Contraception: past, present, and future
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The most common method of birth control used since 3000 B.C., is the condom. It has been used continuously in the 21st century, but several other forms have been added. Due to reformers like Marie Stopes, Margret Sanger, Katharine McCormick and Gregory Pincus contraceptive usage has become popularized in today's society. New forms of contraceptive include, but are not limited to intrauterine devices (IUDs), shots, pill, patch, and vaginal rings. These devices have been developed as both hormonal and nonhormonal products. Hormonal birth control delivers hormones such as estrogen and progestin, which affect the joining of the sperm and egg. Products that are non-hormonal are a viable alternative for women who cannot tolerate hormonal regulation. Estrogen and progestin function as contraceptives by changing various areas in the vaginal tract by changes such as the thickening of cervical mucus, thinning the uterus lining, or increasing the vagina acidity. Researchers are also trying to develop other options such as a male contraceptive option to expand and reach a target population that is not currently reached. There are also government policies currently in Congress that address the issue of the uninsured; thereby reaching those who may need contraceptives the most. The Affordable Care Act also known as Obama care is trying to provide Medicaid to people who do not and would not ever be able to afford adequate health care, including contraceptives on their own. With the passing of the Affordable Care Act more women will be able to go to a medical provider to be informed and educated on the various contraceptive methods, enabling them to make an informed decision.
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