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IN History & Culture ON 20 Oct, 2016
People were unaware about the various methods of contraception and birth control in the Middle Ages. Prevention of conception was considered as violation of natural law. Various sex positions, oral and anal sex were condemned in the middle ages. Then how did women from the middle ages avoid getting pregnant?
Let's check out the various methods of contraception in Middle Ages.
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Coitus interruptus was a common method of contraception in the Middle Ages. According to this method, the penis was withdrawn moments before the climax of orgasm to avoid pregnancy.
During Middle Ages in Europe, women used to either tie weasel balls to their legs or wear around their necks during sex. Wearing weasel testicles was considered as one of the magical methods of prevention of pregnancy.
Women used to soak pieces of moss or sponges or cloth in vinegar and used them for scraping semen out of vagina. Though this method sounds practical, but I am sceptic if it really worked.
In the Middle Ages, expecting women used to consume high doses of pennyroyal tea for discharging the contents of their uterus and inducing abortion.
Coat-hanger method is another infamous method of self-induced abortion in which women themselves used to insert hanger in their cervix to induce a miscarriage.
This method follows a natural form of birth control and seems to be more logical. According to this method, both partners refrain from indulging in sex during the period of ovulation to prevent pregnancy.
It is a well-known fact that breastfeeding provides more than 98% protection from pregnancy in the first six months. Women in the middle ages used to breastfeed their child as much as they can to prevent pregnancy.
Condoms made of linen and animal intestines were used. After the 16th century, doctors used to recommend condoms in order to avoid diseases like syphilis and gonorrhea.
Silphium is an ancient contraceptive herb that doesn't exist anymore. It was a type of giant fennel plant used as a medication for birth control and other ailments in the Middle Ages.
Women used to spray their vagina with lemon juice before and after sex as a natural spermicide.