Contraception: the way you take the pill has more to do with the pope than your health
The way women have been advised to take the combined contraceptive pill for the last 60 years unnecessarily increases the likelihood of taking it incorrectly, leaving them at risk from unplanned pregnancy. And this far from ideal situation is the result of a cosmetic quirk of pill design, based on long redundant historical context.
The seven-day break, and resultant withdrawal bleed, was designed into the pill in the late 50s in an attempt to persuade the Vatican to accept the new form of contraception, as an extension of the natural menstrual cycle. As is well known, this did not succeed: Pope Paul VI forbade artificial contraception. Despite this, the seven-day break has remained as a component of the combined oral contraceptive pill.
Contraception - the way you take the pil
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