The Pros and Cons of Over the Counter Birth Control Pills

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Modern birth control pills were approved by the FDA in the 1960s. This was heralded as a women’s revolution. No longer were they required to use sponges, diaphragms or condoms. Birth control pills gave women the right to be in charge of their own conception or lack thereof. This technological advance helped spur the sexual revolution of the late 1960s. However, women are still required to see their doctor on a regular basis for continued prescriptions. Since the safety of oral contraceptives has been touted and well established, why then is it not sold over History For centuries women have tried many means to prevent pregnancy. As far back as the Ancient Egyptians women have use herbs, improvised diaphragms, withdrawal methods, and abstinence to prevent or delay pregnancy. As time passed, many methods were used by various civilizations. Some were effective such as certain herbs or condoms. Others were toxic such as lead and mercury. Still others were more based in superstition such as wearing amulets made of animal parts, these were of course very ineffective. Breastfeeding was found to delay pregnancy, but due to rampant malnutrition, this caused many maternal and infant deaths. Birth Control Pills In the 1950’s, the search was on for a reliable oral contraceptive. Research began based on herbal folk remedies used by Aztec women. It was found that some of herbs they were using contained a form of progestin. Researchers were able to synthesize this hormone. Margaret Sanger, one of the pioneers of modern birth control, founded Planned Parenthood which was an organization to teach and distribute contraceptives. She found donors to contribute to her cause and to the cause of making a birth contro... ... middle of paper ... ...ounter as a Strategy to Reduce Unintended Pregnancy. Annals Of Internal Medicine, 158(11), 839- Is it time to bring OCs over the counter?. (2010). Contraceptive Technology Update, 31(7), 77- Potter, J. E., White, K., Hopkins, K., Amastae, J., & Grossman, D. (2010). Clinic Versus Over- the-Counter Access to Oral Contraception: Choices Women Make Along the US-- Mexico Border. American Journal Of Public Health, 100(6), 1130-1136. doi:10.2105/ AJPH.2009.179887 Trussell, J., Stewart, F., Potts, M., Guest, F., & Ellertson, C. (1993). Should Oral Contraceptives be Available Without Prescription?. American Journal Of Public Health, 83(8), 1094. Watkins, E. (2012). How the pill became a lifestyle drug: the pharmaceutical industry and birth control in the United States since 1960. American Journal Of Public Health, 102(8), 1462-1472. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2012.300706

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