History of Birth Control Pill

 By: Annie williams
A major achievement in the history of medical science was the introduction of Birth control pills. It was a bon for the women who faced problems during abortions. The women could effectively control child bearing by taking a pill. "The Pill" is the common name for oral contraception.

Women all over the world have been using birth control methods since ages. The methods used by them were not only ineffective but also dangerous. But with the development of Birth control Pill there is relief for women.

Margaret Sanger was the American birth control activist and founder of American Birth Control league. At first she faced a lot of oppositions but later won public support and the courts for women choice to decide when and how to bear children.

Sanger and her patron Katharine McCormick as it has been stated felt that not only should women of all classes have quality birth control, but a type of birth control that women have power over. They felt the only way women could be liberated was to have the unilateral power to control sexuality.

McCormick's husband, Cyrus McCormick was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, and disabling brain disorder. People suffering with schizophrenia may hear voices other people don't hear or they may believe that others are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts, or plotting to harm them. Fearing that the disease was inherited, she resolved never to have children -- and dedicated huge sums to the search for woman-controlled contraception. And the result was the development of the birth control pill. The first birth control pills which were introduced more than 40 years ago, contained high levels of estrogen and progestin. As they were associated with unpleasant side effects, it raised concern for safety. After that started the research and discovery and knowing what women wanted and thus we had the modern pills that were much than before.

Frank Colton was the inventor of Enovid, the first oral contraceptive - National Inventors Hall of Fame. By the end of the 1950s, the Sanger/Pincus pill came onto the market under the brand name Enovid. It was welcomed by women as a marvel, but, as a New York Times report said last year, Enovid began its life as a "massive overdose." It was discovered that the amount of hormones in Enovid was 10 times than needed for contraception when millions of woman had taken Enovid, and thousands died or became disabled by blood clots. Today, birth control pills rarely contain more than 50 mcg of estrogen, some as few as 20 mcg. There are two types of oral contraceptives: One is a combination pills that contains estrogen and progestin and the other only progestin.

Both pills prevent pregnancy in different ways:

Combination pills prevent a woman's ovaries from releasing eggs. (ovulation)

Progestin pills usually work by thickening cervical mucus, they also prevent ovulation. This prevents sperm from joining with an egg. The Pill stops ovulation, preventing the ovaries from releasing eggs.

The Pill is effective in preventing pregnancies up to 99 per cent if it is used correctly.

Although these pills were effective yet there was a drawback of this is that it does not protect against sexually transmitted infections.
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