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40 Strange Historical Facts That You Didn’t Learn In History Class

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The first stages of birth control

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Even though the battle for access to affordable birth control rages on, strange historical facts can help us appreciate just how far we’ve come. For example, women in China used to drink mercury to prevent pregnancy (yes, it’s poisonous). Ancient Egyptian women used pessaries made out of crocodile dung. Early condoms were made of animal intestines. Victorians used an actual wooden block like a diaphragm, and women in North American used to prevent pregnancy by soaking dried beaver testicles in alcohol and drinking it. So … things could definitely be worse.

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