Contraceptives: The Billion Dollar Industry


Maverick Mendoza

THE PREVENTIVE PRECAUTION BEFORE PREGNANCY: With over 18 types of birth control out today, and more users indulging in safe sex, the market for the this industry is predicted to grow to over $33 billion by 2023. The most popular form of birth control in women is known as “the pill” and is available in two forms the combination, and the hormonal.

Bettina Sanford, Staff Writer

Birth control was first invented in the 1950s by Maragret Sanger. Since its creation many forms of the pill were made, and the market is predicted to grow to over $33 billion by 2023. Planned Parenthood identifies 18 birth control methods and options for preventing pregnancy on their website. And apparently only 19.4% of people who use birth control use the pill. The pill has multiple uses including helping regulate periods, Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, acne, menstrual cramps, and low estrogen conditions. Of course, the pill also helps prevent pregnancy for sexually active women. Over 10 million women in the United States use the pill to prevent pregnancy. Eighty-six percent of women on oral contraception use them as a form of birth control and 58% use them in part for acne, anemia, or premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

Obtaining birth control can be kind of tricky for individuals under 18 whose parents might not allow them to go on it. Senior Anna Olsen said “Birth control allows for another choice to be made earlier on” when talking about using the pill versus potentially having to abort or use a morning after pill. Olsen is a member of the Pill Club, which is an online inclusive birth control distributor. They offer a variety of over 100 brands of birth control as well as little gifts included in their packages when they ship to you. Their website promotes a healthy happy lifestyle for women and provides information on sex education as well as cost, insurance, and side effects of their product. On the Q&A page on their website they display some more frequently asked questions, one being, “I’m on my parents’ insurance and I don’t want them to know I’m on birth control. What can I do?” The Pill Club answers, “If you don’t live in California: You can contact your insurance company to keep your birth control confidential from your cardholder while using their insurance. For California residents: To keep your birth control confidential from your parents while using their insurance, you can contact you insurance company! Ask them if they accept a Confidential Communications Request and how you can submit one.”

With the use of birth control also comes thoughts of not only what would parents think but also peers and society. Freshman Mikayla McGrath said, “I‌ ‌think‌ ‌there‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌negative‌ ‌connotation,‌ ‌but‌ ‌I‌ ‌also‌ ‌don’t‌ ‌think‌ ‌people‌ ‌are‌ ‌very‌ ‌aware‌ ‌of‌ ‌when‌ ‌someone‌ ‌is‌ ‌taking‌ ‌it.”‌ Teen’s access to birth control information and the contraceptive itself has long been controversial. Sophomore Christiana Mateas said, “My‌ ‌mom‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌nurse‌ ‌so‌ ‌I‌ ‌think‌ ‌she‌ ‌wouldn’t‌ ‌be‌ ‌opposed‌ ‌to‌ ‌it‌ ‌if‌ ‌I‌ ‌need‌ ‌it.”‌  The first time people were questioned about birth control was done in a study by Gallup in 1937. Gallup did a poll where he questioned if birth control pills should be available to teenage girls. In 1966, 79% of people questioned said no, in 1969, 70% of people questioned said no, and in 1973 only 48% of people questioned said no.Over time wide spread use and social change occurred within America. According to the Roper Center, “In a 2010 CBS poll, Americans were asked about the impact of the development of the birth control pill. Half the country saw the development of the pill as having changed American family life for the better, while only 11% said it had changed for the worse.” Senior Arya Mavath said, “I‌ ‌think‌ ‌it‌ ‌is‌ ‌important‌ ‌that‌ ‌everyone‌ ‌has‌ ‌access‌ ‌to‌ ‌it.”‌

There are two main types of pills. One is the combination pill and the other is the hormonal pill. The combination pill uses estrogen and progestin to prevent the ovaries from releasing eggs. This helps prevent sperm from joining with the egg in the uterus by thickening cervical mucus. It is 91% effective and available from most doctors and health clinics. Depending on what insurance you have the price can range from $0-$50 a month, plus the cost of the doctor’s visit. Some women prefer this pill because they do not like other forms of birth control that need to be inserted or implanted. The downside is you need to take the pill daily at the same time, and if you forget to you have to use another birth control form in addition to the combination pill. The hormonal pill on the other hand, also known as the mini pill, uses progestin to thicken cervical mucus and affects how your ovaries release eggs. It is also 91% effective and just as available as the combination pill, as well as also ranging from free to $50 plus the doctor’s visit. Cons of the pill are the same as the combination pill as well as potential increase in some effects of your period like breast tenderness. Overall both are relatively similar with minor differences, when deciding which one is right for you it is best to consult with your doctor. Also factor in you reasoning for using the pill as that might affect which one would be a better fit for your lifestyle or if the pill is even the best option for you.