How Did Prostitutes in Ancient Times Prevent Pregnancy?

Prostitutes have existed since ancient times and have always been a part of society. While some may argue about their morality, it is undeniable that they have played an important role in fulfilling the sexual needs of men.

However, with sex comes the risk of pregnancy – a risk that prostitutes in ancient times had to deal with too. In this article, we’ll explore how prostitutes in ancient times prevented pregnancy.

Contraception in Ancient Times

In ancient times, contraception was not as advanced as it is today. Women used various methods to prevent pregnancy, many of which were based on superstition and hearsay rather than scientific fact. The use of plants and herbs were common practices for contraception.

The Use of Pomegranates

Pomegranate was one such fruit that was believed to be an effective contraceptive. It was said that if a woman ate a pomegranate seed before intercourse, she would not get pregnant. While there is no scientific evidence to support this claim, it was a common practice among prostitutes.

The Use of Silphium Plant

Another plant that was commonly used by prostitutes for contraception was the silphium plant. This plant grew only in one region of ancient Libya and became so popular as a contraceptive that it eventually went extinct.

Physical Barriers

In addition to using plants and herbs for contraception, physical barriers were also used by prostitutes to prevent pregnancy.

The Use of Condoms

Condoms made from animal intestines or bladders were used by men during intercourse to prevent pregnancy. However, these condoms were expensive and not readily available for everyone.

The Use of Sponges

Prostitutes also used sponges soaked in vinegar or lemon juice as a form of physical barrier during intercourse. These sponges could be reused and were an affordable option for many.


In conclusion, prostitutes in ancient times used various methods to prevent pregnancy. While some of these methods were effective, others were based on superstition and hearsay.

It is important to note that these methods were not foolproof and pregnancy could still occur. With the advancement of modern medicine, contraception has become more accessible and effective. However, it is important to remember the practices of ancient times and the role that prostitutes played in society.