Ancient Contraceptive Advice: Withdrawal Technique!

Withdrawal can provide some protection against pregnancy and even some minimal protection against infections. Withdrawal technique for contraception is better than no contraception, and we've given those statistics in other posts, but it's not a new concept at all! In the Middle Ages a Persian physician Ismail Jurjani wrote that if a woman was suffering from pelvic organ disease (to paraphrase, if one thought you had a bladder infection or a condition of the uterus) that you should do something to temporarily prevent conception. He suggested that once you have sex, the couple should "come apart rapidly" and that he also thought the woman should have "a good shake" or have "provoked sneezing" to try to dislodge semen. His other suggestions were a bet less logical, such as having the couple "avoid simultaneous orgasm". He had a few dietary suggestions as well such as eating cabbage or drinking sweet basil " Around the same time a Jewish physician Ibn-al-Jami, practicing in the court of sultan Saladin also favored dietary solutions, but he suggested anointing the penis with any number of herbals, including leek seeds and onion juice. None of the recommendations has held up to either the test of time or the rigors of scientific investigation! Most modern gynecologists would recommend that if you have just practiced withdrawal on the spur of the moment, the real way to improve it's efficacy is to use emergency contraception, such as Plan B,  can be obtained over the counter, or by calling your physician.


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