By Georgie Day
Out of all contraceptive methods, the pill is one of the most popular types of female contraception, with an almost 99% effectiveness rate when used correctly. It cannot be disputed that the introduction of the pill has changed society forever. It gave women control over their reproductive organs and sex life, made casual sexual relationships less of a risk and taboo, and impacted greatly on women’s lives, both in a good light and not. In the US it is estimated that one third of women use the pill as contraception, however more than 50 years after becoming an established form of birth control, new research has changed the guidelines from the Faculty of Sexual & Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH). These updated guidelines now show that the common seven-day break while using most combined pills had no health benefits, and that there is nothing to be gained from stopping the contraceptive to have a monthly period. This understandably has caused a lot of questions to be asked – why was it ever a guideline? Why, more than half a decade on, are we just finding out that the pill could have been taken continuously?