WOMEN
08/16/2012 10:31 am ET

Hideous Birth Control Methods Through The Ages

Some things aren’t as good as they used to be, but that isn't true of birth control. Some tips from the footnotes of history, used by women (and in some cases, men) far less fortunate than us:

• A pessary made of dried crocodile dung (Ancient Egypt)

• A mixture of olive oil and oil of cedar, placed in the vagina (recommended by Aristotle)

• Bloodletting, as current medical tradition held that sperm was merely blood turned white by the heat humor. The French physician Jacques Ferrand, author of A treatise on lovesickness, recommended that, if moderate bloodletting failed to dampen libido, the man must be bled until he "is ready to fall downe for faintnesse, and losse of blood."

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