ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Ancient Egyptian Contraceptive Methods

Updated on January 1, 2016

How did the Egyptians prevent unwanted pregnancy?

When you think of the ancient Egyptians the first thing you may think of are mummys. Egyptians are well known for their body preservation practices, but have you heard of their effective, yet weird, methods of birth control? Modern contraceptives are condoms, sponges, shots or even pills. The Egyptians of Africa back then however did not have these modern luxuries and boy were they crafty. Brave too. Very brave. From using feces to sour milk I guess we can say they did what they had to do for birth control.

Wool Diaphragm

Dates are the sweet tasting fruit of the date palm. Acacia trees have sap, or gum that naturally emits from their bark. As a method of contraceptive the Egyptians would make a paste out of the gum of the tree, dates and honey. They would then take the paste and apply it to small piece of wool. The wool covered in the paste was then inserted into the vagina. This method was noted to actually be quite effective. How it works is the wool acts as a barrier, a diaphragm, preventing the sperm to enter the cervix. The gum of the Acacia, when fermented, has spermicidal properties. The honey has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties so it may have helped as a spermicide as well. Although to me, it may seem that having a piece of wool as contraceptive sounds uncomfortable, I applaud the Egyptians for coming up with one of the first diaphragms.

Sour Milk

The ancient Egyptians used a form of fumigation, or the use fumes or smoke for many type of illnesses. For the prevention of pregnancy they used a dough like substance made from vegetables and sour milk to be burned. The woman then stands over the fumes. It is believed the bad smelling fumes would chase the womb away.

Crocodile Poop

Yes. You've read that right. Ancient Egyptians used honey covered crocodile dung as a form of birth control. The most reasonable explanation is that the crocodile dung acted as barrier from the cervix. it as also believed it's alkaline properties would prevent pregnancy. Not many people believe this was effective as a means of birth control. Since croc poop is alkaline it may have actually increased chance of pregnancy since the vagina needs to be more acidic to prevent pregnancy.

What do you think now that you know more about the contraceptives ancient Egyptians used? Which do you believe worked best? Which one would you have tried if you lived back then? I personally would go for the wool. Fire near my crotch does not sound like fun. The dung, I can't even get past the thought of what the smell of the poop of an animal that lives in a river and eats almost anything. So no thanks to the dung as well. Makes you appreciate living in a modern world just a little bit more huh?

Choose one.

If you were an ancient Egyptian and HAD to choose a form of contraceptive, which would it be?

See results

© 2015 LaQuiel


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)