History Of Birth Control Essay, Research Paper
History of Birth Control
Although birth control has been practiced since ancient times, the first organized efforts developed during the 19th century as population increased dramatically because of improved medical care, nutrition, and sanitation. However, birth control met with resistance. In 1873 the United States Congress enacted the Comstock Law, which prohibited the distribution of birth-control devices and information.
During the early 1900s, American nurse Margaret Sanger led the birth-control movement in the United States. She and others opened clinics to provide women with information and devices. Although frequently jailed, she and her followers were instrumental in getting laws changed. In subsequent years, laws against birth control gradually weakened, and more effective methods were developed.
Now a days there are several different methods of birth control. The first that I am going to talk about is called the rhythm method. As its synonym implies, this method is based on the assumption that, for each women, there is a rhythmic pattern of menstruation and ovulation that can be identified by keeping a careful record of the dates of menstruation. A second assumption is that
ovulation occurs 14 days before the onset of the next menstruation. The rhythm method is the most commonly used of the natural methods.
To be used successfully a record should be kept for at least six menstrual cycles. The fertile period is then defined by a set of rules for example: The length of the shortest cycle less 18 days marking the start of the fertile period and the length of the longest cycle less 11 days marking the end of the fertile period. This is the only birth control method that has received the Catholic Church s seal of approval.
The next natural way of avoiding the use of contraceptives is called the Basal body temperature method.
In a normal, ovulatory cycle the temperature of the body measured on awakening, called the basal state, rises by 0.2C to 0.5C during two or three days following ovulation. This rise is defined as one in which three consecutive daily temperatures are at least 0.2C higher than the six daily temperatures preceding the shift. This rise reflect the secretion of progesterone from the corpus luteum. The
unplanned pregnancy rate of this method is about 11.5 per 100 women and for the rhythm method it is about 2.5 per 100 women.
For the calendar method, which is by far the most widely practiced, there is almost no information on efficacy. A study in Philippines, a country in which 99 percent of NFP users use a calendar method, suggested that the risk of pregnancy was about three percent per cycle. Seventy one percent of those who had experienced failure of the calendar method blamed there own behavior, suggesting that the true method failure rate is lower than that quoted.