Birth Control

Birth control is a regimen of one or more actions, devices, sexual practices, or medications followed in order to deliberately prevent or reduce the likelihood of pregnancy or childbirth. There are three main routes to preventing or ending pregnancy before birth: the prevention of fertilization of the ovum by sperm cells ("contraception"), the prevention of implantation of the blastocyst ("contragestion"), and the chemical or surgical induction or abortion of the developing embryo or, later, fetus. In common usage, term "contraception" is often used for both contraception and contragestion.

Birth control is commonly used as part of family planning.

The history of birth control began with the discovery of the connection between coitus and pregnancy. The oldest forms of birth control included coitus interruptus, pessaries, and the ingestion of herbs that were believed to be contraceptive or abortifacient. The earliest record of birth control use is an ancient Egyptian set of instructions on creating a contraceptive pessary.

Different methods of birth control have varying characteristics. Condoms, for example, are the only methods that provide significant protection from sexually transmitted diseases. Cultural and religious attitudes on birth control vary significantly. Different methods of birth control have varying characteristics. Condoms, for example, are the only methods that provide significant protection from sexually transmitted diseases. Cultural and religious attitudes on birth control vary significantly. In the past 50 years hormonal birth control has become increasingly popular in the United States and has taken on criticism from many religious groups. While the females rights movement changes many peoples attitudes towards birth control, some find themselves falling back into older thinking.

Birth Control Wikipedia

The Pill ... 50 Years Later ... 2010

The Pill Linked to Low Libido in Women   Live Science - May 7, 2010
Women who use hormonal contraceptives, such as birth control pills and skin patches, are more likely than others to have low sex drive, suggests a new and remarkably simple study. Female sexual dysfunction (FSD), which includes low libido and sexual satisfaction, is a medical condition that has been linked to stress, biological vulnerability, and relationship factors. But until now not much research had been done on what is perhaps an obvious question: Does the use of contraceptives that take a direct hit at chemicals responsible for managing a woman's sexual organs affect their sex drive?

Fifty years on, 200 million more women need the pill   Guardian - May 6, 2010

Next week is the 50th anniversary of the US approval of the pill. The revolution it is credited with launching in affluent countries now needs to move to the developing world, where 200 million women need or want contraception. Fifty years ago next week, the US authorities approved the birth control pill. It has often been argued it changed the world, liberating women, ushering in the Swinging Sixties. The truth is probably less dramatic - social change was happening and there were other methods of birth control - but its arrival certainly helped millions of women.

50 years on, the pill still changes lives   PhysOrg - May 5, 2010
The FDA announced on May 9, 1960 that Enovid, a prescription drug that had been used for several years to treat menstrual disorders, was safe to use as an oral contraceptive, and with a pen stroke, millions of women were given the freedom to make choices that previously were not an option for them. What was to come to be known as simply "the pill" gave women the freedom to choose when to have children and how many to have, and those simple choices profoundly changed their lives.

Oral Contraceptive Pill   Wikipedia
The combined oral contraceptive pill (COCP), often referred to as the birth-control pill or colloquially as "the Pill", is a birth control method that includes a combination of an estrogen (estradiol) and a progestogen (progestin). When taken by mouth every day, these pills inhibit female fertility. They were first approved for contraceptive use in the United States in 1960, and are a very popular form of birth control. They are currently used by more than 100 million women worldwide and by almost 12 million women in the United States. Use varies widely by country, age, education, and marital status: one third of women aged 16 - 49 in the United Kingdom currently use either the combined pill or a progestogen-only "minipill", compared to only 1% of women in Japan.

  Examining the future of 'the pill' 50 years later   NBC - May 6, 2010

The birth control pill turns 50 years old this month. When it first received FDA approval, in May 1960, it looked like any other pill. But it signified the beginning of a major cultural shift. Many attribute the sexual revolution to the approval of the first ever birth control pill, but others say that is debatable. Today, an estimated 98 percent of women have used birth control sometime in their lifetime, even though the majority of healthinsurers have only covered the pill for the last 10 years. Besides the birth control pill, there are now many different methods a woman can use. They range from other, similar forms of the pill, foams, long-term inserts and even permanent infertility surgeries. On top of this, men are able to use condoms, or even have the option of vasectomies for a more permanent solution.