Ever heard of the ‘Pope Rule’?
Well, it might very well disgust you.
Before the pill became available to married women in the UK in 1961, American obstetrician and gynaecologist, John Rock, devised the ‘break’ in the pill, hoping this would help it to imitate a woman’s natural cycle, and therefore please the pope.
So, if your contraceptive pill packet contains seven placebo pills, or only contains 21 pills, this is due to an effort made in the sixties to please the Catholic Church and Pope John XXIII.
It turns out however, Rock’s efforts were no use and in 1968, Pope Paul VI would declare all forms of artificial contraception to be against church doctrine.
By then, the pill had already become available on the market and so the ‘break’ (in some cases, seven pills that were merely sugar and containing no hormones) became the standard.
Yesterday, the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) in the UK, who propose guidance and help set standards on reproductive health for the NHS, said the contraceptive pill can be taken every day of the month.
After many doctors advising patients against a seven day break, in an effort to avoid unwanted pregnancies, it now seems that after 60 odd years, this advice could become the standard.
According to The Telegraph, Dr Diana Mansour, vice president for clinical quality at FSRH, said;
“The guideline suggests that by taking fewer hormone-free intervals – or shortening them to four days – it’s possible that women could reduce the risk of getting pregnant on combined hormonal contraception.”