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Object: Eugynon ED contraceptive pill

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Title Eugynon ED contraceptive pill
Production Schering AG (manufacturer(s)), 1970s, Germany
Materials paper, cardboard, foil, plastic
Classification boxes, personalia, contraceptive pills
Dimensions Overall: 70mm (Height) x 166mm (Length) x 15mm (Depth)
Credit line Gift of Leslie and Shirley Megget, on behalf of Joyce Megget, 2010
Registration number GH020660

Eugynon is an early combined oral contraceptive pill, containing oestrogen and progesterone. Combined oral contraceptives were first approved for use in the United States in 1960, and became the most popular type of birth control.

The pill was introduced in New Zealand in 1961. Described as a revolution, 'the Pill' changed attitudes towards contraception in society and transformed women's lives. New Zealand women were quick to take it, and became some of the highest users in the world. By the mid-1960s, the birth rate for married women began to decline. By 1974, half of all women of reproductive age were on the pill.

The pill allowed women to control their fertility independently of intercourse and without internal manipulations by a doctor. It was a more predictable form of contraception that the previous barrier methods. However, initially only married women were prescribed it. The original intention of the pill was to help women space their families. Later, it was used to delay the timing of the first birth. By the late 1960s / early 1970s, as the reality of sexually active youth and changing social mores became more widely accepted, the pill was used by unmarried people to protect against unwanted pregnancies.

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