|Categories:||Women Health and Social Care Pharmacology|
Nowadays, choosing a form of birth control can be as overwhelming as trying to shop for a new laptop. Due to the emergence of technological advancement, many options exist in the market, with respect to the growing players and demand preference and also despite the overwhelming number of available options and brand names on the American market, they all take us back to the science that might be almost 50 years old. Ever since the contraceptive pill was discovered and permitted in 1960; its essential uses are only two that is preventing ovulation and preventing fertilization in human beings. The barrier methods such as cervical caps, diaphragms, chemical spermicides and condoms have been in existence for all over a century. The present intrauterine devices (IUDs) were an improvement of a method which was discovered in the 1920s but were made available to the general public in 1960s. The hormonal contraception either uses synthetic progesterone alone or combines with estrogen to prevent ovulation. This really made a major contribution in the innovation world. Also several new methods exist in the market since 1990 for example the skin patch the virginal ring, the shot, and the implant. The globe of contraception has received technological and scientific innovation for many decades. The pharmaceutical industries all over the world have invested much in research and innovation of drugs in order to minimize risks and maximize profit.
Cited as a sign of the sexual uprising and women's liberty, the pill was greeted by a generation stalled in social turmoil, from the civil privileges scuffle. The manufacturers of the drug could not anticipated that the combination of both progestin and estrogen would stops ovulation and at the same time pregnancy , will have such a worldwide impact on women empowerment in both economic, social and political aspects. The pill open the door for women change of their psychosomatic mind-set that is living a life beyond bearing kids and working for others as housewife, it totally gave women a freedom they never anticipate to have.
Women have always been in need of new methods of contraception due to the inadequacy of the available techniques. A few statistical data from 1990 can be used to confirm the situation for example research of contraception by an institute of medicine from that year informed occurrence of about three million unwanted pregnancies due to the failure of the contraceptive methods (Mastroianni, Donaldson & Kane, 1990). Also in America half of the 1.5 million abortions done annually are reported to be caused by the failure of contraceptives. Over 1 million of the teenage girls are reported to be pregnant each year. At least 15% of women younger than 50 years married to men chose vasectomy rather than other contraceptive methods and about 10% of them came to regret the decision after the may be the death of a child or after remarriage. There are several factors that influence the usage of effective birth control procedures for example cultural constraints, contraceptives, affordability, accessibility of health education , sources of information, but despite their existence, the physical part of the availability of contraceptive technologies influence a womans mind on their usage at a greater stride (Randall, 1992).
The chemist Carl Djerassi who made oral hormonal contraception available by synthesizing oral active progesterone, in the article named Birth Control after 1984 foretold of the stationary state of affairs almost 40 years ago (Djerassi, 2001). He re-examined the idea of contraceptive development and research in 1989. He accredited that the shortage of innovation is key reason for the American pharmaceutical companies withdrawal from the field. Over 13 companies in 1970 were actively involved in the development and research on the birth control methods and of these companies only one was located in America. Despite the achievements in the pharmaceutical industry, very little has changed. Reasons identified by Djerassi for the flight of the industries from contraceptive research include: the media in the awake of Dalkon shield IUD disaster and congressional inquiry of the pills safety by senator Gaylord Nelson in 1970 portrayed the industry negatively, two decades of onerous toxicology tests which were obligatory by the US Food and Drug Administration adversely increased the expenses and time required for the development of new products and the increased litigious nature of the American society (Sloan, 2009). Djerassi after almost twenty two years concluded that there would be minor modifications of the existing birth control methods in the 21st century and of which is a perfect reflection of our contraceptive landscape today (Djerassi, 2001).
Today, the American society for emergency contraception (ASEC) promotes accessibility of emergency contraception in America. ASEC is currently coordinated by Kelly Cleland and hosted by Princeton University. It collaborates with different groups of stakeholders among them being academic researchers, clinical service providers, state, local and national advocates, civil rights attorneys, public policy experts and companies involved in the manufacturing, development, commercializing and research of contraceptive drugs and devices (Trussell & Jordan, 2006). ASEC is mandated to hold discussion forums so as to share any latest research and news concerning the emergency contraception. It also can create sub-forums if need be for the community to have an in depth discussion on various agendas surrounding the emergency contraception. This led to the recent launch of Ella in United States. ASEC works in hand with ICEC to arrange the emergency contraception jamboree to join together group of international public health professionals who contribute and share information pertaining research in the field and join forces by coming up with strategies that improve the accessibility of emergency contraception methods. ASEC gives an annual award Ellertson Award named after the founder Charlotte Ellertson with an aim to support and encourage innovation in the emergency contraception field (Randall, 1992).
