In the late 1920s Lysol disinfectant began being marketed by maker Lysol, Incorporated and distributor Lehn & Fink, Inc. as a feminine hygiene product. They intimated that vaginal douching with a Lysol solution prevented infections and vaginal odor, and thereby preserved marital bliss. This Lysol solution was also used as a birth-control agent, as post-coital douching was a popular method of preventing pregnancy at that time. The use of Lysol was later discouraged by the medical community as it tended to eliminate the bacteria normal to the healthy vagina, thus allowing more robust, health-threatening bacteria to thrive, and may have masked more serious problems that certain odors indicated in the first place. All the same, Joseph De Lee, a prominent American obstetrician who held great sway over American obstetric practice through his writings, encouraged the use of Lysol during labor. "...[J]ust before introducing the hand, the vagina is liberally flushed with 1 per cent lysol solution squeezed from pledgets of cotton, the idea being to reduce the amount of infections matter unavoidably carried into the puerperal wounds and up into the uterus by the manipulations."
In the US, from around 1930 to 1960, vaginal douching with a Lysol disinfectant solution was the most popular form of birth control. US marketing ads printed testimonials from European "doctors" touting its safety and effectiveness. The American Medical Association later investigated these claims. They were unable to locate the cited "experts" and found that Lysol was not effective as a contraceptive.