Empowerment Through Choice: The Evolution and Impact of Birth Control
The Evolution of Women’s Control over Reproductive Choices
It’s crazy how something so small in the past can grow to be something so massive in a short amount of time. Over time, women have been mistreated, underappreciated, and have been forced to not have control of many different situations. But over time, women have regained and exceeded how much power they truly have, especially in regard to sexual activity. I truly think the power, especially pertaining to pregnancy and choosing when they truly wanted to have children, came during the invention of birth control.
Even during its early stages, it was more than obvious that women wanted to have control of what came out of their sexual experiments. According to the video, in the early 1920s, doctors were restricted from spreading information about birth control due to anti-obscenity laws. The video also stated, “By 1966, nearly 5 million women were on birth control pills, and by the early 1970’s, more than 8 million women were actively taking birth control.”
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Although safe sex should always be the first thought, it was also pleasing to know that you can satisfy your sexual desires without having a child. According to allure.com, “ Gregory Godwin Pincus and John Rock more or less stumbled upon the idea behind the pill while searching for an infertility treatment.” The name of the first-ever birth control pill was “ Enovid,” and it was developed in the 1960s. Before birth control, there were many different many different hypotheses of how women could prevent pregnancy. According to Time Magazine, “In ancient China, concubines would drink lead and mercury before sex to prevent pregnancy, but the late side effects were fatal, and in ancient Greece, a gynecologist named Soranus advised women to hold their breath during intercourse and sneeze afterward.”
Birth Control’s Ongoing Impact: Usage, Advancements, and Empowerment
Since the early years of birth control, there have been many great leaps and bounds; according to the CDC, “62 percent of women aged 15-44 use some kind of birth control.” A lot of the advances of birth control became heightened during the conclusion of World War II. According to the video, “ The happy reunion of returning soldiers resulted in what was called a baby boom.” As a man, I can never relate to being unexpectedly pregnant or dealing with a 9-month pregnancy, but even a lot of my close friends who are married use some type of birth control, and I have even bought a form of birth control in regards to the plan-b pill.
Also, according to the CDC in 2018, “The most common contraceptive methods currently used in the overall age range 15–49 were female sterilization (18.6%) and in last place the male condom (8.7%).” Even though birth control is a great outlet and safety not, it is not for everyone and does come with some risks. According to Medical News Today.com, some side effect of birth control is “weight gain, nausea, headaches, breast tenderness, mood changes, etc.” I have even recently gained the knowledge that some women in this age don’t even use birth control just to prevent pregnancies but also to help control their menstrual cycles.
According to Young Women’s Health.org, “ girls whose menstrual periods are irregular (too few or not at all) birth control pills work by lowering certain hormone levels to regulate menstrual periods. When hormone levels are at normal levels, acne and hair growth often improve.” Since its discovery in the early 1920s, birth has seen its fair share of issues. According to Forbes.com, On May 6, two rulings by the Trump administration would allow employers or universities to deny birth control coverage as a part of their health care plan. I think that women deserve the right to choose how they want their bodies to operate and shouldn’t be blocked from anything that could impact them in a positive way, especially sexually.
- Posted under Health Guides. Updated 19 July 2018. +Related Content. (2018, July 19). Medical Uses of the Birth Control Pill. Retrieved June 08, 2020, from https://youngwomenshealth.org/2011/10/18/medical-uses-of-the-birth-control-pill/
- Don Juan to Queen Victoria and the 20th Century, The History Channel, 1999
- Todd, C. (n.d.). The History and Evolution of Birth Control in America. Retrieved June 08, 2020, from https://www.allure.com/story/history-of-birth-control?irclickid=2s3WqIWoJxyOWaM05-R4sULoUki3Xow1yQciUU0
- Medicalnewstoday.com. 2020. Birth Control Pill: Side Effects, Risks, Alternatives, And The Shot. [online] Available at:
- Broster, A. (2020, May 09). 60 Years Since The FDA’s Approval Of The Birth Control Pill. Retrieved June 08, 2020, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/alicebroster/2020/05/09/60-years-since-the-fdas-approval-of-the-birth-control-pill/