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Source: Wikipedia. Pages: 46. Chapters: Emergency contraception, Combined oral contraceptive pill, Depo-Provera, IUD with progestogen, NuvaRing, Contraceptive patch, Extended cycle combined hormonal contraceptive, Emergency contraceptive availability by country, Norplant, Ormeloxifene, Oral contraceptive formulations, Implanon, Progestogen-only pill, Ulipristal acetate, Ethinylestradiol, Levonorgestrel, Diosgenin, Yuzpe regimen, Desogestrel, Trestolone, The Pill, Breakthrough bleeding, Ludwig Haberlandt, Nelson Pill Hearings, Combined injectable contraceptive, Mestranol, Vaginal ring, Enovid, Norethisterone acetate, Norethynodrel, Junel, Estrostep, Progestogen only contraception, Synphasic. Excerpt: The combined oral contraceptive pill (COCP), often referred to as the birth-control pill or colloquially as "the Pill", is a birth control method that includes a combination of an estrogen (oestrogen) and a progestin (progestogen). When taken by mouth every day, these pills inhibit female fertility. They were first approved for contraceptive use in the United States in 1960, and are a very popular form of birth control. They are currently used by more than 100 million women worldwide and by almost 12 million women in the United States. Usage varies widely by country, age, education, and marital status: one third of women aged 16 49 in Great Britain currently use either the combined pill or a progestogen-only "minipill", compared to only 1% of women in Japan. By the 1930s, scientists had isolated and determined the structure of the steroid hormones and found that high doses of androgens, estrogens or progesterone inhibited ovulation, but obtaining them from European pharmaceutical companies produced from animal extracts was extraordinarily expensive. In 1939, Russell Marker, a professor of organic chemistry at Pennsylvania State University, developed a method of synthesizing progesterone from plant steroid sapogenins, initially using sarsapogenin from sarsaparilla, which proved too expensive. After three years of extensive botanical research, he discovered a much better starting material, the saponin from inedible Mexican yams (Dioscorea mexicana) found in the rain forests of Veracruz near Orizaba. The saponin could be converted in the lab to its aglycone moiety diosgenin. Unable to interest his research sponsor Parke-Davis in the commercial potential of synthesizing progesterone from Mexican yams, Marker left Penn State and in 1944 co-founded Syntex with two partners in Mexico City before leaving Syntex a year later. Syntex broke the monopoly of European pharmaceutical companies on steroid hormones, reducing the price of progesterone almost 200-fold over the next ei
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