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Contraception Technology in a Fantasy World

Electro Queen

Minstrel
Ok so, last time I posted on this website I opened my question up with a giant wall text for context since it was necessary for the questions I was asking to make any sense.

Yeah well, I ain’t doing that shtick again. Gonna try to keep it much simpler for this one.

My fantasy world takes place in roughly the same point in history as the Middle Ages and I wanna supply some of my nations with pregnancy prevention tools (condoms and contraception pills mainly) so that way female warriors can indulge in pleasurable sexual activities with their male comrades (or just males in general) without getting kicked out of the army.

How would a nation without access to modern day technology develop such tools? Could specific types of magic like Geo or Hydro help out in any way?
 

pmmg

Istar
Well, with magic, you dont have to explain it.

I suspect any method used in such a period would not be very effective, but belief in its effectiveness might still allow for such minglings. Characters can have plot armor and just not get pregnant if you dont want.

Though...if I am being honest, I suspect the attitudes for such would not develop in such a way and stay medieval. The gender roles, and the values of the people had a lot to do with the culture developed. Lack of reliable 'control' would tend to make those that could become pregnant more protective of behaviors that might lead to it.

But, means would include potions, behaviors, barriers, and a whole set of superstitions about what worked and what did not. And many would likely, surprisingly, get pregnant.

I dont really cover this in my own stories, and there are not too many female characters who might end up pregnant, but...I tend to think that due to their more rugged and strenuous lifestyle, they menstruate less, and are thereby exposed less.
 

Queshire

Auror
I like to connect it to a character's abilities. Warrior and monk types have enough control over their internal energy that they don't get pregnant unless they want to, a mage's exposure to magic serves as a form of natural birth control and so on.

That said I've seen a special herbal tea used as a more grounded alternative.
 

Electro Queen

Minstrel
pmmg



“Well, with magic, you dont have to explain it.”



But like, what kind of magic? My magic system is split into 4 different types. Elemental, Emotional, Biological and Cosmic. Of these 4, biological is considered rare and unethical, and cosmic isn’t even going to be a part of the story until very late into it. I know some stories require extremely hand-wavy explanations to justify stuff that flies in the face of real life, but I wanna avoid that unless absolutely necessary.



“I suspect any method used in such a period would not be very effective”



Honestly I’d be perfectly fine with anything that yields a 50% chance rate or higher.



“Though...if I am being honest, I suspect the attitudes for such would not develop in such a way and stay medieval. The gender roles, and the values of the people had a lot to do with the culture developed. Lack of reliable 'control' would tend to make those that could become pregnant more protective of behaviors that might lead to it.”



Heh, you got me. I’m still trying to figure out how to explain why humans evolved in such a way that males barely changed that much from their conception, but females developed bodies that are both only slightly weaker than males (like 30% weaker upper body strength and 20% weaker lower body strength), and are visually pleasing to the eyes (so sugar mommies with muscular tomboy strength basically). I don’t mind if the world stays underdeveloped though. Technology that isn’t magitek would be very out of place in a setting like this.



“I dont really cover this in my own stories, and there are not too many female characters who might end up pregnant, but...I tend to think that due to their more rugged and strenuous lifestyle, they menstruate less, and are thereby exposed less.”



Is… is that actually a thing in real life?! Can a more exercise and work-oriented lifestyle reduce the amount of periods a female experiences in her life? Cause if so, that’s huge for my story.



Sorry for the late reply btw. Busy day.
 

Electro Queen

Minstrel
Queshire



“I like to connect it to a character's abilities. Warrior and monk types have enough control over their internal energy that they don't get pregnant unless they want to, a mage's exposure to magic serves as a form of natural birth control and so on.”



My concern with this idea is that, if a character has the ability to manipulate their body to prevent pregnancy, why wouldn’t they also be able to say, increase their pain threshold to better endure fights and harsh environments? Or improve their body’s ability to withstand and dispense heat more easily? Or temporarily turn off the part of their brain that prevents them from accessing their full strength via adrenaline? It just creates too many “Why didn’t X character just do this instead?” moments in the story. I do like the idea though.



“That said I've seen a special herbal tea used as a more grounded alternative.”



Please could you provide me with a source to verify the effectiveness of this method?
 

pmmg

Istar
Is… is that actually a thing in real life?! Can a more exercise and work-oriented lifestyle reduce the amount of periods a female experiences in her life? Cause if so, that’s huge for my story.
Yes.

