Guess What Girls Used to Use as Birth Control

You may hate the onslaught of mood swings, the frustrating weight gain, and the constant you-better-hope-you-don’t-miss-a-pill-or-else-routine, but you may start looking at your pack of Alesse, Yaz, or Tri-Cyclen Lo when you see what women in history were subjected to using.

While the 21st century has blessed us with birth control options like condoms, IUDs, diaphragms, and the pill, other women prior to weren’t so lucky.

(And for the record ladies, don’t try any of these at home. They don’t work.)

oinion juice

During the times in Ancient Egypt, people believed that onion juice was an excellent spermicide. Before having sex, women and men alike, would rub onion juice onto a man’s penis. This idea was later seen in 17th century France, when women would drink the onion juice prior to sex to hopefully prevent a pregnancy.

weasel testicles

This birth control method was more “magic” than science. Medieval ages found women tying two weasel testicles to the bone of a completely black cat, then tying it to her inner thigh, to ward off pregnancy. Whether it warded off an unwanted pregnancy or not, it probably warded off a couple men in the process. Talk about a turn off.


During Ancient Greece, women were taught to hold their breaths during sex, bend their knees and then sneeze in order to remove the semen that entered their body. Not only does that seem completely impossible (holding your breath?) but your vagina is not connected to your nose.

lemon juice

Like a spermicide sponge, this birth control method found women dipping sponges into lemon juice and inserting it into their vaginas. While lemons are known for the acidity, their spermicidal capabilities are seen more in causing pain to sensitive tissues inside a women’s vagina rather than stopping a baby nine months later.


Like the diaphragm, a thimble was inserted into the female vagina in hopes of blocking off the sperm from reaching the uterus. Thimbles are great for keeping your fingers safe from sharp needles, not for stopping a pregnancy.


It’s unsanitary, pretty gross, and it’s meant to come out of your body, not go back in. But during Ancient Egyptian times, and even 11th century Persia, birth control was in the from of animal dung. The dung was inserted into a woman’s vagina to help stop sperm. This would range from crocodile dung mixed with honey to just plain elephant dung.


It was clearly an ineffective birth control method, but it was a great marketing strategy for this pop giant. In the 1950s women believed that douching their vagina with Coca-Cola would help prevent pregnancy. It was wildly believed the sperm was killed off thanks to the carbonic acid and sugar which made the cells “explode.” After sex women would shake a bottle, place the nozzle up where it really shouldn’t go, and let the liquid wash her out.

Tell us…

Which birth control method shocked you the most?

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