How Did People Avoid Pregnancy in Ancient Times?

In ancient times, people did not have access to modern contraceptive methods that we have today. However, they still found ways to avoid unwanted pregnancies. Let’s take a look at some of the methods used in ancient times.

Ancient Egyptian Methods

The ancient Egyptians were known for their advanced medical knowledge and practices. They used a variety of methods to avoid pregnancy, such as using crocodile dung as a barrier method and using honey, acacia leaves, and lint as a cervical plug.

The Greek Method

In ancient Greece, women drank water that was boiled with willow leaves or rubbed their cervix with cedar oil to prevent pregnancy.

Indian and Chinese Methods

In India and China, women used various herbs and plants as contraceptive methods. The seeds of the papaya tree were believed to have spermicidal properties when eaten regularly. Women in China used cotton soaked in vinegar or lemon juice as a cervical cap.

The Roman Method

The Romans used a plant called silphium as a contraceptive method. It was so effective that it eventually went extinct due to over-harvesting.


While these methods may seem strange or even dangerous to us today, they were the best options available at the time. It is important to remember that access to safe and effective contraception is a basic human right. As we continue to advance technologically and medically, we must ensure that everyone has access to these essential resources.