Women's Wellness: Female athletes and their periods - Mayo Clinic News Network

VIVIEN WILLIAMS: An elite athlete or some women who exercise a lot, their periods may stop. What is that called? What causes it, and should we be worried?

DR. PETRA CASEY: So that is called hypothalamic amenorrhea, and what that means is that the hormones that are produced in the brain and then kind of cascade down to signal hormones that are produced in the ovary are not produced. So GnRH, the gonadotropic releasing hormone that is produced, triggers the follicular stimulating hormone, and the luteinizing hormone that are produced in the ovary, that signal does not translate to production of estrogen and progesterone, so the woman loses her periods. They may become irregular initially and then they may stop completely.


There are a lot of articles on it. Take your pick.
 
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pmmg

Istar
Heh, you got me. I’m still trying to figure out how to explain why humans evolved in such a way that males barely changed that much from their conception, but females developed bodies that are both only slightly weaker than males (like 30% weaker upper body strength and 20% weaker lower body strength), and are visually pleasing to the eyes (so sugar mommies with muscular tomboy strength basically). I don’t mind if the world stays underdeveloped though. Technology that isn’t magitek would be very out of place in a setting like this.

Well, I will stop getting you.

Diet could be a way to explain this. If food became abundant and not scarce, it might stop an evolutionary cycle keeping some people small. Though it might not explain other factors, which would also make this unlikely, but I am not going to belabor in an effort to not get you anymore.

Any type of magic could be used to cause this.

Elemental: by controlling water (I assume Earth, Wind, Fire and Water), we block the ability of certain fluids to spread, or to become hostile to sperm or ova life.
Emotional: By affecting the emotions of others, we create symptoms of depression or other strong emotion that block hormones which make preganancy more difficult.
Biological: We use magic against the biology to prevent its normal function.;
Cosmic: We use cosmic magic to prevent whatever cosmic force is in play when the spark of life is ignited.

It is not a question of what type of magic. Its just a question of which you want.

A lot of methods might produce a 50% rate. I doubt readers will be so picky as to question it. I don't think I would be likely to keep a tally of statistics for your characters. Just paying attention and knowing one's cycle could get at least a 50% rate.
 
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pmmg

Istar
My concern with this idea is that, if a character has the ability to manipulate their body to prevent pregnancy, why wouldn’t they also be able to say, increase their pain threshold to better endure fights and harsh environments? Or improve their body’s ability to withstand and dispense heat more easily? Or temporarily turn off the part of their brain that prevents them from accessing their full strength via adrenaline? It just creates too many “Why didn’t X character just do this instead?” moments in the story. I do like the idea though.
I also like this idea.

Well, maybe they can, but effects would be temporary. And, their opponents can do it too. In the effort not to become pregnant, I might expect more cooperation from those involved and something temporary may do its job and then vanish., Those involved in combat would not cooperate, and short term boosts in physical stuff may not be sufficient to get the job done. Getting ones arm chopped off may kill their magic mojo.

Ya know, with magic, it does not have to make sense.
 

Electro Queen

Minstrel
Yes.

Women's Wellness: Female athletes and their periods - Mayo Clinic News Network

VIVIEN WILLIAMS: An elite athlete or some women who exercise a lot, their periods may stop. What is that called? What causes it, and should we be worried?

DR. PETRA CASEY: So that is called hypothalamic amenorrhea, and what that means is that the hormones that are produced in the brain and then kind of cascade down to signal hormones that are produced in the ovary are not produced. So GnRH, the gonadotropic releasing hormone that is produced, triggers the follicular stimulating hormone, and the luteinizing hormone that are produced in the ovary, that signal does not translate to production of estrogen and progesterone, so the woman loses her periods. They may become irregular initially and then they may stop completely.


There are a lot of articles on it. Take your pick.

Sweet. Thanks for backing up your previous answer with a source (That’s a pretty nice argument senator, but why don’t you back it up with a source?)

I remember the article saying that it was lean female athletes that who’s periods were more likely to stop/decrease from their exercise. What about females with bulkier builds (you know, watermelon crushing thighs and muscles). Is exercise alone enough to give periods the middle finger or is it only possible with lean builds?
 

Electro Queen

Minstrel
Well, I will stop getting you.

