Oral contraceptives -- an update.

This paper reports developments in oral contraceptives (OCs). Four decades after the introduction of the pill, it was observed that more women than ever are using it.  It became the top modern family planning method among married women because of its benefits.  In fact, it is most popularly used among married women in Western Europe in contrast with those in China, India, and Japan.  Since this method is widely used, it deserves continuing attention from health care programs, providers, and researchers. In this paper, the health benefits and risks of OCs, including emergency contraceptive pills, are discussed.  Attention is also given to unresolved health issues associated with the use of OCs, particularly to the association between OC use and neoplasia of the cervix and breast.

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health,Center for Communication Programs,The INFO Project