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The Urban Legends Archive has a short summary on the use of Coca-Cola as a contraceptive.

If you want to learn more about the history of Condoms (and other related items) check out the great book: Panati's Extraordinary Origins of Everyday Things by Charles Panati (1987 - Harper and Row).

The original article Effect of "Coke" on Sperm Motility from the November 21, 1985 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (v.313, no.21, p. 1351) has been scanned in for your reference.






What do they have in common with Coca-Cola?

One would think that the Earl of Condom (he really did exist!) actually invented this device, but he only gets the honor of the name. 

So who did invent it? 

A man famous for a part of the woman's anatomy - Gabriel Fallopius (you can fill in what he is honored for). In the mid 1500's, he designed a medicated sheath to go over the tip of the penis and under the foreskin. It was held on by a pink ribbon so that it would appeal to women. 

He was then forced to design one for the circumcised guys - a standard of eight inches (The average man must have been bigger back in those days). It was tested on over 1000 men with overwhelming success. 

One would guess that they were trying to prevent pregnancy, but that was the woman's problem in those days. They were actually used to prevent the spread of venereal diseases, syphilis in particular. Men hated them, and gave them the name overcoats. 

About 100 years later, England's King Charles II requested his physician, the Earl of Condom, to devise something to protect him from syphilis. He came up with an oiled sheath made from sheep intestine. No one is really sure if he knew about Fallopius' contraption. Soon all the noblemen were using them. 

The problem? They reused them (Yuk) without washing them (double Yuk Yuk). Therefore, they still ended up getting that dreaded disease. 

The modern rubber was invented in 1870, but was not the thin latex type we see today. Those were developed in the 1930's. 

More related info: 

It is rumored that in many third world countries, a popular contraceptive is Coca-Cola. It seems that the drink is very acidic and when used as a douche, it annihilates everything in its path. Pow! Zap! Wham! Harvard University actually did a scientific study of this and confirmed that it works. Should you ever decide to use this method (I hope you are very desperate if you do), be aware that Diet Coke is better than Classic Coke. 

Sounds like a new ad campaign for the Cola Wars. I wonder if Pepsi works as well? 

Today on Sally Jesse... Men that don't use condoms, Women that douche with Coke instead. I better write to her with this new show idea. 

Even more useless birth control info: 

On of the earliest methods for birth control was devised by the ancient Chinese. Women inserted Quicksilver (mercury) to abort the fetus. Worked well, but I'll venture a guess that the women died at a young age. 

Later the ancient Egyptians came up with a safer method - honey was mixed with crocodile dung. The acidity of the dung killed the sperm. 

The ancient Romans had a very effective method. Women were instructed to jump, cough, and sneeze immediately after intercourse! 

Ancient Greeks told women to scoop out the seeds of a pomegranate half and insert it as a cervical cap. 

All these alternative methods that you never knew about (I am not recommending that you try them)! 

Useless?  Useful?  I’ll leave that for you to decide.

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