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Fertility Control (FC)†

According the UNís Department of Economic and Social Affairs, in 2015, 64% of all married women, or women living with a partner, used modern or traditional methods of contraception, though many women worldwide still do not have access to these products. Oral contraceptives are the most common, with sales exceeding $5.2 billion and growing more than 5.0% annually. 

Types of Hormonal Fertility Control Products

Effective and safe methods for family planning became available in the 20th century. Today, a variety of effective fertility control methods are available. Hormonal-based medications can be delivered in a variety of dosage forms including tablets, creams, patches, micronized oral capsules, sublingual pills or suppositories. These formulations have been developed in response to patient needs. Preferred fertility control methods vary within and among countries and regions.

Hormonal fertility control products act in various ways to prevent pregnancy:

Although none of these methods is without side effects, hormonal fertility control products are the most effective method of preventing pregnancy and are associated with many health benefits which result from avoiding pregnancy and termination of unwanted pregnancies.

The concept and pursuit of family planning did not start with the development of the first condom or pill. The earliest documents explicitly referring to birth control methods are found in Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt.† One example is the Kahun Gynecological Papyrus from about 1850 BCE. Even then, one can site Hippocrates and numerous other ancient essays on gynecology which described certain plants with contraceptive properties, the likes of which were used in Ancient Greece from the 7th century BCE. Some of these plants are known to be toxic and ancient Greek documents specify safe dosages. Recent studies have confirmed the birth control properties of many of these plants.