Diet could be a way to explain this. If food became abundant and not scarce, it might stop an evolutionary cycle keeping some people small. Though it might not explain other factors, which would also make this unlikely, but I am not going to belabor in an effort to not get you anymore.

Any type of magic could be used to cause this.

Elemental: by controlling water (I assume Earth, Wind, Fire and Water), we block the ability of certain fluids to spread, or to become hostile to sperm or ova life.
Emotional: By affecting the emotions of others, we create symptoms of depression or other strong emotion that block hormones which make preganancy more difficult.
Biological: We use magic against the biology to prevent its normal function.;
Cosmic: We use cosmic magic to prevent whatever cosmic force is in play when the spark of life is ignited.

It is not a question of what type of magic. Its just a question of which you want.

A lot of methods might produce a 50% rate. I doubt readers will be so picky as to question it. I don't think I would be likely to keep a tally of statistics for your characters. Just paying attention and knowing one's cycle could get at least a 50% rate.
No, no. Please by all means elaborate on what kind of evolutionary path we would’ve had to take in order for females to maintain the strength they once had in the Stone Age (your initial suggestion with food is a great one).

Contraception Pills are made out of female Hormones (oestrogen and progesterone if I remember correctly?) and hormones are liquids (I think?) Could Water Magic somehow create them or convert one type of liquid into them? Just for the record, my incarnation of water magic only allows the user to manipulate water in any one of its three states or water-like substances.
 

pmmg

Istar
I believe you are also going to have to overcome issues related to the hourglass shape of females vs the wedge shape of males, and issues with center of balance. As well as the differences between who gives birth and who doesn't. Size and diet and all that, would not change those. A woman with the same size arms as a male counterpart would still not hit as hard as a male because the hourglass shape would not allow for the same driving force as a wedge shape.

The difference in shape and childbirth would still lend themselves to gender roles, even if the women were equally as physically strong. Maybe even if they were stronger. I am not sure how strong cave women were compared to male counterparts, but if the need to survive required much more combat and physical prowess from them, such that gender roles could not develop towards one becoming protector, than I think they just have to go with the tools they have. I think both men and women were not as large in the caveman era. They more likely survived by cooperation from a group and tools.

The evolutionary path would have to be one that produced two wedge shapes. Maybe it would, but who wants that?

I would think you could not use a water spell to create some concoction of hormones without knowing what hormones were and where they could be found. But if you could heat water, you could over heat the sperm and kill them.
 

pmmg

Istar
Oh...and girls with big legs can still be in the category of having less menstruation. But all of this would be individual based. If a 100 girls all had big legs, and lived very strenuous lifestyles, they would all probably have different rates of cycles. Some none at all, others more regular. For a story, I would just have it as it worked out for the characters I did not want to become pregnant and not for those that did. A more important factor in all of it is what the author wants. In story world, we are just looking for plausible.
 

Queshire

Auror
My concern with this idea is that, if a character has the ability to manipulate their body to prevent pregnancy, why wouldn’t they also be able to say, increase their pain threshold to better endure fights and harsh environments? Or improve their body’s ability to withstand and dispense heat more easily? Or temporarily turn off the part of their brain that prevents them from accessing their full strength via adrenaline? It just creates too many “Why didn’t X character just do this instead?” moments in the story. I do like the idea though.

Eh, different settings for different folks. I aim for an shonen anime-esque power level for my stuff so there's stuff like flash stepping and sword beams. Little tricks to make melee fighters mildly superhuman as a balance against magic users is just par for the course.

Please could you provide me with a source to verify the effectiveness of this method?

I've no clue if such a thing exists in real life. We're making a fantasy world. Just having a herbal tea appear in story and saying it works as contraception necessitates that such herbs exist and that they work well enough for the characters to bother using them. That said, such teas do stretch my willing suspension of disbelief somewhat. I'd probably add in some backstory about nobles using the tea as a way to ensure their dalliance's don't mess with the chain of inheritance and from their they became popular and well spread enough to be utilized by the common man.
 

TheKillerBs

Inkling
Yes.

Women's Wellness: Female athletes and their periods - Mayo Clinic News Network

VIVIEN WILLIAMS: An elite athlete or some women who exercise a lot, their periods may stop. What is that called? What causes it, and should we be worried?

