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When Was the Birth Control Pill Approved By the FDA?

FDA Approval of the Oral Contraceptive Enovid


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first oral contraceptive pill, commonly known as "the Pill," on May 9, 1960. The first birth control pill approved was Enovid, an oral contraceptive manufactured by the pharmaceutical company Searle.

Although Enovid was not approved for use as a birth control pill until 1960, the FDA had actually approved the drug for treatment of menstrual disorders a few years earlier, in 1957. It is commonly thought that the increasing number of women who took Enovid for these "severe menstrual disorders" during the late 1950s were actually taking the pill to prevent pregnancy, because they knew it prevented ovulation.

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