Perfumecity Post time 2016-4-27 12:49:55

History’s Scariest Contraceptive Devices

(By Erin Kelly via all-that-is-interesting)

People will always want to have sex, but the same cannot be said for the desire to have children. On the quest to prevent the latter from happening, humankind has come up with some pretty terrifying contraptions and hair-brained ideas.

Modern birth control of course has its flaws, but a quick look at these contraception devices and methods might leave you thankful that the majority of your birth control-related pains are due to cost, not an iron piece of machinery scraping against your vaginal wall or the occasional bloodletting:

1. What do weasels, beavers and cats have in common? All of their testicles have, at some point, been used as a form of contraception. During the Dark Ages, European women would sport the testicles as an amulet--or in the case of beaver testicles, mix them with grain alcohol and ingest them. (Source: Wikipedia)

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2. For men who didn't want to wear a condom during intercourse, the Gamic appliance was their go-to guy. Existing from 1965 to 1974, the appliance was essentially a urethra plug. Ejaculated semen was supposed to be caught in the sheath, but since the device often found its way into the vagina, this didn't really end up working out. Nevertheless, Gamic claimed that their plug would uphold something more valuable, being "the permanence and prestige of marriage." (Source: MUVS)

3. Aristotle recommended that women insert olive oil or cedar oil into their vaginas to prevent pregnancy. (Source: Wikimedia)

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4. In ancient China, women would down a shot of mercury after sex. Sure, it prevented pregnancies--but it was also great at causing brain damage, kidney failure and sterility. (Source: Wikipedia)

5. You might want to walk like an Egyptian, but you probably shouldn't practice safe sex like the early ones. Ancient Egyptians would use pessaries made of crocodile dung and honey to keep kids out of a couple's future. (Source: Wikimedia)

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6. Lemons have long been part of the contraception canon. Back in the days of Talmud, women would squeeze lemon juice onto a sponge and then insert the sponge in their vagina. Given its acidity, women thought that the juice would serve as a spermicide.

Centuries later, legendary seducer Cassanova was thought to have inserted the lemon rinds into his lovers to act as a cervical cap. (Source: Wikipedia)

7. Everything is better with opium--even the diaphragms of ancient Sumatra, which were constructed from the stuff. (Source: Wikipedia)

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8. It was once thought that semen was actually just blood turned white from the heat. French physician Jacques Ferrand recommended bloodletting in his famous 1610 treatise on lovesickness. (Source: Wikimedia See page for author , via Wikimedia Commons)

9. In Ancient Greece, women believed that if they held their breath during the deed and sneezed after, they would expel seminary fluid and not become pregnant. (Source: Wikipedia)

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10. Pessaries made from nettle leaves were a big hit in Elizabethan England. (Source: Wikimedia By Kószó József (Own work) , via Wikimedia Commons)

11. In Feudal Japan, condoms were often made from tortoise shell or horn. (Source: Wikipedia)

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12. In Ancient Africa, women were told to drink the froth from a camel's mouth in order to prevent pregnancy. (Source: Flickr)

13. Meanwhile in Medieval Europe, women would drink sheep urine or rabbit's blood to avoid having a bun in the oven. (Source: Wikimedia ,via Wikimedia Commons)

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