Various awareness procedures that are taken by the players in the market of contraceptive products have adversely led to the growth and usage of contraceptives. To sensitize the youth about their productive health, Bayer Healthcare one of the major players in this market in collaboration with other non governmental organization (NGOs) organize for World contraception Day every year. Geographically the contraceptive market is divided into four regions which include the Asia pacific, Europe, North America and Rest of the world. The major companies involved include Reckitt Benckiser plc, Pfizer, Inc., Teva Pharmaceutical industries limited, Bayers AG, Church and Dwight, Co., Inc., Cooper Surgical, Inc among many companies (Mastroianni, Donaldson & Kane, 1990). These companies analyze the market available by various products needed and provide them accordingly to their customers.
Different birth control methods have different ways of usage and it is quite common for men and women now days to use the contraceptives for pregnancy prevention and protection purposes. These birth control methods have seriously assisted in the convenient and responsible ways of pregnancy and family planning. The chemistry behind each is different but my major aim is the Pill. Many individuals who use this birth control method usually ignore the science behind it rather than understand how it works. Several consequences come with these pills. The discovery of how to synthesize artificial progesterone hormone to effectively prevent the onset of pregnancy proved to be just like a real thing. Later on Estrogen was found to have similar effects to progesterone and both were tested for their effect on ovulation. All these formed the basis for the contraception pill (MacRae & Kay, 1995). These pills tend to deceive the body that one is already pregnant. This prevents conception since the ovaries do not produce egg cells when a woman is pregnant. At their highest levels, progesterone and estrogen indicate pregnancy, thus if one is increased then the body is fooled that the body is pregnant.
Another way that the pills work is that they inhabit Luteotrophic Hormone (LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) which are known to be the ones that initiate the ovaries to release the eggs into the body. They prevent the body from producing them thus having the same effects as the high levels of progesterone and estrogen. The women bodies are built with the ability to compensate for the delayed ovulation. There is every chance that pregnancy can be prevented by delaying the cycle through taking a pill. But when a woman leaves the drug, the hormonal effect deteriorates and the body picks up from where it left (Hatcher, 1998). The pill may have several side effects such as headaches, mood changes, nausea, vaginitis and vaginal discharge, aggravated asthma, urinary tract infection, depression, gum inflammation, weight gain, breast tenderness, bleeding between periods, and blood clots. Usually the body can go back to its natural rhythm and fully recover after three months of the usage of the pill (Trussell & Jordan, 2006).
Both childrens and infants benefits from the effect of contraception, this is evident as the methods has become globally available in the world, as the mortality rate has significantly decreased across the country, for instance in the year 1950 the mortality rates per 1000 live births was 150 deaths, but after the inception of the contraceptives in the year 1980 the mortality rate was 80 deaths for every 1000 births.
The change in this field over the past decades has been the marketing strategy of the birth control methods specifically the pills. In 1960s to 1980s, birth control pills were exclusively advertised for the aim of birth control by the pharmaceutical companies (Stockman, 2008). But later the advertisement paid attention to the benefits of planning when women should bear children. The companies marketed their products to the private physicians who attended to the private patients rather than the public health of America. However the World Health Organization and other institutions declared the pill as a necessary medicine that was vital for the health care requirements of the general public due to its safety, efficacy, comparative cost effectiveness and public health relevance. Clearly the birth control pills continue to be one of basic requirement for reproductive women for the betterment of their health (Stockman, 2008).
Marketing decisions have guided the positioning and development of the contraceptives for the next generation. After deserting avenues of research, pharmaceutical firms moved their marking strategy from the function of fertility control to the lifestyle drugs. In the 1990s they promoted these contraceptives to both consumers and physicians. They described the contraceptives as drugs that are designed for improvement of the quality of a persons life. Several names were given to these drugs such as life-enhancing, cosmetic, discretionary, and recreational (HOLDCROFT, 1994). The new advertising strategies pointed out more on secondary effects such as to reduce the frequency of menstruation, treating premenstrual dysphoric disorder and acne rather than primary effect (pregnancy prevention). This kind of shift in the advertising strategy showcases manufacturers tend to focus more on lifestyle options. For an example the Ortho Tri-Cyclen advertisement which says if you decide to use a pill why not take the one clinically proven to better your skin too? This kind of marketing strategy results from the decisions that the pharmaceutical industry make in order to minimize risks and m...
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