It’s hard to imagine where we would be without the Pill, condoms, diaphragms, coils, injections, P2… the list is endless for modern methods of contraception that are effective.

And if otherwise ignorant, there is always the risky pull out game.

However, as sex has been a part of humanity since the beginning of time, it’s a sure thing that women would use methods to ensure they wouldn’t get pregnant.

Here are 5 of the most bizarre methods of contraception from ancient times.

Acacia gum

Women in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia would mix unripe acacia fruits with honey and ground dates. The acacia gum would ferment and convert into lactic acid which is a spermicide.


In Ancient China, women would take mercury, lead and/or arsenic. Enough to poison themselves to ensure that they couldn’t get pregnant. However, there was the ever present risk of death or kidney failure, and brain damage.


According a misguided “gynaecologist” in Ancient Greece, a woman could avoid pregnancy by drawing herself a bit further away when her lover ejaculates. She should then raise immediately, squat and sneeze out the offending semen as she wipes her vagina. (WTF).

Ghee and salt

In Ancient India, women would dip ghee in honey or tree seeds and apply rock salt which would act as a spermicide. Ouch.

Crocodile poop

Ancient Egyptians were in a class of their own. They would take crocodile dung and mix it with dough then apply it over the vulva or inside the vagina.

It begs the question whether they herded crocs for this purpose.

In India, elephant poop was used.

We should all be thankful for the strides in modern reproductive health. Like the Pill. The non-poopish Pill.