancient Greece.
7. Animal Membrane
Every wondered what old condoms looked like? Apparently men would slide on the membranes of an animal intestines just as you would a condom.
8. Crocodile Poo
Talk about disgusting — crocodile poop was mixed into a paste and then placed inside the vagina to prevent pregnancy.
Could be a big reason for so many deaths due to mercury poisoning — women would take it thinking it was great at preventing pregnancy.
An old time use as a diaphragm in the 1700s, women would cut a lemon in half and place inside the vagina before intercourse. The acidity would kill the sperm like a traditional diaphragm while the lemon would cup and protect the cervix.
Over 6,000 years ago a plant called Silphium, which is now extinct, was ground up and used as an oral contraception pill.
12. Blacksmith Water
Dating way back to ancient Greece and said to be in practice for over 1000 years, women would drink the water blacksmiths used in making coal — causing a lot of lead poisoning, but thought to prevent pregnancy.
Oh another crazy idea — before intercourse women would stuff themselves up (like a diaphragm) with the flowers of the opium plant. SCARY!
14. Gold and Silver
Cervical caps were used — similar to the shape of a sewing thimble — made up from silver and gold.