To prevent or delay pregnancy, would you rather lather on crocodile dung or wear weasel testicles during sex? How about drinking blacksmith water filled with lead? Believe it or not, those are just a few of the bizarre and dangerous contraceptives that women have had to use throughout history, as outlined in this video by EngenderHealth, a global women’s health organization working to to ensure that every pregnancy is planned, every child is wanted, and every mother has the best chance at survival.
Watching EngenderHealth’s video on history’s worst contraceptives might make you wince and wonder, WTFP?! (Where’s the Family Planning?!)
For as long as humans have existed, people have wanted the ability to decide if and when to have children. But women have had to endure some really awful methods for trying to prevent pregnancy.
While it’s good to know that the 21st century has a much more effective range of modern contraceptive options, 225 million women in developing countries still want to decide for themselves if and when to have children, but can’t, because they lack access to contraceptives and family planning services.
That’s why EngenderHealth launched its WTFP?! initiative.
WTFP?! is a campaign that raises awareness about the global need for increased access to contraception and inspires people to take action. Some of the obstacles women face in obtaining contraception include financial and cultural barriers, misinformation, lack of supplies, and inadequate health care systems.
Every two minutes, a woman dies from pregnancy or childbirth complications. And it’s not just women who are affected. Children are left motherless, communities lose valuable leaders, and economies suffer from a depleted workforce.
The good thing is, 70% of maternal deaths and 75% of newborn deaths can be prevented if every woman has access high quality sexual and reproductive health services.
So take a minute to watch “History’s Worst Contraceptives” above and learn how family planning can save lives and empower women. With so many more options for safe and effective contraceptives, don’t let history repeat itself. Let’s make sure that more women can lead healthier lives and have healthier children.