5 Contraception Myths: Best of the Worst

It's World Contraception Day! In honor of those wonderful little inventions that allow us to get down without getting pregnant, we're taking you beyond condoms, pills and Nuva Rings to explore some of the weirder birth control theories throughout history. Mountain Dew, anyone?

1. Silphium Plants. Around 630 BC, a group of Greek settlers established the city of Cyrene on Africa's northern tip. There, they found the silphium plant, which is basically a giant fennel. The Greeks thought silphium could prevent pregnancy, a belief which was passed on to Rome, Egypt, and India. The plant was so popular, it eventually went extinct in the first century AD, so we'll never know whether it actually worked (doubtful).

2. Spitting into a frog's mouth. Ah, Ancient Rome. Building aqueducts and creating republics just isn't possible with loads and loads of babies around. Luckily, the Romans were pretty crafty and came up with a solution: just get women to spit into a frog's mouth three times after intercourse and you're good to go. For extra insurance, get the ladies to carry a cat's liver in a leather pouch tied to their left ankle. Works like a charm.

3. Jumping backwards: Because all you want after sex is a little extra workout, why not jump seven or nine times backwards? Hey, this mystical jumping routine allegedly worked for 10th century Persians — let's revive it in modern times!

4. Jumping up and down: Attempted by folks in the actual 21st century. I sense a theme here. But no, the semen won't all leak out, no matter how many jumping jacks you do. Same goes for making yourself sneeze for fifteen minutes or pushing on your belly buttons Seriously, people?

5. Mountain Dew: This soda's high caffeine levels, neon dyes, and brominated vegetable oils (which have been shown to lower reproductive health), have led people to attribute contraceptive abilities to the Dew. There is no proof that Mountain Dew lowers sperm count, and no way does it kill it all off.

Don't try any of these at home, folks.

Image: Courtney Carmody on Flickr