The pill was A Thing That Almost Didn't Happen. Too many side effects made clinical trial patients drop out. The inventors lied and coerced women to participate, eventually even moving to Puerto Rico with the hopes that poorer brown women would make better guinea pigs.
2627type28b29contents30type31text32contents33Women locked up at a Massachusetts mental asylum were signed up.34type35text36contents37 Women enrolled in medical school in San Juan were told they had to take part in the medical test or face expulsion.38
The pill was launched to the masses despite causing illness -- from bloating to mood changes to blood clots -- in over 1/5 of the trial population:
Incredibly, around the same time hormonal pills were also invented for men. But men couldn't tolerate the side effects and, duh, their complaints were taken seriously and the man pill never took off.
7576type77b78contents79type80text81contents82It was believed women would tolerate side effects83type84text85contents86 better than men
I guess men just had less chill about potentially suffering for a greater cause?
Of course, medicine is finally catching up. Studies are now showing the link between contraceptives and depression. Uh thanks, science? For finally validating that women were not just being a bitch or naturally more depression-prone. Now do something about it.
This is how one of the earliest pills look like in its creepy metal-capped orange glass bottle:
Don't get me wrong though. The pill has been and is still a breakthrough. It has helped millions of women make better decisions about their bodies. It has helped women with painful periods and other hormone-related conditions.
Some of the shady practices (like lying and forcing) that happened during the pill's early clinical trials also helped push the medical field to be better about informing patients of what they deserve to know.
But across the board women are still not taken seriously when they talk about the pill's devastating side effects.184just suck it up185