What Was Used as Birth Control in Ancient Times?

In ancient times, people used various methods for birth control. Some of these methods were effective, while others were not. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular birth control methods used in ancient times.

Herbs and Plants

One of the most common methods used in ancient times was the use of herbs and plants. Various herbs and plants were believed to have contraceptive properties.

For example, Queen Anne’s Lace was believed to be an effective contraceptive herb. Women would insert the herb into their vagina before intercourse to prevent pregnancy.


Acacia was another popular herb used for birth control. It was believed that acacia gum had spermicidal properties, which made it an effective contraceptive.


Silphium was a plant that grew in North Africa and was highly valued as a contraceptive by ancient Egyptians and Greeks. It was so popular that it eventually became extinct due to over-harvesting.

Animal Intestines

Animal intestines were also used as a form of contraception in ancient times. Women would create small pouches using animal intestines and insert them into their vagina before intercourse. These pouches acted as a barrier that prevented sperm from reaching the egg.

Crocodile Dung

Believe it or not, crocodile dung was also used as a form of birth control in ancient Egypt. Women would mix crocodile dung with honey and apply it to their cervix before intercourse.


Finally, one of the most common methods of birth control in ancient times was simply abstaining from sex during fertile periods. This method required careful tracking of menstrual cycles and avoiding sex during ovulation.


In conclusion, people in ancient times used various methods for birth control, some of which were effective, while others were not. While these methods may seem strange and ineffective by today’s standards, they were a reflection of the scientific knowledge and resources available at the time. It is important to remember that access to safe and effective contraception is still a major issue in many parts of the world today.