Long before there were condoms, birth control pills, and our modern contraceptives, our ancestors created their own ways to help prevent pregnancy. Although they were much smarter than we give them credit for, their methods were not always successful in stopping pregnancy.
Some ancient forms of birth control were more bizarre than others, and a few of them are still used today. As you’ll see, these older methods were not always healthy for the men and women who used them. In fact, some were downright terrifying.
Some of the earliest forms of birth control date back to 1850 BC and were created by the ancient Egyptians. The Ramesseum Papyrus, a medical text from the 17th century BC, recommended the use of crocodile dung for birth control.
This substance was applied because it was thick and sticky. The ancient Egyptians believed that it would create a barrier wall to hinder sperm from penetration. The dung may have also had a religious meaning because the crocodile was associated with Set, the Egyptian god connected to hemorrhaging, abortion, and miscarriage.