The Pill: Helpful or Harmful?



This article is about the birth control pill as a means of contraceptive. It briefly discusses the history of the first birth control pill. The research was funded by Margaret Sanger and was invented by Frank Colton in 1960. This article also enumerates the benefits and risks in taking birth control pills.

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Whenever one decides to raise a family, the decision regarding how many kids to have will always be a factor. And with the recent population boom, couples nowadays are becoming more and more aware of the need for family planning. There are a lot of methods of family planning available in the market, one of which is the birth control pill.

History of the birth control pill
The development of the birth control pill was put in motion by lifelong women’s rights advocate Margaret Sanger. Sanger’s advocacy was fueled by observing her mom exhaust herself to death by giving birth to 11 children. She became a nurse and later on funded the research to come up with a better contraceptive. The first Food and Drug Administration (FDA)approved oral contraceptive pill was introduced to the public and launched for sale in the United States in the 1960s. The brand name of the first contraceptive pill was Enovid and it was invented by Frank Colton. He was inducted to the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame for this specific invention. Later on, Carl Djerassi, an Austrian chemist, invented the modern birth control pill.

Benefits of using birth control pills:
Birth control pills, when used as instructed, are an effective way to minimize accidental pregnancies.
Pills also help improve excess hair and acne as androgen and testosterone are suppressed. Abnormally high levels of androgen can cause darkening of facial and body hair.
Heavy and irregular menstrual bleeding patterns are also improved.
Menstrual cramps and pre-menstrual pain are significantly reduced when using oral contraceptive pills.
Pills are used to treat endometriosis by regulating hormone production that may help develop the disease further.
Pills help reduce the risk of ovarian cyst formation as it prevents ovulation. Ovarian cysts often form during ovulation period.
Pills protect women against uterine cancer.
Pills lower the risk of having Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). PID is a bacterial infection in the Fallopian tube and the Uterus that can cause extreme pain and eventually, if left untreated, infertility. Pills thinken the cervical mucous lining, thereby protecting the cervix from being affected by any bacterial infection.
The contraceptive function is reversible.

Risks and side effects of using birth control pills:
Birth control pill users may encounter mild, physical side effects such as: nausea, headaches, hand weight gain.
Increased risk of breast cancer has been noted with birth control pill users.
Increased risk of stroke and heart attack for pill users who smoke.
Pill users experience unusual mood changes, including depression.

A decision to be made
Choosing to use the pill is a decision only you can make for yourself. Weigh the benefits and risks carefully before choosing to settle into this kind of birth control method. Better yet, consult a trusted medical health professional or go to your nearest sexual health clinic to have all the risk and benefits discussed thoroughly, and to have all your other questions and worries answered and cleared out. After all, this is your body that will suffer the consequences of making rash decisions if you decide in haste.