Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

What did women use as a form of "birth control" before they invented condoms and actual birth control? ?-1900?

What The question says... Im totally just wondering...because im sure without a form of it people would have a lot of children...

8 Answers

  • Bob M
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Refer to the second section of the following for a brief, but illuminating, history of birth control and both it's political and social ramifications.

    The fact is that conception is something meant to take place as a result of coitus and intercourse. Preventing the conception is historical fact spreading back to the time of the Egyptians, at least, and probably beyond.

    Another fact is that women in the time before the pill had many, many children. As most readers already know, women can bear children from a fairly early age, usually 12 or 13 although the "Fertility Rate" kept by demographers (population specialists) starts those child bearing years at age 15 and continues those years through 40 or 45.

    Common sense tells us, this means that a woman could conceive upwards of twenty-five times in those years between puberty and the cessation of menstruation or menopause. We have records indicating that families of 10, 12 or even 15 are not unusual. Many people are products of families with 8 to 10 children and they are not that unusual, demographically speaking.

    Why hasn't the world population overrun the planet with all this fertility and so much conception taking place? Birth control of some sort is the answer. Whether "coitus interruptus" was employed or not, it seems obvious that other methods were being used. I would refer you to the article from Wiki and it's bibliography for details too lengthy to report here.

    Another sidelight on birthing in general, is the fact that something like 25-33% of women routinely died in childbirth before modern surgical techniques improved enough to reduce "died in childbirth" as a usual description of some young woman's reason for an early death. When you understand that every third or fourth woman giving birth died as their child was born, you also understand why our forefathers also routinely remarried, some three, four or five times in their lives. It wasn't lechery, but the need to replace the deceased wife with another to do childcare and household tasks.

    Hope this helps as well:

    This is the Google return on the history of birth control and has some interesting links.

    Good luck.

    Source(s): History teacher
  • Cabal
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    The least dangerous was coitus interuptus but there were plenty of other tricks, most of them superstitious nonsense which could even be dangerous to the health or fertility of the woman.

    There were goat bladders which were used as early condoms, a recipe that came from the Romans, as well as plenty of 'witch' concoctions or even bundles of different medicinal plants put in the woman vagina, olive oil was considered a form of birth control, or wool plugs saturated with a gummy substance or with astringent solutions to contract the uterine opening around the plug.

    Post-intercourse rituals, beliefs and plain superstitions were numerous, from sneezing to get rid of the semen to jumping up and down, or during the intercourse undulate to direct the semen away from the uterine opening.

    Castration was forbidden by the Council of Nicaea in 325 so that was not available in the later centuries (joke!!!).

    From the Middle Ages came the Cup of roots, made of Alexandrian gum, liquid alum, and garden crocus. A woman mixed these ingredients together with two cups of beer and consumed the mixture for supposed sterilization.

    Other recipes, still in use in the 17th century, were :

    - mouse dung in the form of a lotion to be rubbed into the skin,

    - snail excrement or pigeon droppings mixed with oil and wine to be swallowed,

    - blood taken from ticks on a wild black bull and rubbed on a woman's loins

    - hide testicles and blood of a dunghill **** under the marital bed before a sexual encounter

    - Pepper into the mouth of the uterus after the intercourse (ouch)

    Many of those which came straight from the Middle Ages were still in use in the early 1900 as superstition was rife, especially in the countryside.

    No wonder reliable condoms and the pill were greeted with such enthusiasm.

  • 1 decade ago

    So called right to lifers, those people who desperately want Earth's population to soar to 25 Billion or More, have spread this myth that women never ever considered birth control until the 'dreaded' pill was invented, note this is a myth! Ever since people figured out that intercourse could lead to pregnancy people have worked to prevent it for various reasons (and not just to 'kill' precious sperm cells as so called right to lifers believe, fervently).

    As another answerer noted using another orifice sufficed for some; to this day Eastern Europeans and many South Americans favor this method; most women can put up with it ('it' is usually over in a few minutes) and in cases of rape it is best for both parties that no little rugrats are born (which is why German women use to tell their daughters "give them your ^ss.").

    Equally ancient and as noted by a Seinfeld episode (and the sex life of actress Mae West) - - - The SPONGE -- -- or a bit of rag and a squeeze of lemon or lime juice. This was and is especially popular in the Mediterranean where sponges & citrus juice are popular.

    Sheer luck also played its hand because women are not fertile 7 days a week 28 or 30 or 31 days a month hence the need for fertility clinics.

    As noted 'pulling out' was not only recommended by the Pope but if the one pulling out was courteous enough to aim at their partners face it provided a wonderful facial cream (*"M'lady," said the Knight, "You have such a lovely complexion.").

    Here is one to gross you out: condoms have been around since Roman times, were once made mostly from sheep & goat intestines (hence sausages!) and they were expensive so after use they were washed out and reused over & over & over - -- ---!!


    (And in case of unwanted pregnancy abortion has been around since Biblical Times!

  • Bilbo
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Rhythm method.

    Coitus interruptus.

    Separate beds

    Condoms (for wealthy)

    None of which were very successful which is why they did indeed have huge families, but lost a lot through infant mortality.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    condoms are hundreds if not thousands of years old and the pill was invented in the 1960s

    one of the reasons why we should continue to have legal abortion is illegal abortionists killed over half the women they operated on, having no drugs or anti biotics

  • They did have lots of children.

    I think coitus interruptus, where the man pulls out, was the most widely practised method. But I think sort-of condoms were used, sometimes, as per wikipedia:

    Source(s): own knowledge + wikipedia check If you read Therese Philosophe, an 18th century porno-cum-philosophical novel, they use coitus interruptus in that.
  • 1 decade ago

    Prostitutes of the American Wild West era used opium in order to lose their babies. I suppose other people could, too. I can't think of anything beyond what others have posted.

    Source(s): History Channel's Wild West Tech, "Brothels."
  • 1 decade ago

    use other alternative holes a side from the original hole.

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