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During the 19th century Sweden had high levels of maternal mortality, and there was a strong support within the country to reduce mortality rate to fewer than 300 per 100,000 live births. The Swedish government began public health initiatives to train enough midwives to attend all births. This approach was also later used by Norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands who also experienced similar successes.[13] Sony VAIO PCG-81112M Battery

Increasing contraceptive usage and family planning also improves maternal health through reduction in numbers of higher risk pregnancies. In Nepal a strong emphasis was placed on providing family planning to rural regions and it was shown to be effective.[14] Madagascar saw a dramatic increase in contraceptive use after instituting a nationwide family planning program, the rate of contraceptive use increased from 5.1% in 1992 to 29% in 2008. Sony VAIO PCG-31111M Battery

The U.S. Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations calls maternal mortality a "sentinel event", and uses it to assess the quality of a health care system.

Maternal mortality data is said to be an important indicator of overall health system quality because pregnant women survive in sanitary, safe, well-staffed and stocked facilities. Sony VAIO PCG-31311M Battery

If new mothers are thriving, it indicates that the health care system is doing its job. If not, problems likely exist.[17]

According to Garret, increasing maternal survival, along with life expectancy, is an important goal for the world health community, as they show that other health issues are also improving. If these areas improve, disease-specific improvements are also better able to positively impact populations.[18] Sony VAIO PCG-8152M Battery

Worldwide, the Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) has decreased, with South-East Asia seeing the most dramatic decrease of 59% and Africa seeing a decline of 27%. There are no regions that are on track to meet the Millennium Development Goal of decreasing maternal mortality by 75% by the year 2015.

Maternal oral health has been shown to effect the well-being of both the mother and her unborn fetus. Sony VAIO PCG-61111M Battery

Oral health has long been considered an arena of its own, distinct from general health, but there has been a recent push to bring together these two fields. The 2000 Surgeon’s General Report stresses the interdependence of oral health on the overall health and well being of an individual.[20] Oral health is essential to overall health, especially during perinatal period and the future development of their children.[21] Sony PCG-71213M Battery

Proper management of oral health has benefits to both mother and child. Furthermore, lack of understanding or maintenance of good oral health for pregnant women may have adverse effects on them and their children. Hence, it is imperative to educate mothers regarding the significance of oral health. Moreover, collaboration and support among physicians across various fields,Sony PCG-71311M Battery

especially among family practitioners and obstetricians, is essential in addressing the concerns for maternal oral health.[22] In 2007, the Maternal Oral Health Project was developed to provide routine oral care to low-income pregnant women in Nassau County, NY. Since its inception, the program has treated more than 2,000 pregnant women, many of whom had significant gum and/or tooth problems. Sony PCG-71312M Battery

Oral health has numerous implications on overall general health and the quality of life of an individual. The Surgeon General’s Report lists that various systemic diseases and conditions have oral manifestations.[20] The oral cavity serves as both a site of and a gateway entry of disease for microbial infections, which can affect general health status. Sony PCG-71212M Battery

In addition, some studies have demonstrated a relationship between periodontal diseases and diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and adverse pregnancy outcomes. Furthermore, the report establishes a relationship between oral health and quality of life, including functional, psychosocial, and economic indicators. Diet, nutrition, sleep, psychological status, social interaction, school, and work all can be affected by poor oral health. Sony VAIO PCG-5J4M Battery

For example, oral-facial pain can result in sleep deprivation, depression, and other adverse psychological outcomes. Ultimately, impaired oral health can have a profound impact on the general well being of individuals, including the quality of their life.

Protection and control of oral health and diseases safeguards a woman’s health and quality of life before and during pregnancy.Sony VAIO PCG-5K1M Battery

Also, it has the potential to decrease the transmission of pathogenic bacteria that occurs from mother to child.[21] Along with pregnancy, come physiological changes for a woman. The changes, including fluctuating hormones, increase the woman’s susceptibility to oral infections such as periodontal disease. This disease impairs the body’s ability to repair and maintain soft tissues.[22] Sony VAIO PCG-5K2M Battery

It also causes indirect damage through bacterial induction of both inflammatory and immune responses of the host.[24]During pregnancy, mild inflammation of the gums, “pregnancy gingivitis”, is quite common and if left untreated can lead to periodontal disease. There have been an increased number of studies establishing associations between, periodontal disease and negative health outcomes, Sony VAIO PCG-5J5M Battery

which include tooth loss, cardiovascular disease, stroke, poor diabetes control, and adverse birth outcomes. For example, one such study found that moderate or severe periodontal disease early in pregnancy was associated with delivery of small-for-gestational-age infant.[25] Other studies have also found an association between periodontal disease and development of pre-eclampsia and preterm births.[24] Sony VAIO PCG-5L2M Battery

