Who invented the anti-baby pill?

In earlier times, women had few opportunities to prevent pregnancy. It was not until 1960 that the first "pill" to be taken was available. A prerequisite for the development of the pill was the discovery that the female body is subject to regular cyclical changes, which is controlled by many hormones.

History of the pill

  • It has been known since about 1850 that the ovaries of the woman produce an egg at regular intervals.
  • In 1902, the hormones that control reproduction were discovered.
  • In 1919 Ludwig Haberlandt, the first physiologist, came up with the idea that a targeted hormone administration would simulate a pregnancy in the female organism, thereby preventing ovulation and thus also conception.
  • Carl Djerassi, born in Austria, succeeded in 1951 in the synthesis of an orally effective artificial pregnancy hormone.

A means to swallow?

However, Margaret Sanger and Katharine McCormick mainly owed this to the birth of the pill: in 1951 they commissioned Gregory Pincus to develop a cheap and mass-produced contraceptive that would be swallowed like a headache tablet. In 1960, the first oral "pill" was launched; In 1961 she was also available in Germany.

Until the 1970s, the pill was heavily controversial and reason for numerous demonstrations. Thus forbids Pope Paul VI. 1968 in his encyclical "Humanae vitae" artificial contraception.

Safe contraceptive

Nevertheless, the triumph of the pill was unstoppable, because the pill has released the women from a great uncertainty and the fear of unwanted pregnancy. There are two forms:

  1. The classic anti-baby pill consists of two hormones, namely estrogen and progestin. All preparations on the market today contain the synthetically produced estrogen ethinyl oestradiol in varying amounts (maximum 50 μg). Gestagene there are many different and always come new ones. Meanwhile one arrives with the so-called third generation.
  2. Progestogen monopreparations (mini pill). These oral contraceptives contain only small amounts of a progestin.

The anti-baby pill is used by around 65 million women worldwide and is the most widely used contraceptive in Germany. This acceptance has also contributed to the pill being the safest contraceptive after sterilization. Statistically, only two unwanted pregnancies occur when 1, 000 women rely on them for a year.

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