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The birth control pill turns 50

The birth control pill turns 50

More than 215 million women have used the pill during this half century of existence to plan their family life, a true revolution, which at the time allowed, among other achievements, the social advancement of women and their professional development. This little pill has been included in the list of The main inventions that changed the world.

It has now been 50 years since anticonceptive pill I hit the European market. Months after it was marketed in the United States, German women were able to purchase it in pharmacies in the early 1970s. In Spain, we had to wait a little longer and as of 1978 its use as a contraceptive was legalized.

For many women, the pill was much more than a medicine, it was the symbol of women's liberation, a tool that has freed us from having to choose between career and family, and that has allowed us to plan how many children to have and when to have them. This concentrated dose of hormones that prevents ovulation of women and, in this way, potential pregnancies, he has liberated the sexuality of women and we owe this invention to two women: Margaret Sanger and Katharine McCormick.

These two feminists set out at the end of their lives, when they were already seventy years old, to find the magic pill. The first was a nurse and the second was a biologist and was the second woman to graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, United States. Thanks to the enthusiasm of these two women and McCormick's money, Dr. Gregory Pincus was able to advance his research to develop the pill, which he achieved in 1955, although it was not approved as a contraceptive until five years later.

Throughout these 50 years, the pill has evolved to provide advances and innovations and, once its contraceptive efficacy is assured, it has been oriented first to the reduction of side effects, and progressively later to the contribution Benefits non-contraceptives that improve the health and quality of life of women. For this reason, the indications for this drug go far beyond contraception, and the pill is currently prescribed for premenstrual symptoms, the regulation of the cycle, the elimination of menstrual pain, or the improvement in the appearance of the skin - acne - or hair.

In addition, the progressive reduction of the hormonal dose, the synthesis of new gestagens increasingly similar to the natural progesterone of women, or the new intake regimens and cycles adapted to those of the woman herself, have been the differentiating keys of the new pills and this contribution of benefits. So, half a century later, the pill is the most widely used hormonal contraceptive method in the world, according to a 2009 United Nations report. Currently, the pill is one of the most studied drugs and endorsed by the experience of millions of women around the world.

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Video: The Pill at 50 (January 2022).