Another notable oral disease pertinent to maternal child health is dental caries. Dental caries is the process of tooth decay, and the development of what is commonly known as cavities.[24] Dental carries are transmitted from mother to child vertically; colonization of cariogenic bacteria primarily occurs from mother to child through saliva-sharing activities. Maternal oral flora can ultimately foretell oral flora in offspring.[26] Sony VAIO PCG-6S4M Battery

In addition, other maternal factors such as social, behavioral, and biological factors can predispose a child’s experience with tooth-decay.[24] Some of these factors include the lack of knowledge a mother possesses concerning oral health, which can influence the development of caries among her children. Compared to children whose mothers have good oral health, Sony VAIO PCG-6W1M Battery

children whose mothers have bad oral health are five times as likely to have poor oral health.[22] Poor maintenance of oral health has profound implications on the development of children. As mentioned in the Surgeon’s General Report, oral health affects the quality of life, especially children, with respect to functional, psychological, economic, and overall emotional well-being of an individual.[20] Sony VAIO PCG-6W2M Battery

 To demonstrate the adverse effects of poor oral health, take for example the consequences a simple cavity can have on a child. First, it is painful. This might cause a child to miss school or have poor concentration, eventually compromising school performance. In addition, due to the pain, it might result in poor weight gain or growth. Also, children may exhibit reduced self-esteem because of cosmetic issuesSony VAIO PCG-7Z1M Battery

Furthermore, it can affect language and impair speech. Impaired speech development can also result in low self-esteem. Finally, cavities although easily preventable, can pose a financial burden of a family. Public dental services are scarce and costly to individuals who lack dental insurance. It may also result in unwarranted visits to emergency department. Sony VAIO PCG-8Y2M Battery

Poor oral health permeates into other aspects of life, posing threats to overall well-being, if not handled timely and effectively.The significance of oral health is apparent, however, many women do not receive dental services before, during, and after pregnancy, even with obvious signs of oral disease.[22] There are several factors at play regarding pregnant women not seeking dental care, including the role of the health care system and disposition of the woman herself. Sony VAIO PCG-8Y3M Battery

There is a common misconception that it is not safe to obtain dental services while pregnant. Many prenatal and oral health providers have limited knowledge about the impact and safety of delivering dental services; hence they might delay or withhold treatment during pregnancy.[21]Moreover, some prenatal providers are not aware of the importance of oral health on overall general health, thus failing to refer their patients to dental providers. Sony VAIO PCG-8Z1M Battery

First and foremost, the misconception regarding the impact of dental services while a woman is pregnant needs to be purged. There is a consensus that prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of oral diseases are highly beneficial and can be performed on pregnant women having no added fetal or maternal risk when compared to the risk of providing no oral care. Sony VAIO PCG-8Z2M Battery

Equally important is establishing collaboration among clinicians, especially maternal health providers, with other dental providers. There should be coordination among general health and oral health providers, especially because of the interdependence of the two fields.[20] Thus, it is imperative to educate and train health providers of the significance of oral health, designing methods to incorporate in their respective practices. Sony VAIO PCG-8Z3M Battery

Providers most provide education to pregnant women addressing the importance of oral health, because these women ultimately control the fate of themselves and their offspring. For example, providers can illustrate to mothers how to reduce cavities by wiping down the gums of their children with a soft cloth after breastfeeding or bottle-feeding.[21] Sony VAIO PCG-7112M Battery

Bestowing knowledge and practical applications of good oral health maintenance measures to mothers can help improve overall health of the mother and child. There are still other factors in play when analyzing the low use of dental services by pregnant women, particularly prevalent among ethnic and racial minorities. A major factor is the lack of insurance and or access to dental services.[20] Sony VGP-BPL15/B Battery

For this reason, more data needs to be collected and analyzed so that programs are set up to effectively to reach all segments of the population.

In the developing world, birth control increases economic growth due to there being fewer dependent children and thus more women participating in the workforce.[17] Sony VGP-BPS15/B Battery

Women's earnings, assets, body mass index, and their children's schooling and body mass index all improve with greater access to birth control.[17] Family planning via the use of modern birth control is one of the most cost-effective health interventions.[108] For every dollar spent, the United Nations estimates that two to six dollars are saved.[109] Sony VGP-BPL15/S Battery

 These cost savings are related to preventing unplanned pregnancies and decreasing the spread of sexually transmitted illnesses.[108] While all methods are beneficial financially, the use of copper IUDs resulted in the greatest savings.[108]

The total medical cost for a pregnancy, delivery and care of a newborn in the United States is on average $21,000 for a vaginal delivery and $31,000 for a Caesarean section as of 2012.[110] Sony VGP-BPS15/S Battery

In most other countries the cost is less than half.[110]For a child born in 2011, an average US family will spend $235,000 over 17 years to raise them.

