A thousand years ago, popular birth control methods in the Western world included spitting into the mouth of a frog, eating bees and wearing the testicles of a weasel. In Córdoba, Spain, which was supposed to be on the scientific cutting edge, women were told to leap up and down vigorously after sex, and then jump backward nine times.
This is by way of saying that on Sunday we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the birth control pill. We live in troubled times. But let’s give thanks that we avoided the era of the weasel testicles.
Like a great many of our anniversaries, this one is a movable feast. The Food and Drug Administration actually gave G.D. Searle the go-ahead to market the first oral contraceptive (not counting bees) on June 23, 1960. But the F.D.A. announced its intention to approve the pill on May 9, which also happens to be Mother’s Day this year and, therefore, too good to resist.
This is a story about science, and obviously sex. But it’s also a saga about getting information.
Continue reading at: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/08/opinion/08collins.html?src=me&ref=general
Coincidentally, when I started hormones back in 1969 the selection of pills was rather slim. There was DES and it didn’t take long for word to get around that even if you could get DES for free from the Center For Special Problems, it was no bargain. We didn’t know about the animal abuse involved in Primarin until years later. What we knew was that there wasn’t a generic and the non-generic was really expensive.
That left many of us taking a really high dose birth control pill called Enovid. It worked really well. Especially with occasional shots.
Sometimes it seems as though transsexualism became doable by the masses as part of the sexual revolution that also included the pill, indeed the relationship was often more intimate than casual as those original high dosage birth control pills were also the first of the black or gray market hormones.