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Box of Ortho-Novin oral contraceptive pills, England, 1960-1968

‘Dial packs’ reminded women when to take the pill. Manufacturers designed special packaging such as this soon after the oral contraceptive pill was launched in the 1960s. Monophasic pills such as Ortho-Novin are taken for 21 days, at the same time each day, with a week in between packets. The pill suppresses ovulation, which is the release of eggs into the womb. It also makes it difficult for sperm to reach an egg, or for an egg to implant itself in the lining of the womb. Each pill contains the same amount of oestrogen.

Object number:

1986-248/22

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Glossary:

Glossary: contraception

The use of methods and techniques to prevent pregnancy from sex.

Glossary: oral contraceptive pill

A drug containing hormones, taken to stop pregnancy.

Glossary: period

Common term for vaginal bleeding, which happens once a month as part of a female's menstrual cycle. Periods usually last from one to five days and begin when a girl reaches puberty.

Glossary: oestrogen

A female hormone. Oestrogen is first produced by a girl at puberty. It regulates the menstrual cycle and prepares the uterus for pregnancy. Oestrogen is present in males, but in very low levels.