Globally, as of 2009, approximately 60% of those who are married and able to have children use birth control.[60] How frequently different methods are used varies widely between countries.[60] Sony VGP-BPS15 Battery

The most common method in the developed world is condoms and oral contraceptives, while in Africa it is oral contraceptives and in Latin America and Asia it is sterilization.[60] In the developing world overall, 35% of birth control is via female sterilization, 30% is via IUDs, 12% is via oral contraceptives, 11% is via condoms, and 4% is via male sterilization.[60] Sony VGP-BPL15 Battery

While less used in the developed countries than the developing world, the number of women using IUDs as of 2007 was more than 180 million.[59] Avoiding sex when fertile is used by about 3.6% of women of childbearing age, with usage as high as 20% in areas of South America.[112] As of 2005, 12% of couples are using a male form of birth control (either condoms or a vasectomy) with higher rates in the developed world.[113] Sony VGN-P series Battery

Usage of male forms of birth control has decreased between 1985 and 2009.[60] Contraceptive use among women in Sub-Saharan Africa has risen from about 5% in 1991 to about 30% in 2006.[114]

As of 2012, 57% of women of childbearing age want to avoid pregnancy (867 of 1520 million).[115] About 222 million women however were not able to access birth control, 53 million of whom were in sub-Saharan Africa and 97 million of whom were in Asia.[115] Sony VGN-P11Z/Q Battery

This results in 54 million unplanned pregnancies and nearly 80,000 maternal deaths a year.[60] Part of the reason that many women are without birth control is that many countries limit access due to religious or political reasons,[6] while another contributor is poverty.[116] Due to restrictive abortion laws in Sub-Saharan Africa, many women turn to unlicensed abortion providers for unintended pregnancy, resulting in about 2–4% obtaining unsafe abortions each year. Sony VGN-P11Z/R Battery

The Egyptian Ebers Papyrus from 1550 BCE and the Kahun Papyrus from 1850 BCE have within them some of the earliest documented descriptions of birth control: the use of honey, acacia leaves and lint to be placed in the vagina to block sperm.[117][118] Ancient Egyptian drawings also show the use of condoms.[47] The Book of Genesis references withdrawal, Sony VGN-P11Z/W Battery

or coitus interruptus, as a method of birth control when Onan "spills his seed" (ejaculates) on the ground so as to not father a child with his deceased brother's wife Tamar.[117] It is believed that in Ancient Greece silphium was used as birth control which, due to its effectiveness and thus desirability, was harvested into extinction.[119] In medieval Europe, any effort to halt pregnancy was deemed immoral by theCatholic Church.[117] Sony VGN-P21S/W Battery

 It is believed that women of the time still used a number of birth control measures such as coitus interruptus and inserting lily root and rue into the vagina (and, in addition, infanticide after birth).[120] Casanova (1725-1798), during the Italian Renaissance described the use of a lambskin covering to prevent pregnancy; however, condoms were not widely available until the 20th century.[117] Sony VGN-P21Z/G Battery

In 1909, Richard Richter developed the first intrauterine device made from silkworm gut, which was further developed and marketed in Germany by Ernst Gräfenberg in the late 1920s.[121] In 1916 Margaret Sanger opened the first birth control clinic in the United States which resulted in her arrest.[117] This was followed in 1921 by the first clinic in the UK, opened by Marie Stopes.[117] Sony VGN-P21Z/R Battery

Gregory Pincus and John Rock with help from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America developed the first birth control pills in the 1950s which became publicly available in the 1960s.[122] Medical abortion became an alternative to surgical abortion with the availability ofprostaglandin analogs in the 1970s and mifepristone in the 1980s. Sony VGN-P29VN/Q Battery

Human rights agreements require most governments to provide family planning and contraceptive information and services. These include the requirement to create a national plan for family planning services, remove laws that limit access to family planning, ensure that a wide variety of safe and effective birth control methods are available including emergency contraceptives, Sony VGP-BPS18 Battery

make sure there are appropriately trained healthcare providers and facilities at an affordable price, and create a process to review the programs implemented. If governments fail to do the above it may put them in breach of binding international treaty obligations.[124] Sony VGP-BPL18 Battery

In 2010, the United Nations launched the Every Woman Every Child movement to assess the progress toward meeting women's contraceptive needs. The initiative has set a goal of increasing the number of users of modern birth control by 120 million women in the world's 69 poorest countries by the year 2020. Additionally, they aim to eradicate discrimination against girls and young women who seek contraceptives. Sony VGP-BPL18 Battery

Religions vary widely in their views of the ethics of birth control.[127] The Roman Catholic Church officially only accepts natural family planning in certain cases,[128] although large numbers of Catholics in developed countries accept and use modern methods of birth control.[129][130][131] Among Protestants there is a wide range of views from supporting none to allowing all methods of birth control.[132] HP 448007-001 battery

Views in Judaism range from the stricter Orthodox sect to the more relaxed Reform sect.[133] Hindus may use both natural and artificial contraceptives.[134] A common Buddhist view is that preventing conception is acceptable, while intervening after conception has occurred is not.[135]

In Islam, contraceptives are allowed if they do not threaten health, although their use is discouraged by some.[136]HP Pavilion DV7 battery

 The Quran does not make any explicit statements about the morality of birth control, but contains statements encouraging having children. Prophet Muhammad also is reported to have said "marry and procreate".