DR. PETRA CASEY: So that is called hypothalamic amenorrhea, and what that means is that the hormones that are produced in the brain and then kind of cascade down to signal hormones that are produced in the ovary are not produced. So GnRH, the gonadotropic releasing hormone that is produced, triggers the follicular stimulating hormone, and the luteinizing hormone that are produced in the ovary, that signal does not translate to production of estrogen and progesterone, so the woman loses her periods. They may become irregular initially and then they may stop completely.


There are a lot of articles on it. Take your pick.
I'd like to take a moment to point out that according to that article, amenorrhea is dangerous in the long term, so do take that into consideration when using it to explain away your women's sexual revolution
 

pmmg

Istar
I'd like to take a moment to point out that according to that article, amenorrhea is dangerous in the long term, so do take that into consideration when using it to explain away your women's sexual revolution

This is true, but no sexual revolution going on in my stories, so I'll just leave that to others.

I might also point out that being a warrior is also dangerous in the long term, and so is survival in difficult places.
 

Devor

Fiery Keeper of the Hat
Moderator
The chemistry behind modern contraceptives might a little hard to replicate, but you could consider whether something like a copper IUD might be a bit more believable. If the copper of the period is still reaching the right level of refinement it could lead to risks, which could be a storytelling avenue.
 

Electro Queen

Minstrel
pmmg



“I believe you are also going to have to overcome issues related to the hourglass shape of females vs the wedge shape of males, and issues with center of balance. As well as the differences between who gives birth and who doesn't. Size and diet and all that, would not change those. A woman with the same size arms as a male counterpart would still not hit as hard as a male because the hourglass shape would not allow for the same driving force as a wedge shape.”



I don’t want the female warriors in my world to match the strength of the male warriors. I just want to buff em up a little as to close the gap between the two so that way the decision to enlist female warriors into the royal army is a more justified one. In our reality, the Disparity in strength between a man and a woman is 40%-70% for the upper body and 20%-50% for the lower body (don’t quote me on these figures I’m going purely off of memory).



I’m not to bothered about them not being able to throw a punch as strong as a man since both genders will be assigned different weapon types that play to their strengths. Men get sword and shield combos and greatswords while women get pole arms and bows and arrows. Daggers and flail maces are more specialised and are rarer as a result but the latter is usually used by men.



“The difference in shape and childbirth would still lend themselves to gender roles, even if the women were equally as physically strong. Maybe even if they were stronger. I am not sure how strong cave women were compared to male counterparts, but if the need to survive required much more combat and physical prowess from them, such that gender roles could not develop towards one becoming protector, than I think they just have to go with the tools they have. I think both men and women were not as large in the caveman era. They more likely survived by cooperation from a group and tools.”



So here’s what I’m thinking. Although some women in the Stone Age probably did hunt, most of them were caretakers for the young and collectors of herbs, plants and various other rations. What if, hypothetically speaking, the women in the tribe were split up into two factions. The hunters that would work together with men to fight animals and gather food, and the caretakers that would breastfeed their children after they got through pregnancy (most women produce enough breast milk for tandem breastfeeding so if both the hunter and the caretaker had a child, it would be fine). Pregnancy would temporarily put a female hunter out of commission for several months but she’d still do light exercises during that time to maintain her fitness. If a woman had more than two children, they would search for other humans to enlist the assistance of in exchange for protection and food (before this tribe obtained access to the magic of the Gods, they were nomadic travellers). Food shortage wouldn’t be a problem because plot armour (just kidding. The real reason is that their are lots of different animals to hunt and choose from that will provide them with all their daily nutrients and such. They also know how to fish for fish, plant fruit trees and identify edible berries and plants).



The one thing I’ve yet to figure out is how would women evolve to maintain their beauty whilst being decently stronger than their real life counterparts. The best explanation I can think of is that certain exercises can help with increasing muscle strength without or barely increasing muscle mass so maybe they just grow up doing that I guess? I’m still not 100% sure honestly.



“The evolutionary path would have to be one that produced two wedge shapes. Maybe it would, but who wants that?”



So like Seahorses then? The difference in sexual dimorphism between male and female Seahorses is so barely noticeable that they look almost identical to each other.



“I would think you could not use a water spell to create some concoction of hormones without knowing what hormones were and where they could be found.”



Ok but, Assuming they DID know of the existence of those things, this would work right?



“But if you could heat water, you could over heat the sperm and kill them.”



Wouldn’t this hurt the woman after sex and require knowledge of where the sperm is inside the body?
 
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