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Packet of combined contraceptive pills, England, 1960-1970

Some say the oral contraceptive pill caused the sexual revolution of the 1960s. They claim it gave women freedom to control their fertility. It was introduced in the 1960s and quickly became popular. The oral contraceptive pill was more reliable and easier to use than previous methods. The pill is taken daily. It alters the body’s hormone levels. This packet contains a six week supply. It comes in a dispenser indicating the day of the week. This reminds the woman to take her pill. The combined contraceptive pill got its name because of the combination of the hormones oestrogen and progestin (synthetic progesterone) it contained. This early example was sold under the brand name ‘Normenon’. It was manufactured by Syntex Pharmaceuticals 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.