News Wednesday October 6, 2010

The Pill turns 50

The Pill has turned 50 this year.

When it was introduced in 1960, the oral contraceptive pill revolutionised contraception. It allowed women to safely and effectively prevent unplanned pregnancies. Older, more unreliable methods like timed intercourse and diaphragms became much less common.

At first there was just one type of birth control pill called Enoivd. Enoivd combined the hormones oestrogen and progesterone.

Although new birth control medications differ, the essential make up of these pills is similar. New treatments that are popular include Yasmin, Microgynon 30, Dianette, Marvelon, Loestrin 20, Loestrin 30, Cilest, Mercilon and Cerazetter. There are also 'mini pills' available. Mini pills contain only one active ingredient: progesterone. Popular mini pills include Cerazette and Micronor.

Experts have spoken out to celebrate Pill’s birthday. Elaine Tyler May, a professor of American studies at the University of Minnesota, commented on what society thought when the pill first arrived. “Here was this medical miracle, this magic bullet that could not only prevent pregnancy for an individual, but according to its proponents prevent poverty, end war, and make people happy.” While the Pill may not have had quite such a dramatic effect yet, it has had a huge impact on our culture. The Pill has been accredited for helping the shift towards women being a central part of the workplace. It also coincided with a societal shift towards new sexual norms.

If you are in a stable relationship and believe the Pill could be of use to you, speak to a trained medical professional about which form of the birth control pill would be most suitable for your specific situation.

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