How Did Prostitutes Avoid Pregnancy in Ancient Times?

In ancient times, the issue of unwanted pregnancy was a major concern for prostitutes. Without access to modern methods of birth control, they had to rely on various methods to avoid getting pregnant. Here are some of the ways in which prostitutes managed to avoid pregnancy in ancient times:

Herbs and Plants

Prostitutes in ancient times often used herbs and plants as a form of contraceptive. Some of these plants had properties that acted as natural spermicides, while others disrupted the menstrual cycle. Plants like pennyroyal, wild carrot seeds, and Queen Anne’s lace were commonly used for this purpose.


A pessary is a device that is inserted into the vagina to block the cervix and prevent sperm from reaching the egg. In ancient times, prostitutes used various types of pessaries made from materials like cotton or wool soaked in vinegar or lemon juice.

Withdrawal Method

The withdrawal method, also known as coitus interruptus, involves removing the penis from the vagina before ejaculation occurs. This method was widely practiced by both men and women in ancient times.


Some prostitutes chose to abstain from sexual activity during their fertile period to avoid getting pregnant. This was often difficult given their profession, but some managed to do so by taking on fewer clients during this time.


Despite not having access to modern methods of birth control, prostitutes in ancient times had various ways of avoiding unwanted pregnancy. While not foolproof, these methods helped many women avoid the potential risks associated with childbirth and raising a child under difficult circumstances.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. It is always important to consult with a healthcare professional before trying any new form of contraception or sexual practice.