Updated 07 April 2015

Would you believe how far people have gone to prevent pregnancy?

From using carbonated drinks for vaginal douching to inserting wooden blocks into the vagina as a barrier, people from long ago had very interesting (and sometimes life-threatening) methods of contraception.


When it comes to contraception, women increasingly want to be fully informed and in control of their fertility, and scientists continue to look for options that are safe, effective and have minimal side effects. Medical researchers are also continually working on new contraceptive options – but have you ever wondered what women did to prevent pregnancy in the Middle Ages?

If you thought that slipping on a condom in the heat of the moment, or taking a birth control pill at the same time every day, to prevent pregnancy was an effort, you might think again after you see what the folk from the olden days resorted to for contraception.

This infographic from shows us some of the strangest attempts at birth control throughout history:

Read more:

The latest contraceptive options for women

SA teens urged to find out about contraception

Contraception for your teenage daughter


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