The 26th of September is World Contraception Day, devoted to raising awareness and improving education about sexual and reproductive health, with a vision of a world where every pregnancy is wanted.[138] HP DV6-1120SA battery

It is supported by a group of governments and international NGOs, including the Asian Pacific Council on Contraception, Centro Latinamericano Salud y Mujer, the European Society of Contraception and Reproductive Health, the German Foundation for World Population, the International Federation of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology, HP DV6-1210SA battery

International Planned Parenthood Federation, the Marie Stopes International, Population Services International, the Population Council, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and Women Deliver.

There are a number of common misconceptions regarding sex and pregnancy.[139] Douching after sexual intercourse is not an effective form of birth control.[140] Compaq CQ50 battery

Additionally, it is associated with a number of health problems and thus is not recommended.[141] Women can become pregnant the first time they have sexual intercourse[142] and in any sexual position.[143] It is possible, although not very likely, to become pregnant during menstruation.

Improvements of existing birth control methods are needed, as around half of those who get pregnant unintentionally are using birth control at the time.[25] HP Pavilion DV8 battery

 A number of alterations of existing contraceptive methods are being studied, including a better female condom, an improved diaphragm, a patch containing only progestin, and a vaginal ring containing long-acting progesterone.[145] This vaginal ring appears to be effective for three or four months and is currently available in some areas of the world.[145] Compaq HSRNN-I57C Battery

A number of methods to perform sterilization via the cervix are being studied. One involves putting quinacrine in the uterus which causes scarring and infertility. While the procedure is inexpensive and does not require surgical skills, there are concerns regarding long-term side effects.[146] Another substance, polidocanol, which functions in the same manner is being looked at.[145Compaq HSTNN-153C Battery

] A device called Essure, which expands when placed in the fallopian tubes and blocks them, was approved in the United States in 2002.

Methods of male birth control include condoms, vasectomies and withdrawal.[147] Between 25 and 75% of males who are sexually active would use hormonal birth control if it was available for them.Compaq HSTNN-A14C Battery

A number of hormonal and non-hormonal methods are in trials,[113] and there is some research looking at the possibility of contraceptive vaccines.[148]

A reversible surgical method under investigation is reversible inhibition of sperm under guidance (RISUG) which consists of injecting a polymer gel, styrene maleic anhydride in dimethyl sulfoxide, into the vas deferens. Compaq HSTNN-B071 Battery

An injection with sodium bicarbonate washes out the substance and restores fertility. Another is an intravas device which involves putting a urethane plug into the vas deferens to block it. A combination of an androgen and a progestin seems promising, as doselective androgen receptor modulators.[113] Ultrasound and methods to heat the testicles have undergone preliminary studies. Compaq HSTNN-CB25 Battery

Neutering or spaying, which involves removing some of the reproductive organs, is often carried out as a method of birth control in household pets. Many animal shelters require these procedures as part of adoption agreements.[150] In large animals the surgery is known as castration.[151] Birth control is also being considered as an alternative to hunting as a means of controlling the overpopulation in wild animals.[152] Compaq HSTNN-CB72 Battery

Contraceptive vaccines have been found to be effective in a number of different animal populations.

Globally approximately 45% of those who are married and able to have children use contraception.[1] As of 2007, IUDs were used by about 17% of women of child bearing age in developing countries and 9% in developed countries or more than 180 million women worldwide.[2] Compaq HSTNN-DB02 Battery

Avoiding sex when fertile is used by about 3.6% of women of childbearing age, with usage as high as 20% in areas of South America.[3] As of 2005, 12% of couples are using a male form of contraception (either condoms or a vasectomy) with rates of up to 30% in the developed world.[4]

As of 2012, 57% of women of child bearing age wanted to avoid pregnancy (867 of 1520 million).[5] Compaq HSTNN-DB17 Battery

About 222 million women however were not able to access birth control, 53 million of whom were in sub-Saharan Africa and 97 million of whom were in Asia.[5] Many countries limit access to birth control due to the religious and political reasons.

