Actually (I'm seriously not perverted! I just want to know!), I'm also curious if the Egyptians had birth control.
Also, what did the Egyptian women do about "that time of the month" (unless the she-pharaoh had PERMANENT PMS
(If this is inappropriate, then I have no problem if our wonderful mod deletes it.)
Okay, since it is asked for
my source is Women in Ancient Egypt, by Gay Robbins, Harvard University Press, 1993, pg 78-80.
There is little mention of menstruation in surviving documentation. In the New Kingdom there is in the Satire of Trades (a surviving piece of liteature)talks about the washerman who cleans the clothes of a woman in menstruation. However there seems to be a dispute about the text in question so they may not have had either clothes or a washerman to clean them.
According to the much later Demotic story of the Princess Setne Khaemwaset, once she became pregnant she no longer had to perform purification.
According to Dr. Robbins some medical texts also cantain prescriptions for contraceptives. Not all of these would have had much effect in practice, but intervaginal insertions of different substances may in some cases have been effective. Use for this was, crocodile dung, or honey. One prescription includes ground acacia tips, amongst other ingredients. Acacia tips contain gum arabic which has a chemical effect on sperm, and actively retards conception.
Pregnancy tests, Egyptian dr.s took the pulse, examined the breast, and the color of skin in checking for pregnancy signs. A famous Egyptian pregnancy test was to observe the effect of the womans urine on the germination of grains of barley and emmer wheat. This test supposedly also indicated the sex of the baby. The woman was to urinate on the grains ever day. If they sprouted she was pregnant. If the barley sprouted first the child would be male but if the emmer spouted first, it would be female.
end of information from Dr. Robbins.
Aw i am mighty glad to be a woman of the 21st century, don't know about you all though
With the freedoms granted to women in Ancient Egyptian society i don't see them being isolated during menstruation. They may not have been able to do temple duty or attend certain feasts but forced to sit around all day do not much of anything just doesn't sound like the Egyptian love of life. Of course poor women wouldn't have had the luxuary of sitting around and doing purification like a Princess would have.