Before modern contraception was developed, there were some really weird methods used around the world to prevent pregnancy. In ancient China, people drank hot mercury, and similarly the ancient Greeks would drink the water used by blacksmiths to cool their lead tools. Ancient Egyptians mixed alligator excrement with honey and inserted it into the vagina. Surprisingly, bizarre and ridiculous methods of contraception are not just a thing of ancient times. It’s hard to believe, but there are still weird contraception methods used in modern times today.
(Not so) Modern Methods of Contraception
There are numerous safe and proven effective contraception methods used today, from condoms and femidoms, to oral contraceptives, intrauterine devices and vasectomy surgeries. Despite these contraceptives allowing people all around the world to enjoy their sex lives while preventing unplanned pregnancies, there are always people who prefer anomalies over evidence. The issue is that these anomalous methods of contraception have no scientific or medical evidence, and have no proven contraceptive effect. Just like not “stepping on a crack” or “crossing your fingers for luck”, lets take a look at some weird modern contraceptives that rely more on superstition than evidence.
🙅♀️ Preventing Women’s Orgasms
Those who believe the myth that "women won’t get pregnant unless they orgasm during sex" believe that the orgasm in women helps push sperm up to the egg. But scientifically, the movement of orgasm has nothing to do with sperm, it can reach the egg without help. What is needed for conception is for an egg combined with sperm to implant in the inner lining of the cervix. That's all.
Rather, it can be said that the correlation between orgasm and pregnancy lies in men, not women. This is because men can release sperm and reproduce only when they are sexually excited and erect, but women can reproduce without sexual excitement or orgasm.
Moreover, this false myth only widens the gap in women's orgasm inequality. It’s important not to let a false myth suppress women's free sex life and their right to orgasm.
🩸 You can’t get pregnant from your first time?
This absurd myth has it’s roots in women’s hymens and the concept of virginity. Those who believe the myth argue that the hymen of a woman with no sexual experience will rupture during her first sexual intercourse, causing bleeding. Sperm within the vagina will flow out with the blood, preventing pregnancy. There are a few errors with this myth.
Firstly, a woman’s hymen may not bleed even if broken. During vaginal penetration the hymen may or may not be ruptured. Even if ruptured it may not bleed.
Secondly, even if bleeding does occur due to a rupturing of the hymen, sperm present inside the vagina will not all be discharged with the blood.
In other words, if you don’t use contraception you can get pregnant regardless of your sexual experience.
🍼 Breastfeeding Period = Automatic Contraception?
During breastfeeding, lactation causing hormones are secreted from the body, which can effectively suppress ovulation during the breastfeeding period. In particular, during the first three months of exclusive breastfeeding the possibility of pregnancy is very low. However, it is risky to rely on this alone, as ovulation can often start during the breastfeeding period without warning. If you don’t have plans to get pregnant again, it’s best to use contraception every time.
🚿 Washing the Vagina Removes the Sperm
Some people attempt to remove sperm from the vagina by cleaning it out with water or cleanser before it reaches the uterus. Of course, this has no contraceptive effect. The force of ejaculation pushes the semen past the cervix and into the uterus. Once inside the cervix the sperm cannot be completely cleaned out no matter how much the vagina is washed. Even if some semen is removed due to the pressure generated with washing or douching, some sperm will be simply be pushed further into the uterus.
In addition, frequent washing inside the vaginal canal can damage the pH balance of the vagina and eliminate beneficial bacteria, causing infections.
This method has another big problem, in that it places all responsibility for contraception onto women. Contraception is a burden to be borne by both partners in a sexual relationship, not one.
🍎 Collaboration of Gravity and Cowgirls
This method stems from the myth that sperm can escape the vagina by the scientific and logical force of gravity as long as you have sex standing up or with the woman on top. But this belief is, of course, untrue. Ejected sperm moves through the body with too much force, and is helped by a woman’s uterine muscles. Even if some semen appeared to slide back out of the woman’s body the average speed of ejaculation is 55 to 60 kilometers per hour, which ensures that some sperm could have already made it to the uterus, and that pregnancy is still very much possible.
Before Criticizing Ignorance
No one in the world is born with basic knowledge of contraception. It is filled in one by one through sex education at home, at school, and in society. If this received knowledge is wrong or insufficient, the problem lies in this process and not the individual.
Rather than criticizing individuals with incorrect ideas around contraception, first, consider how many opportunities they have been given to educate themselves or their partners about sex and contraception. In particular, optional and abstinence based sex education in conservative social atmospheres can add to the confusion, so care should be taken to ensure proper and correct education, breaking away from the patriarchal and sexist perspective of the past.
You can’t know what you haven’t been taught, and it’s hard to blame someone for acting out of ignorance. The widespread prevalence of inaccurate information about contraceptives goes beyond individual problems and is an issue that society must deal with together.
- Even in modern times when science and medicine are advanced, false ideas about contraception still persist
- Instead of using unverified methods, keep yourself safe with with proven effective contraceptives.
- Beyond individual responsibility, society has an obligation to provide appropriate education about contraception