Contraceptive use among women in Sub-Saharan Africa has risen from about 5% in 1991 to about 30% in 2006.[7] Compaq HSTNN-DB35 Battery

However due to extreme poverty, lack of access to birth control, and restrictive abortionlaws many women still resort to clandestine abortion providers for unintended pregnancy, resulting in about 3% obtainingunsafe abortions each year.[8][9] South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe have successful family planning programs, Compaq HSTNN-DB36 Battery

but other central and southern African countries continue to encounter extreme difficulties in achieving higher contraceptive prevalence and lower fertility for a wide variety of compounding reasons.

The one-child policy of the People's Republic of China requires couples to have no more than one child. Beginning in 1979, the policy was implemented to control rapid population growth.[11] Compaq HSTNN-DB53 Battery

Chinese women receive free contraception and family planning services.[12] Greater than 70% of those of childbearing age use contraception.[1] Since the policy was put into place in 1979, over 400 million births have been prevented.[12] Because of various exemptions, fertility rate is about 1.7 children per woman, down from 5.9 in the 1960s. Compaq HSTNN-IB04 Battery

A strong preference for boys and free access to fetus sex determination and abortion has resulted in an artificially high proportion of males in both rural and urban areas.

Awareness of contraception is near-universal among married women in India.[13] However, the vast majority of married Indians (76% in a 2009 study) reported significant problems in accessing a choice of contraceptive methods.[14] Compaq HSTNN-IB09 Battery

 In 2009, 48.3% of married women were estimated to use a contraceptive method, i.e. more than half of all married women did not.[14] About three-fourths of these were using female sterilization, which is by far the most prevalent birth-control method in India.[14]Condoms, at a mere 3%, were the next most prevalent method.[14] Compaq HSTNN-IB17 Battery

 Meghalaya, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh had the lowest usage of contraception among all Indian states with rates below 30%.

In 2011 just one in five Pakistani women aged 15 to 49 used modern birth control.[15] In 1994, Pakistan pledged that by 2010 it would provide universal access to family planning.[16] but contraception is shunned under traditional social norms.[15] Most women who say they do not want any more children or would like to wait a period of time before their next pregnancy do not have the contraceptive resources available to them in order to do so.[16] Compaq HSTNN-IB72 Battery

In the 1990s, women increasingly reported wanting fewer children, and 24 percent of recent births were reported to be unwanted or mistimed.[16] The rate of unwanted pregnancies is higher for women living in poor or rural environments; with two-thirds of women live in rural areas.[16] While 96 percent of married women were reported to know about at least one method of contraception, only half of them had ever used it.[16] Compaq HSTNN-N50C Battery

The most commonly reported reasons for married women electing not to use family planning methods include the belief that fertility should be determined by God (28%); opposition to use by the woman, her husband, others or a perceived religious prohibition (23%); infertility (15%); and concerns about health, side effects or the cost of family planning (12%).Compaq HSTNN-OB53 Battery

Contraception has been available for free under the National Health Service since 1974, and 74% of reproductive age women use some form of contraception.[17] The levonorgestrel intrauterine system has been massively popular.[17] Sterilization is popular in older age groups, among those 45-49, 29% of men and 21% of women have been sterilized.[17] Compaq HSTNN-OB77 Battery

Female sterilization has been declining since 1996, when the intrauterine system was introduced.[17] Emergency contraception has been available since the 1970s, a product was specifically licensed for emergency contraception in 1984, and emergency contraceptives became available over the counter in 2001.[17] Since becoming available over the counter it has not reduced the use of other forms of contraception, as some moralists feared it might.[17] Compaq HSTNN-OB80 Battery

In any year only 5% of women of childbearing age use emergency hormonal contraception.[17] Despite widespread availability of contraceptives, almost half of pregnancies were unintended circa 2005.[17] Abortion was legalized in 1967.

In the United States 98% of women have used birth control at some point in time and 62% of those of reproductive age are currently using birth control.[6] Compaq HSTNN-OB81 Battery

The two most common methods are the pill (11 million) and sterilization (10 million).[6] Despite the availability of highly effective contraceptives, about half of US pregnancies are unintended.[18] In the United States, contraceptive use saves about $19 billion in direct medical costs each year.[18] Usage of the IUD has more than tripled between 2002 and 2011 in the United States. Compaq HSTNN-OB84 Battery

In 2011, IUDs made up 10% of all birth control methods, with women increasingly viewing the IUD as the most convenient, safe, and effective yet reversible form of contraception.

