History Main / FantasyContraception

4th Apr '18 12:07:11 PM CaptainCrawdad
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[[folder:Real Life]]
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silphium Silphium]], a plant commonly used as an oral contraceptive in Ancient Greece and Rome. So commonly used in fact that its now believed to be extinct. Its seeds are speculated as a possible origin for the ♥ symbol.
** Before the advent of legal abortions, certain herbs were used to make nostrums to "induce powerful menstruation and return the woman to her natural rhythm". They include such things like pennyroyal, rosemary, black cohosh, tansy, etc. Effectiveness is very hit-and-miss and overdoses can be fatal.
* Similarly, various recipes for contraceptives were found in ancient Egyptian texts; and while the efficiency of some of those is questionable (drinks made of celery base and beer), there are some which were probably effective as they contained effective spermicides such as acacia gum ([[OlderThanFeudalism which is still used in modern birth control pills]]). In fact, the oldest known document referring to birth control is the Kuhn gynecological papyrus (around 1850 BC).
** The Egyptians also had reasonably effective "barrier" contraceptives and reasonably effective spermicides, although in both cases part of the contraceptive value may have been from the {{squick}} factor. A cervical cap made from crocodile dung and full-wax honey ''would'' be a good barrier and the honey is going to be a good spermicide by dehydrating sperm and reducing motility... but may have dampened everyone's spirits as well.
** Ditto the early condoms, used from at least the high medieval period- literally a sausage-skin (yes, a pig's gut, but hey, lots of people eat them) with one end sewn up. They were intended to be washed and re-used. They'd probably have been far more successful if they hadn't been, well, you work it out.
** The real Casanova also talks about using a lemon-skin like a cervical diaphragm. As the above examples, it works in theory- lemon juice is certainly a pretty good spermicide- but it's also very irritating on sensitive areas; worse, even modern diaphragms, which are fitted to the user, take some trial-and-error to fit properly (they also have quite a high failure rate, not because they fail when used correctly but they're not the most convenient of methods)- a far less flexible lemon peel randomly chosen for an individual would have been very awkward.
** Another pre-industrial form contraception was the contraceptive sponge-a plug of natural sponge on a string (these still exist today, in modernized form). Like modern sponges, they would have been soaked in the nearest thing available to spermicide- usually vinegar, maybe with tansy or pennyroyal. They would have been... well, better than nothing.
* Papaya itself is a fairly normal fruit in Asia and other tropical regions, but eating too much will cause miscarriage and it's specifically used as emergency contraception in certain regions. ''Unripe'' papaya is even more notorious, to the point where doctors often advise pregnant women to avoid papaya entirely until the baby comes to term.
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24th Mar '18 7:20:37 PM thatother1dude
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* In ''Literature/TheWitcher'', Witchers are sterile as a result of all the deliberate mutations they undergo -- which is damned convenient given how frequently Geralt ends up in bed with somebody (even sometimes using his sterility to help talk them into it). They're also immune to disease. [[STDImmunity Helps a lot.]]

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* In ''Literature/TheWitcher'', Witchers are sterile as a result of all the deliberate mutations they undergo -- which is damned convenient given how frequently Geralt ends up in bed with somebody (even sometimes using his sterility to help talk them into it). They're also [[IdealIllnessImmunity immune to disease.disease]]. [[STDImmunity Helps a lot.]]
24th Mar '18 7:18:08 PM thatother1dude
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* In ''Literature/TheWitcher'', Witchers are sterile as a result of all the deliberate mutations they undergo -- which is damned convenient given how frequently Geralt ends up in bed with somebody (even sometimes using his sterility to help talk them into it). They're also immune to disease. Helps a lot.

to:

* In ''Literature/TheWitcher'', Witchers are sterile as a result of all the deliberate mutations they undergo -- which is damned convenient given how frequently Geralt ends up in bed with somebody (even sometimes using his sterility to help talk them into it). They're also immune to disease. [[STDImmunity Helps a lot.]]
12th Mar '18 5:36:13 PM nombretomado
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* ''TheWitcher'' video game makes the same point about a Witcher being sterile as exists in the books. And as in the books, the protagonist can get plenty of use out of it.

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* ''TheWitcher'' ''VideoGame/TheWitcher'' video game makes the same point about a Witcher being sterile as exists in the books. And as in the books, the protagonist can get plenty of use out of it.
5th Jan '18 10:59:12 AM ChaoticNovelist
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* In ''Literature/AxisOfTime'', in the 21st century, women can receive an implant that can be controlled via a tablet and provides 100% contraception until such time as they choose to deactivate it or it stops working on its own (it has a finite life). [[HotScoop Julia Duffy]]'s implant is nearing its life, and she fears having a child, so she initiates the implant's final function, which permanently sterilizes her. When her husband finds out, they have a big fight over it, followed by a divorce. [[spoiler:Then he dies in a plane crash... [[FakingTheDead maybe]]]]. Since then, she becomes a mess, drinking and screwing her way through the war, regretting her decision and blaming herself [[spoiler:for his death]]. She finally gets better when she starts to go steady with Prince Harry.

