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Contraceptive pills with dispenser, England, 1960-1970

The oral contraceptive pill was introduced in the 1960s. It was more reliable and easier to use than previous methods. It quickly became popular. Some say it caused the sexual revolution of the 1960s, allowing women to control their fertility. The pill is taken daily. It alters the body’s hormone levels. This plastic dispenser has a rotating dial indicating the day of the week. This helps the woman remember to take her pill. The combined contraceptive pill got its name because of the combination of the hormones oestrogen and synthetic progesterone known as progestin it contained. This early example was sold under the brand name Ortho-Novin 1/80. It was manufactured by Ortho Pharmaceutical Limited.

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Glossary: contraception

The use of methods and techniques to prevent pregnancy from sex.

Glossary: oral contraceptive pill

A drug containing hormones, taken to stop pregnancy.