The Ebers Papyrus from 1550 BCE and the Kahun Papyrus from 1850 BCE have within them some of the earliest documented descriptions of birth control, the use of honey, acacia leaves and lint to be placed in the vagina to block sperm.[1][2] Compaq HSTNN-Q05C Battery

The Book of Genesisreferences withdrawal, or coitus interruptus, as a method of contraception when Onan "spills his seed" (ejaculates) on the ground so as to not father a child with his deceased brother's wife Tamar.[1] In Ancient Greece it is believed that silphium was used as birth control which due to its effectiveness and thus desirability was harvested into extinction.[3] Compaq HSTNN-UB02 Battery

In medieval Europe any efforts to halt pregnancy were deemed immoral by the Catholic Church.[1] It is believed that women of the time still used a number of birth control measures such coitus interruptus, inserting lily root and rue into the vagina and infanticide after birth.[4] Casanova, during the Italian Renaissance described the use of a lambskin covering to prevent pregnancy however general availability of condoms did not occur until the 20th century.[1] Compaq HSTNN-W06C Battery

In 1909, Richard Richter developed the first intrauterine device made from silkworm gut which was further developed and marketed in Germany by Ernst Gräfenberg in the late 1920s.[5] In 1916 Margaret Sangeropened the first birth control clinic in the United States which resulted in her arrest.[1] This was followed in 1921 by the first clinic in the UK, opened by Marie Stopes.[1] Compaq HSTNN-W48C Battery

Gregory Pincus and John Rock with help from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America developed the first birth control pills in the 1950s which became publicly available in the 1960s.[6] Medical abortion became an alternative to surgical abortion with the availability of prostaglandin analogs in 1970s and the availability of mifepristone in the 1980s. Compaq HSTNN-XB77 Battery

Birth control and abortion are well documented in Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt. One of the earliest documents explicitly referring to birth control methods is the Kahun Gynecological Papyrus from about 1850 BCE. It describes various contraceptive pessaries, including acacia gum, which recent research has confirmed to have spermatocidal qualities and is still used in contraceptive jellies. Compaq HSTNN-XB80 Battery

 Other birth control methods mentioned in the papyrus include the application of gummy substances to cover the "mouth of the womb" (i.e. the cervix), a mixture of honey and sodium carbonate applied to the inside of the vagina, and a pessary made from crocodile dung. Lactation (breast-feeding) of up to three years was also used for birth control purposes in ancient Egypt.[2] HP Compaq HSTNN-105C Battery

Plants with contraceptive properties were used in Ancient Greece from the 7th century BCE onwards and documented by numerous ancient writers on gynaecology, such as Hippocrates. The botanistTheophrastus documented the use of Silphium, a plant well known for its contraceptive and abortifacient properties. The plant only grew on a small strip of land near the coastal city of Cyrene (located in modern day Libya), with attempts to cultivate it elsewhere failing. HP Compaq HSTNN-C12C Battery

Its price increased due to high demand, leading to it being worth "more than its weight in silver" by the 1st century BC. The high demand eventually led to the extinction of Silphium during the third or 2nd century BC. Asafoetida, a close relative of siliphion, was also used for its contraceptive properties. Other plants commonly used for birth control in ancient Greece include Queen Anne's lace (Daucus carota), HP Compaq HSTNN-C66C Battery

willow, date palm, pomegranate, pennyroyal, artemisia, myrrh, and rue. Some of these plants are toxic and ancient Greek documents specify safe dosages. Recent studies have confirmed the birth control properties of many of these plants, confirming for example that Queen Anne's lace has post coital anti-fertility properties. Queen Anne's lace is still used today for birth control in India. HP Compaq HSTNN-C66C-4 Battery

Like their neighboring ancient Greeks, Ancient Romans practiced contraception and abortion.[2]

The Talmud states that "there are three women that may cohabit with a sponge: a minor, a pregnant woman and one that nurses her child". Subsequent commentaries clarify that the "sponge" was an absorbent material, such as cotton or wool, intended to block sperm. HP Compaq HSTNN-C66C-5 Battery

In the 7th century BC, the Chinese physician Master Dongxuan documented both coitus reservatus and coitus obstructus, which prevents the release of semen during intercourse. However, it is not known if these methods were used primarily as birth control methods or to preserve the man's yang. In the same century Sun Simo documented the "thousand of gold contraceptive prescription" for women who no longer want to bear children. HP Compaq HSTNN-C67C Battery

This prescription, which was supposed to induce sterility, was made of oil and quicksilver heated together for one day and taken orally.[8]

Indians used a variety of birth control methods since ancient times, including a potion made of powdered palm leaf and red chalk, as well as vaginal suppositories made of honey, ghee, rock salt or the seeds of the palasa tree. HP Compaq HSTNN-C67C-4 Battery

A variety of birth control prescriptions, mainly made up of herbs and other plants, are listed in the 12th century Ratirahasya("Secret of Love") and the Anangaranga ("The Stage of the God of Love").