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* In ''Literature/AxisOfTime'', in the 21st century, women can receive an implant that can be controlled via a tablet and provides 100% contraception until such time as they choose to deactivate it or it stops working on its own (it has a finite life). [[HotScoop Julia Duffy]]'s Duffy's implant is nearing its life, and she fears having a child, so she initiates the implant's final function, which permanently sterilizes her. When her husband finds out, they have a big fight over it, followed by a divorce. [[spoiler:Then he dies in a plane crash... [[FakingTheDead maybe]]]]. Since then, she becomes a mess, drinking and screwing her way through the war, regretting her decision and blaming herself [[spoiler:for his death]]. She finally gets better when she starts to go steady with Prince Harry.
26th Dec '17 6:53:10 AM kazokuhouou
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* In ''Franchise/{{Dune}}'' the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood have developed their Prana-Bindu nerve control to such a degree that they can choose when to get pregnant and what gender of child to conceive. It makes their work of breeding the Kwisatz Haderach possible but doesn't make much room for love.

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* In ''Franchise/{{Dune}}'' the Bene Gesserit Sisterhood have developed their Prana-Bindu nerve control to such a degree that they can choose when to get pregnant and what gender of child to conceive. It makes their work of breeding the Kwisatz Haderach possible but doesn't make much room for love. [[spoiler: This actually kickstarts the plot, as Jessica, who had fallen in love with Leto, chose to give him the boy he wanted instead of the girl the Bene Gesserit demanded, meaning the Kwisatz Haderach came a generation early...and out of the Bene Gesserit's control.]]
7th Oct '17 9:03:15 PM iroanxi
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** Specified in ''Fanfic/DreamingOfSunshine'', which notes that Tsunade invented a jutsu that not only prevents conception but also halts the menstrual cycle—which can be lifesaving in a world where one's enemies may be able to smell a single drop of blood from miles away—and is easy enough for Academy students to learn. The kunoichi of Konoha revere her for this.
23rd Sep '17 12:28:09 PM Vox
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* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' uses tansy tea relatively realistically: as an abortificient, not contraceptive. It is used in one character's backstory to terminate an unwanted pregnancy ("unwanted" in the sense of politically inconvenient to the mother's family; she herself very much wanted to keep the baby). The trope is played straighter with "moon tea," which includes tansy as just one of its ingredients and appears to work as a relatively safe and effective Plan B contraceptive with few (if any) side effects.

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* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' uses tansy tea relatively realistically: as an abortificient, not contraceptive. It is used in one character's backstory to terminate an unwanted pregnancy ("unwanted" in the sense of politically inconvenient to the mother's family; she herself very much wanted to keep the baby). It's strongly implied that there are in fact unpleasant side-effects, as [[spoiler:after her abortion the character in question has several stillbirths and eventually one underweight, sickly child, suggesting that the herb permanently affected her ability to bear children.]] The trope is played straighter with "moon tea," which includes tansy as just one of its ingredients and appears to work as a relatively safe and effective Plan B contraceptive with few (if any) side effects.
31st Aug '17 2:45:44 PM Gowan
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* Played with in [[http://archiveofourown.org/works/3943153/chapters/8837608 this]] ''Literature/TheHobbit'' fanfic. Herbal abortifacients are known and the human OC mentions having used them in the past, but it is then revealed that dwarf women never risk unwanted pregnancies, they consider vaginal intercourse something one only does in order to conceive. When she learns about the various interesting alternatives, the protagonist enthusiastically converts to this custom.
28th Aug '17 10:34:19 AM ChronoLegion
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* In ''Literature/AxisOfTime'', in the 21st century, women can receive an implant that can be controlled via a tablet and provides 100% contraception until such time as they choose to deactivate it or it stops working on its own (it has a finite life). [[HotScoop Julia Duffy]]'s implant is nearing its life, and she fears having a child, so she initiates the implant's final function, which permanently sterilizes her. When her husband finds out, they have a big fight over it, followed by a divorce. [[spoiler:Then he dies in a plane crash... [[FakingTheDead maybe]]]]. Since then, she becomes a mess, drinking and screwing her way through the war, regretting her decision and blaming herself [[spoiler:for his death]]. She finally gets better when she starts to go steady with Prince Harry.
* Similarly, in ''Literature/HonorHarrington'', women can get a 5-year contraceptive implant. It's actually mandated for any front-line female officer, but they have a right to extract the implant at any moment, but pregnant women are taken off ship duty and reassigned to safer (less radioactive) postings until they give birth or (more likely in this setting) put the fetus into a tube to be brought to term artificially. Implants are supposed to be replaced every 5 years. [[spoiler:Honor spends some time on a prison planet and is listed dead. When she comes back, a clerical error means that her implant is not replaced on time, so she gets pregnant during her affair with Earl White Haven]].
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