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10 Crazy Contraceptives from History


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Lysol
Lysol was actually advertised as a feminine hygiene product for several decades. We're glad that's over. © iStockphoto/NoDerog
Lysol was actually advertised as a feminine hygiene product for several decades. We're glad that's over. © iStockphoto/NoDerog

You may use Lysol for cleaning and disinfecting, but there once was a time when it was also considered contraception.

Lysol advertised its disinfectant as a feminine hygiene product in the early 20th century, and between 1930 and 1960, when the first oral contraceptive appeared on the market, douching -- and the Lysol douche -- was the most popular choice of birth control for women [source: DeNoon]. Until the early 1950s Lysol contained an ingredient called cresol, a compound known to cause burns and blistering, inflammation, poisoning and even death -- the very opposite of the gentle formula advertised by the manufacturer. After 1953, they changed the formula, although it was still harmful when used on or in the human body. In addition to its toxic effects, Lysol wasn't actually an effective contraceptive.


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