One of the most profound achievements in the history of medical science is the discovery of the birth control pill. Though contraceptives have been there since ancient times, most of them did not really cater to a woman and the ones that did were usually ineffective and dangerous. The oral contraceptive pill that was developed in the 20th century was very effective in stopping ovulation from occurring and also had very little or no side-effects. It is popularly known as ‘The Pill’. It should be noted here that even though it is an effective contraceptive, contraceptive pill only eliminates the occurrence of pregnancy, but does not eliminate the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
Origin & History of Birth Control Pills
The first birth control pill was founded by Margaret Sanger, who was the founder of American Birth Control league. She, along with her patron Katharine McCormick believed that women of all classes should have a birth control technique that would be effective and be exclusively for women to exercise power on. They believed women should have the choice and power to decide how and when to bear children. Though initially, they faced a lot of opposition, they did win the appreciation and support of the general public after moving the court of law regarding the same.
In 1930, it was discovered that certain hormones prevented ovulation in rabbits. After testing and much analysis, the drug was discovered that would actually stop the production of eggs since the body would be tricked into believing that it was already pregnant by releasing the hormones. For developing the pill, a lot of fund was required. However, even that worked out when Katharine McCormick discovered that her husband had schizophrenia. She was scared that this dangerous brain disorder was inherited and vowed that she would never have children. So she donated huge sums of money for the development of the pill. The result was a pill that contained estrogen and progestin, which effectively stopped the release of eggs.
The first oral contraceptive pill was Envoid, created by Frank Colton. This was released in the market just a few years before the pill discovered by Sanger was launched by the name of Pincus under the brand name Envoid. This was by the end of 1950s. However, it was reported that the levels of the hormones in the pills was 10 times what was actually needed and had some serious side effects like blood clots and even caused a few deaths. After some more research, the levels of hormones were dropped drastically that led to the modern day contraceptive pill. The pill is effective in preventing pregnancy by almost 99% if used correctly.