Before society and sites like ours allowed frank and open discussion about sex, kink, contraception and all things fun, ignorance was everywhere. And even now, with many of us carrying the Internet around in our pockets, there is so much misinformation out there. This is so true in the realm of birth control. The groundbreaking 1969 “classic” “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex but Were Afraid to Ask” defines birth control as referring to “the hundreds of methods that have been employed to separate the act of copulation from the act of reproduction.” So i thought i would do a blog about some of history’s most off-the-wall contraceptive myths.
Jumping Up and Down
Now almost everyone has heard this old wives’ tale. The premise is that if a woman leaps out of bed immediately after sex and jumps up and down vigorously, the sperm will be confused and no pregnancy will occur. This has been debunked in plenty of books.
So where did it start?
In fact, this myth may be as old as medicine itself. Hippocrates – the man for whom the Hippocratic Oath is named – asserted that a woman should “make violent movements with her body after intercourse to prevent conception from reaching the uterus.” Honest, that’s taken directly from “The Hippocratic Corpus”, the classic medical reference written by Hippocrates and his students. This is why even the best 2,000-year-old books should probably not be used as sex manuals.
Contraception Pills Lead to Infertility
This is one of those crazy rumors that may have begun because women sometimes take Contraception pills until they are in their 30s, an age at which conception becomes more difficult. Since the pill’s introduction in 1960, rumors of side effects like weight gain, hair loss, pimples, and permanent infertility have been persistent.
The good news is
Reality is not nearly as ironic. Dr. Vanessa Cullins, writer of Planned Parenthood’s long-time column “Ask Dr Cullins,” assures us that there is no evidence to suggest a link between birth control pills and long-term infertility. She goes on to say that birth-control pills are among the most rigorously tested drugs on the planet and, when taken properly, are considered very safe.
Timing Is Everything!
In her book “Dr Ruth’s Guide to Safer Sex,” Dr. Ruth Westheimer said she was “startled” to learn how many teenagers believed they couldn’t get pregnant their first time, and that the hymen served as a barrier to conception.
No such luck; the first time really can be the charm. The truth is that even if there is bleeding or discomfort, this does not interfere with the merry dance of sperm and egg. And yes, that’s even true when a woman is menstruating.
Condoms: Tighter Is Better
If snugness provides protection, a latex stranglehold must provide super-duper protection, right? Nope. A too-tight condom is much more likely to tear during intercourse. Both Trojan and Durex condom companies say that condoms should fit snugly and comfortably when applied, while leaving ample room at the tip.
While it might be fun
For the guys to rip through a condom, a torn condom is useless at doing everything you need a condom to do. Try a few different brands, even measure if you have to, but make sure it fits. Condoms are something you never want to stretch past the breaking point.
What Goes Up
It’s been surmised for centuries that gravity could be used to help with contraception. Tenth century Persians believed that if both partners remained standing during sex, no conception would occur. Ancient Egyptians believed that sex in the river could not result in offspring. Many American youths still believe that woman-on-top sex is less likely to result in pregnancy.
If you try either one of these you’re as likely to end up with a baby as you are with a back-ache or algae infection. If you are not yet wise in the ways of the penis, you may not realized just how fast and eager those little swimmers are when they exit the male body.
Coitus Interruptus Contraception Method
Coitus interruptus is not just slang for parents, kids, or nosy neighbors barging in on the tender act of love. It’s also the formal name for the withdrawal method, also known as “pulling out.” This unsatisfying birth-control method involves abrupt, pre-ejaculation extraction of the penis from the vagina. And, yes, it is every bit as romantic as it sounds.
Planned Parenthood tells us that when performed correctly every time, coitus interruptus will result in pregnancy about four out of every 100 times. Those sound like good odds until we note that very few men can do this correctly 100 percent of the time. Ultimately, it equals less satisfying sex – not to mention less reliability than every other legitimate birth control method. Also, pre-ejaculate does contain some sperm, although not as much as the full payload.
Just Like a Condom!
The idea that the same thing you’d use to cover that last portion of mashed potatoes might be used to protect you from pregnancy is a bit of a stretch. Even so, everything from sandwich bags to chocolate bar wrappers have been used for this purpose.
The bad news is
Going MacGyver on yourself to create a condom is not just bad contraception – it leaves both parties open to infections, pain, lack of sensation, and the sort of injuries you’d be really embarrassed to explain to an emergency room nurse. Seriously, condoms are a couple of pennies and you can buy them anywhere. Or just stop a random person in the street and ask for one; chances are, somebody will help you out. Just try to look non-threatening when you do this.
Coca-Cola to the Rescue
The aforementioned “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex” explains the various rumors that surround douching as a form of birth control. The book was released in 1969, and claimed that douching was the most commonly used form of birth control at the time. Lysol, chlorophyll, and even that blue liquid barbers put combs in were used immediately after intercourse in the hope of preventing pregnancy.
We now know that douching cannot rid the body of all of the 300 million sperm that are released during one encounter. Not even close. Through the ’60s and ’70s, the contraceptive douche of choice was a Coca-Cola. Back then, it came in 10-ounce glass bottles you could shake up and … ahem … insert to kill sperm. Like other douching liquids, it was ineffective and had nasty side effects. We now also know that sugar in the underpants zone is the quickest road to a yeast infection.
Yes crazy ideas but you know now don’t try these unless you are looking to have a baby!