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'Ovran 30' contraceptive pills, England, 1983

‘Ovran’ is a brand of oral contraceptive pills. One pill is taken everyday for 21 days. The days of the week on the blister pack are to help remind users when to take them and to keep track of the pills. Oral contraceptives are used to prevent pregnancy and can also be taken to reduce heavy periods and to control acne. As a second generation contraceptive, ‘Ovran’ has lower levels of hormones than first generation pills as the latter were found to cause heart and circulatory problems.

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Glossary: pregnancy

The condition of having a developing unborn embryo or foetus in the body. A human pregnancy is usually of 40 weeks gestation.

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.

Glossary: tablet

Also known as a pill, it is made by compressing a powdered form of one or more drugs. It is usually taken by mouth, but may be inserted into a different body cavity.

Glossary: period

Common term for vaginal bleeding, which happens once a month as part of a female's menstrual cycle. Periods usually last from one to five days and begin when a girl reaches puberty.

Glossary: materia medica

A Latin medical term sometimes used to refer to medical substances.

Glossary: acne

A disorder of the skin in which the glands producing oily matter become inflamed. It is characterized by blackheads, pustules and even scars. There are a number of treatments available. Acne particularly affects teenagers.