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Nowadays there are many halachically permissible birth control methods that are available (pills, diaphragms, coils, etc.) that were not available in the past. Aside from the natural means of menstruation regulation (e.g. breastfeeding) what methods of birth control were practiced (that were halachically acceptable) before the modern medical revolution? I am interested in answers that include male and female birth control intervention.

A wikipedia article here suggests a male form of birth control that may have been used in the middle ages:

In the writings of Muslims and Jews during the Middle Ages, there are some references to attempts at male-controlled contraception, including suggestions to cover the penis in tar or soak it in onion juice. Some of these writings might describe condom use, but they are "oblique", "veiled", and "vague".

I am interested in answers with a scientific basis as well as Jewish superstitions/minhagim (e.g. amulets).

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    משמשת במוח. עבור אשה מניקה – kouty Sep 28 '16 at 12:16
  • Off topic as being a question about historical practices (not even necessarily Jewish historical practices)? – Salmononius2 Sep 28 '16 at 12:26
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    @Salmononius2 .... this is of course a question about halachically acceptable methods of birth control before the advent of methods in modern medicine – bondonk Sep 28 '16 at 12:32
  • I think abstention was the main method. In a number communities, I gather this was a "given" as the men were travelling quite a bit. – DanF Sep 28 '16 at 13:51
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In a class on Jewish superstition years ago I read a story about a woman who would insert a small pebble into young maiden's private part (most likely her ovary) to prevent conception. This would be a primitive form of an IUD. I seem to recall that the story had an unhappy ending suggesting that this method of birth control was seen as "bad" or contrary to Jewish law. I will try and find the story if I can.

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    She inserted a pebble into her ovary??? That seems highly unlikely. – Double AA Sep 29 '16 at 18:53

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