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7 Ancient Contraceptives That Make Us Very Grateful To Be Alive In The 21st Century

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LOS ANGELES CIRCA 1953: A woman poses for a portrait while riding an alligator at an alligator farm in circa 1953 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images) | E. Treffly Coyne via Getty Images

Birth control is a perpetually controversial issue, rife with politics and usually involving religious and personal beliefs. For a brief moment, however, let's put contention aside and collectively reflect on how fortunate American women are today to have access to safe and medically sound contraceptives. As you may already know, it wasn't always this way.

Offering an essential amount of "informative distraction," the Discovery Digital Networks' new comedy show Anyhoo compiled some of the craziest ancient birth control methods. (Spoiler alert: they are moderately terrifying.)

The list of birth control methods (i.e. seven wild guesses) truly make us understand just how much we've learned about the human body in our relatively short history. Ancient Chinese women used to drink Mercury after sex, Jewish women once inserted lemons into their vaginas as a form of spermicide and dating back to 1850 BC, Egyptian women used a pleasant mixture of crocodile feces and honey as contraception. As the video notes, at least one of these "methods" only succeeded in preventing pregnancies because the women most likely died. We're not so sure the other "methods" were safe and effective either.

So here's to advances in sexual health and to no one ever coming near us with crocodile dung.

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