The ongoing evolution of the pill

June 7, 2010, 8:17 a.m. | By Blake Morgan-Gamber | 10 years, 7 months ago

As 2010 marks the Birth Control pill's fiftieth anniversary, it is clear that its use, purpose and even form have all greatly evolved as a benefactor in the lives of countless women. This anniversary calls for use to celebrate the benefits women have gained from taking the Pill historically as well as the capabilities doctors in developing future modules of the pill.

Photo: In 2000, the FDA approved Ortho Evra,a birth control patch that freed women from taking the pill everyday.

Originating as the "Combined Oral Contraceptive” and approved by the Federal Drug Administration in 1960 for contraceptive use, the pill has transformed greatly in its fifty-year existence. Although women who took the early form of the pill experienced dangerous side effects, on the whole the Pill afforded women greater autonomy over their own bodies.

Immediately after its introduction, the pill gave women unprecedented power and freedom. Unlike ever before, they would not need to experience unwanted pregnancies. Furthermore, because abortions were not made legal until 1973, fewer unwanted pregnancies meant "back street” abortions would become less of a problem.

The usability of the pill has also greatly developed. Initially, a woman needed to take the pill at a specific time each day, every single day. But since, the pill has grown more flexible for women: some modifications of the pill do not need to be taken every day. Other forms of the pill don't even come in pill shape any more but instead are patches that woman place on their skin.

Whether one supports its use or not, the pill is one of the most popular forms of birth control used among sexually active women today. And it now not only has a variety of forms, but a variety of purposes: women take some form of birth control to shorten or lighten their periods or to relieve pain or cramping associated with menstruation. Sometimes the pill can even clear up acne!

Although new developments to the pill have mostly provided women with benefits, in several ways they have also generated negative feelings among women about menstruating. Today, not only can the pill help prevent unwanted pregnancies but it can also prevent unwanted periods. Seemingly the new "benefits” of taking the pill denaturalize a woman's menstrual cycle and can actually disrupt a woman's natural rhythm; a concept about which many are uncomfortable.

Yet as birth control continues to evolve, women everywhere should be encouraged to embrace doctor's new initiatives to provide them with more control over their own bodies. When it was first introduced the pill initially only seemed to provide women with dangerous side effects, but this birth control method has, in many ways, saved many women's lives by allowing them to live a life they choose to live, free of any unwanted pregnancies. Let's celebrate what developments of the pill have been made in the past fifty years and look forward to what revolutionizing technologies the next half-century will bring us.

Blake Morgan-Gamber. Blake Morgan-Gamber is a rare specimen with two last names; she woos women and men alike with her fanciful features writing and sumptuous sports editing. But do not be lulled by this siren, though BMG is a creature of beauty, there's many amazing talents inside … More »

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