is as old as humankind. Whether rich or poor,
young or old, women in all cultures have tried
to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies
and to enjoy their sexuality without obstacles.
Many contraceptive methods
have their roots back in time. The earliest mention
of a contraceptive method is found in the Bible!
"Coitus interruptus" is mentioned in
the story of Judah and Tamar in the Book of Genesis,
chapter 38. A method that is still used today!
Around 1850 BC, upper class
women in Ancient Egypt put various substances
in their vaginas to block or even kill sperm.
They used crocodile dung pessaries, various gums
and even a mixture of honey and sodium carbonate
for this purpose.
In Ancient Greece, Aristotle
described how to make the womb inhospitable to
sperm by using different sorts of oil or frankincense.
Further methods were juniper berries on the penis
or a copper sulfate drink. The Greeks also practiced
the rhythm method - avoiding intercourse at the
woman's fertile time of the month.
Islamic doctors of the 14th
century recommended the use of rock salt, tar,
onion juice and oil of balsam on the penis, or
tampons tinctured with pomegranate pulp for women.
In Eastern Europe, half a
lemon squeezed out served as a diaphragm, the
citric acid acting as a spermicide.
Condoms date back to Egyptian
times, when male sheaths were made out of animal
intestine. In 1504, Fallopius, an Italian anatomist,
developed a linen condom. Casanova, the famous
Italian seducer, used linen condoms in the 18th
century. Rubber condoms became available in 1880.
In the 1930s, condom technology improved with
the arrival of latex.
The first IUD (coil) was used
in Germany, made of silkworm thread and silver
products have been available for more than 70
During the 1950s, scientists
developed synthetic hormones which could block
ovulation. The world's first contraceptive pill
was approved by the US Food & Drug Administration
This brief look at the
history of contraception in different cultures
clearly shows that it has never before been so
easy and uncomplicated to protect yourself from
an unwanted pregnancy. Today you can enjoy making
love without the fear of unwanted pregnancy.