Back to Your contraception guide. The combined oral contraceptive pill is often just called "the pill". It contains artificial versions of female hormones oestrogen and progesterone, which are produced naturally in the ovaries. If sperm reaches an egg ovum , pregnancy can happen. Contraception tries to stop this happening usually by keeping the egg and sperm apart or by stopping the release of an egg ovulation.
The birth control pill was introduced to the public in the early s. The pill prevents ovulation—no new eggs are released by a woman who is on the pill because the pill tricks her body into believing she is already pregnant. Ancient Egyptian women are credited with attempting the first form of birth control using a mixture of cotton, dates, acacia, and honey in the form of a suppository. They were somewhat successful—later research shows that fermented acacia is actually a spermicide. It had been discovered in the s that hormones prevented ovulation in rabbits. In , Sanger underwrote the research necessary to create the first human birth control pill using these research findings. Then Sanger met endocrinologist Gregory Pincus at a dinner party.
Types of Birth Control Pills (Oral Contraceptives)
Oral contraceptives are one of the several methods of birth control; and if taken properly, these pills are effective in preventing pregnancy. The synthetic forms of the naturally-occurring female hormones are found in these pills - estrogen and progestin. These hormones inhibit the release of luteinizing hormone LH and follicle stimulating hormone FSH that play a role in the development of the egg and in the preparation of the uterus lining during implantation of the embryo. Ovulation also stops due to the effect of progestin.
Oral contraceptives birth control pills are hormone-containing medications that are taken by mouth to prevent pregnancy. They prevent pregnancy by inhibiting ovulation and also by preventing sperm from penetrating through the cervix. By far the most commonly prescribed type of oral contraceptive in the United States contains synthetic versions of the natural female hormones estrogen and progesterone. This type of birth control pill is often called a combined oral contraceptive.