Now people who are interested in this know everything: what methods are most effective, how much is the risk that pregnancy will arise, and so on. In the old days it was more difficult.
Speaking of contraception in Russia, you need to understand two things:
1. The church did not approve of any protection. All this was considered sinful. And the church in the past is not now. For a long time, it was not even separated from the state. By the way, what to give a soul: and now the Orthodox Church has a great influence. And now it is considered sinful to defend.
2. Peasant families needed human resources. An extra employee never hurts. And landowners and other nobility could always feed their children. And not only to feed, but to arrange in life.
However, contraceptive methods existed. Some are rather strange, by the way. They were used. With varied success. If, say, the peasant family lived very poorly, then she and the new potential worker is not a joy.
To the main ways:
1. Use infusions and decoctions. Here and there, there were grandmothers, healers, brewing a “potion” that would not only prevent pregnancy, but could also erase the fetus. The composition of such funds, by the way, usually did not include anything special. So, herbs: burdock, peas, nettle, juniper and something else.
2. Visit to the bath. There is such a way not to get pregnant – to steam up the legs with mustard. Or fully go to the bath. It is old and not very effective. But they were actively used. Coincidence or not, it helped some people.
3. Acid intake. Women were recommended to saturate the body with acids both through the mouth and through that very place. Used: urine, vinegar. Used such an original composition: horse manure, honey and certain herbs. When Peter I began to rule in the country, lemons appeared. They also began to be used against unwanted pregnancy. But the use of these fruits could only afford to know. Ladies were advised to eat bees so that their acid could enter the body. All this was not very popular. Inconvenient, disgusting and even dangerous.
4. Male contraception also existed. Products made from bovine bladder or small ruminant intestines were put on a known organ. The method was not popular. It is now “gum” stamped in thousands per shift, if not millions, before they did everything manually. It is clear that such contraceptives could not be handy every day.
5. Some ladies injected wedding rings and left them there. It is an analogue of a spiral that could not be removed. In addition, it was believed that gold can kill germs and bacteria. However, finding the ring in the body often led to bleeding in old age – in 80-year-old grandmothers. Doctors, at one time, greatly surprised. But then they got used to it.
6. Interrupted act. Old as the world. One side. The method is relatively effective. But there are misfires. And this is due not only to the reaction of the partner. However, in former times, it was probably one of the best options to protect against unwanted pregnancy. There are no modern methods that also do not provide a 100% guarantee. Perhaps a good way was also the use of decoctions. But there are some nuances. First, the healer should have a proven recipe. Secondly, the body is all different. On one woman can act. On the other – no. All individually. A number of ways, as you can see – some obscurantism. They show the degree of development of medicine in ancient times.