Extravagant alternatives available before the contraceptive pill

Throughout history, humanity has worried about managing the birth rate. Before the appearance of latex condoms or intrauterine devices, they were used from simple amulets (of doubtful efficacy) to vaginal showers, through mechanical barriers or other even more grotesque methods, such as silk or animal intestines condoms.

In the year 2000 BC, the Egyptians already discovered the world's first contraceptive: a small cone made of pomegranate seeds and wax, which had to prevent ovulation using the natural estrogens contained in this mixture. They also used another more picturesque method to stop sperm from entering the woman's body: a barrier based on honey and crocodile droppings. In China they were still more radical: after sex, the woman had to take a couple of drinks of mercury, although the side effects were cerebral and renal failure or definitive sterility.

The first truly effective contraceptive came with the Mexican Luis Ernesto Miramontes Cárdenas (1925-2004, which) was the inventor of the first oral contraceptive in 1951, when he was only 25 years old. Actually, Miramontes was looking for an antiabortive drug, but by chance he isolated crystals of a compound (norethisterone) that turned out to be antiovulatory. Starting from his discovery, he was the doctor Greogory Pincus who finally developed the contraceptive pill.

The pill was referred to 3 times as one of the most important inventions of the last 2,000 years.

Although for a long time there have been people who preferred other systems, say, exotic, how to apply a Coca Cola vaginal wash after sex. A study by Harvard University in the 1960s claimed that the most commonly used carbonated beverage to prevent pregnancy was the Coca Cola Diet.

They are currently used by more than 100 million women worldwide and almost 12 million in the United States. Japan is a unique developed country in this regard: only 1% of Japanese women of childbearing age use the pill, versus, for example, 25% of women in the United Kingdom.

For what other purposes is the contraceptive pill prescribed? Contraceptives are combinations of estrogens and gestagens, and therefore, their essential indication is in all pathologies that alter the genital cycle of women, whether in the amount, in time, in duration, in the lack of regularity or in the accompanying inconvenience.

And the men?

Male contraceptive pills are also developed. But nevertheless, the male contraceptive has proved to be a failure due to the side effects that it produces.

The test phase of a contraceptive injection for men in 2011 in various parts of the world by the World Health Organization (WHO) was interrupted specifically because 1 in 10 men who participated in the test suffered depression, weight gain, increased sexual desire and acne.

Michael Zitzmann, from the University of Münster:

It was terminated already in March of this year (2011), because the injection does not work with its current composition. (…) It worked in 90 percent of cases, but a (error) rate of ten percent is simply too much (…) “We must start again from scratch. The result is open.