It is known around the world simply as ‘The Pill’.
Women take it for all manner of reasons, the number one being to prevent pregnancy. But there are a few secrets the pill has kept to it itself, like any proper lady would!
Here are the eight most surprising secrets about the Pill..
It started with a rabbit (ironic). Scientists discovered progesterone, the Pill’s main ingredient, in rabbits in 1928. While the researchers immediately realised its potential, it originally could only be extracted from animals — a costly process indeed. In 1943, researcher Russell Marker found an alternative source in Mexican yams, or more commonly known as sweet potatoes.
Although the original developers always had birth control in mind, the Pill was first approved in 1957 for “severe menstrual problems” — and came with a mandatory “warning” that the drug would prevent pregnancy.
The Pill was the first drug to be developed purely for social uses.
Water treatment plants can’t break down the synthetic hormones found in Pill. According to one study conducted in Paris, a hormone found in birth control pills accounted for 35 to 50 percent of the estrogen found in rivers there.
A growing body of research is suggesting that the Pill may adversely affect mate choice because it induces a hormonal state that mimics pregnancy, and when a woman is pregnant, they theoretically gravitate toward people genetically like herself — but these are not the people she would normally want to mate with!
The last week of pills in a monthly pack does not contain hormones, at least for most varieties of the birth control. The original developers of the Pill included this placebo week to “enable” women to have their monthly period — a decision that was mostly about marketing.
Some manufacturers include iron in the last week’s pills.
The Pill can be used to treat an array of medical issues, from polycystic ovary syndrome and endometriosis to anemia and acne. It is even used to treat bulimia.
Health experts agree that various forms of birth control including oral contraceptives, intrauterine devices, and skin patches are the safest and most effective way to reduce the risk of unintended pregnancies.