Birth control pill
Birth control is arguably the most revolutionary modern medical invention. Invented in the 1960s, it was the most reliable way to prevent unwanted pregnancy besides abstinence. However, the benefits of the pill are much more profound than you think. I’ve often mentioned how far women’s rights have come, but a major contributor in my opinion is birth control.
In the 1960s only about 38 percent of women made up the workforce, which is a far cry from the 46 percent observed in the West currently. One of the major reasons for women joining the workforce was World War 2. To aid the war effort many men were enlisted in the army, leaving women at home to manage their households. This meant women had to be the primary caretakers and financial supporters. Imagine a family where all able-bodied men were sent away to fight, leaving the women to fill the gaps in the workforce. When the survivors returned home, all women did not simply return to their housewife duties, many continued to work. However, there was still a major issue; who would take care of the children?
Women were still expected to be the primary parent and be fruitful and multiply. Then suddenly, in the 1960s, came a magic pill that could prevent pregnancy. Before this, women did not have a choice in how many children they produced, since there were at the mercy of their husbands using condoms, which were widely unpopular at the time. No one could have predicted the popularity of this pill, not even the scientist who invented it. For the first time ever, women could control their own family planning without extreme measures such as hysterectomies (removal of the entire uterus).
Not only did birth control pills help with family planning, they also surprisingly helped with a host of other hormonal issues plaguing women. Many people are unaware that birth control pills are a form of hormone therapy. For example, women who suffered from endometriosis and were often bed-ridden during their periods, were finally offered a possible treatment. Birth control medication allowed women to live a normal life when periods previously plagued their lives. Moreover, women who have irregular periods could finally regulate their menstrual cycle and life a more carefree life. I could go on and on about the many benefits of the birth control pill, but I think you get the point.
We often forget the many factors that led to the freedoms many women enjoy today, and a major factor is a tiny hormone pill. Unfortunately, there are still many prejudices surrounding birth control as many think it’s only for sex-hungry women. This taboo prevents women from seeking help for very real problems that might be affecting them. For many women, a normal life would not be possible without this form of hormonal treatment. Of course, like any medication there are side effects, and some people will be affected by them more than others. Any drug you take will have a possible side effect; did you know that a side effect of Tylenol was death? Tylenol is one of the most common over the counter painkillers and yet it could very well kill you, but that doesn’t stop people from taking it. To conclude, birth control medication is pretty amazing and don’t judge women for taking it, just mind your business.