In the late 9th to early 10th century, the Persian physician Muhammad ibn Zakariya al-Razi documents coitus interruptus, preventing ejaculation and the use of suppositories to block the cervix as birth control methods. HP Compaq HSTNN-C67C-5 Battery

He describes a number of suppositories, including elephant dung, cabbages and pitch, used alone or in combination.[9] During the same period Ali ibn Abbas al-Majusi documents the use of suppositories made of rock salt for women for whom pregnancy may be dangerous. In the early 10th century the Persian Polymath Abu Ali al-Hussain ibn Abdallah ibn Sina, HP Compaq HSTNN-DB05 Battery

known in Europe as Avicenna, included a chapter on birth control in his medical encyclopedia The Canon of Medicine, documenting 20 different methods of preventing conception.

In modern Europe, knowledge of herbal abortifacients and contraceptives to regulate fertility has largely been lost.[10] HP Compaq HSTNN-DB06 Battery

Historian John M. Riddle found that this remarkable loss of basic knowledge can be attributed to attempts of the early modern European states to "repopulate" Europe after dramatic losses following the plague epidemics that started in 1348.[10] According to Riddle, one of the policies implemented by the church and supported by feudal lords to destroy the knowledge of birth control included the initiation of witch hunts against midwives, HP Compaq HSTNN-DB0E Battery

who had knowledge of herbal abortifacients and contraceptives.[10][11][12]

On December 5, 1484, Pope Innocent VIII issued the Summis desiderantes affectibus, a papal bull in which he recognized the existence of witches and gave full papal approval for the Inquisition to proceed "correcting, imprisoning, punishing and chastising" witches "according to their deserts." HP Compaq HSTNN-DB11 Battery

In the bull, which is sometimes referred to as the "Witch-Bull of 1484", the witches were explicitly accused of having "slain infants yet in the mother's womb" (abortion) and of "hindering men from performing the sexual act and women from conceiving" (contraception).[13] Famous texts that served to guide the witch hunt and instruct magistrates on how to find and convict so-called "witches" include the Malleus MaleficarumHP Compaq HSTNN-DB16 Battery

and Jean Bodin's De la demonomanie des sorciers.[14] The Malleus Maleficarum was written by the priest J. Sprenger (born in Rheinfelden, today Switzerland), who was appointed by Pope Innocent VIII as the General Inquisitor for Germany around 1475, and H. Institoris, who at the time was inquisitor for Tyrol, Salzburg, Bohemia and Moravia. HP Compaq HSTNN-DB28 Battery

The authors accused witches, among other things, of infanticide and having the power to steal men's penises.[15]

Barrier methods such as the condom have been around much longer, but were seen primarily as a means of preventing sexually transmitted diseases, not pregnancy.Casanova in the 18th century was one of the first reported using "assurance caps" to prevent impregnating his mistresses.[16][17] HP Compaq HSTNN-DB29 Battery

Restrictive legislation on birth control was continually employed by European governments throughout the period of mercantilism and formed the backbone of the populationist strategy of this era. The mercantilists argued that a large population was a form of wealth, making it possible to create bigger markets and armies. HP Compaq HSTNN-DB67 Battery

The intense violence during the mercantilist era of the 17th and 18th centuries in Europe can be seen as a result of successful political implementation of population growth by means of restricting birth control, which created an enormous youth bulge. This youth bulge, as explained by the theory of that name, in turn fueled imperialist expansion of the European empires.[18] HP Compaq HSTNN-FB05 Battery

Birth control was a contested political issue in Britain during the 19th century. Malthusians were in favour of limiting population growth and therefore promoted birth control through organisations such as the Malthusian League, while the idea was opposed by a variety of groups, for different reasons, from thesocialists to the established church. HP Compaq HSTNN-FB18 Battery

In the United Kingdom, birth rates declined from almost 35.5 births per 1,000 in the 1870s to about 29 per 1,000 by 1900. While the cause is uncertain, the 29% decline within a generation shows that the birth control methods Victorian women used were effective. The trial of Charles Bradlaugh and Annie Besant for republishing Charles Knowlton's The Fruits of  Philosophypopularized the book and taught many women about contraception and how to avoid pregnancy. HP Compaq HSTNN-FB51 Battery

While the rhythm method was not yet understood, condoms and diaphragms made of vulcanized rubber were reliable and inexpensive.[19]Contraception was legal in the United States throughout most of the 19th century, but in the 1870s the Comstock Act and various state Comstock laws outlawed the distribution of information aboutsafe sex and contraception and the use of contraceptives. HP Compaq HSTNN-FB52 Battery

The phrase "birth control" entered the English language in 1914 and was popularised by Margaret Sanger and Otto Bobsein.[20][21] Sanger was mainly active in the United States, but had gained an international reputation by the 1930s. The birth control campaigner Marie Stopes, who had opened Britain's first birth control clinic in 1921 and made contraception acceptable during the 1920s by framing it in scientific terms, also gained an international reputation. HP Compaq HSTNN-I04C Battery

