Contraception in its most basic form has been around since the dawn of the history books. The oldest form of birth control, coitus interruptus, is still practiced today. In the modern world we have come a long way from the ‘pulling out’ or ‘withdrawal’ method, offering many contraceptive options to choose from. During the COVID-19 pandemic it has become even more important to choose the right contraception so that you don’t need extra check-ups.

We all remember that class we had in school where we were taught how to put a condom on a banana. However, we never got taught how they came to be. As the invention of female contraception has played a big part in the fight for equality, and some even resemble face masks,it’s even more important to learn its history. Let’s take a look at how some of the most common forms of contraception have changed over the years.


Male barrier contraception is more commonly known as the humble condom. The first instances of penis protectors were in early Egypt. However, the sheath wasn’t documented until 1564 when it was first created from moistened linen to protect the user against the transmission of STIs. Through the 18th and 19th centuries, linen was swapped to animal intestines, and then rubber, settling on latex in 1930. It was found that latex condoms could be damaged by oil-based lubricants, so this was changed to polyurethane in 1997, then synthetic non-latex in 2005.

It took the female condom an extra couple of hundred years to be invented. This revolution took place in the late 1800s- early 1900s, which brought the diaphragm, cap, and female condom. You can now find polyurethane female condoms, silicone caps and two types of silicone diaphragm- a coil spring, and an arcing spring.

Natural Family Planning

Abstinence as birth control has been a contraceptive method since humans figured out sex made you pregnant. With the extra research of the 1930s and 40s came an improved understanding of the female reproductive system and ovulation. By the 1990s there was an array of menstrual cycle monitors available. Ovulation trackers allow you to track your menstrual cycle so that you know when you are least fertile. These trackers can make the otherwise unreliable coitus interruptus method a bit more effective, as you can abstain whilst you are ovulating.

Hormonal Contraception

Hormonal contraception has come a long way in 2000 years, going from eating willow shoots, bees, and bits of deer horns, to a singular pill that does it all. Users of the pill will usually take twenty-one pills, followed by a seven-day break to mimic the menstrual cycle.

As well as oral hormonal contraception you can find emergency contraception, progestogen-only pills, injections, implants, vaginal rings, skin patches and gels. Have you noticed something they all have in common? They are all for women. There is however a talk of a male pill which may be available soon.

Contraception in a pandemic

Since humans learned that sex made babies, there has been some form of contraception. However, during the pandemic we must make sure we are Covid-safe too! Before putting any of these contraception options into practice, get a COVID-19 test from Myhealthchecked just be extra safe! Get tested, wear a mask, and remember to put on a condom.

Author's Bio: 

Sudarsan writes on various topics.