On opening their birth control clinic on 9 November 1921 at 153a East Street, Walworth, the Malthusian League commented that the clinic which Marie Stopes 'and her equally courageous and public-spirited husband' opened nine months earlier was the first in the British Empire (but not the first in the world). HP Compaq HSTNN-I12C Battery

However, the League always emphasised that theirs was the first English clinic where birth control instruction was given under medical supervision.[22] Their honorary medical officer was the influential birth control crusader, Australian-born Norman Haire. Two American researchers, Norman Himes and his wife Vera, said these two clinics 'opened up a new period in the history of the movement aimed at the emancipation of women from their slavery to the reproductive function'.[23] HP Compaq HSTNN-I39C Battery

They helped relatively few patients in 1921 but this was a victory and, as two British historians (Clive Wood and Beryl Suitters) made clear, 'the year was one of the most important in the whole history of birth control simply because of their very existence'.[24]' Stopes was particularly influential in helping emerging birth control movements in a number of British colonies.[25] HP Compaq HSTNN-I40C Battery

"Birth control" was advanced as an alternative to the then-fashionable terms "family limitation" and "voluntary motherhood."[20][21] Family limitation referred to deliberate attempts by couples to end childbearing after the desired number of children had been born.[26] Voluntary motherhood had been coined by feministsin the 1870s as a political critique of "involuntary motherhood" and expressing a desire for women's emancipation.HP Compaq HSTNN-I44C Battery

Advocates for voluntary motherhood disapproved of contraception, arguing that women should only engage in sex for the purpose of procreation and advocated for periodic or permanentabstinence.[29]In contrast, the birth control movement advocated for contraception so as to permit sexual intercourse as desired without the risk of pregnancy.[30] HP Compaq HSTNN-I44C-A Battery

By emphasising "control", the birth control movement argued that women should have control over their reproduction; the movement had close ties to feminism. Slogans such as "control over our own bodies" criticised male domination and demanded women's liberation, a connotation that is absent from family planning,population control and eugenics. HP Compaq HSTNN-I44C-B Battery

Though in the 1980s birth control and population control organisations co-operated in demanding rights to contraception and abortion, with an increasing emphasis on "choice."[31]

The societal acceptance of birth control required the separation of sexual activity from procreation, making birth control a highly controversial subject in some countries at some points in the 20th century.[32] HP Compaq HSTNN-I45C Battery

Birth control has become a major theme in feminist politics; reproduction issues are cited as examples of women's powerlessness to exercise their rights.[33] In the 1960s and 1970s the birth control movement advocated for the legalisation of abortion and large scale education campaigns about contraception by governments.[32] HP Compaq HSTNN-I45C-A Battery

In a broader context birth control has become an arena for conflict between liberal and conservative values, raising questions about family, personal freedom, state intervention, religion in politics, sexual morality and social welfare.

In 1965, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in the case Griswold v. Connecticutthat a Connecticut law prohibiting the use of contraceptives violated the constitutional "right to marital privacy".HP Compaq HSTNN-I45C-B Battery

In 1972, the case Eisenstadt v. Baird expanded the right to possess and use contraceptives to unmarried couples.

In France, the 1920 Birth Law contained a clause that criminalized dissemination of birth-control literature.[34] That law, however, was annulled in 1967 by the Neuwirth Law, thus authorizing contraception, which was followed in 1975 with the Veil Law. HP Compaq HSTNN-I48C-A Battery

Women fought for reproductive rights and they helped end the nation's ban on birth control in 1965.[35] In 1994, 5% of French women aged 20 to 49 who were at risk of unintended pregnancy did not use contraception.[36]

The availability of contraception in the Republic of Ireland was illegal in the Irish Free State (later the Republic of Ireland) from 1935 until 1980, when it was legalised with strong restrictions, later loosened. 

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This reflected Catholic teachings on sexual morality. In Italy women gained the right to access birth control information in 1970.[35]

In the Soviet Union birth control was made readily available to facilitate social equality between men and women. Alexandra Kollontai, USSR commissar for public welfare, promoted birth control education for adults. HP Compaq HSTNN-I49C Battery

A recent, well-studied example of governmental restriction of birth control in order to promote higher birth rates was the post-World War II Nicolae Ceauşescu era in Romania.[37][38] The surge in births resulting from Decree 770 lead to great hardships for children and parents. In Eastern Europe and Russia, natality fell abruptly after the end of the Soviet Union. HP Compaq HSTNN-I50C-B Battery,HP Compaq HSTNN-I54C Battery,HP Compaq HSTNN-I64C-5 Battery

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