The intertemporal evolution of contraception. Literature review

Leila Top, Nicolaos Salakos, Michalis Kaloeidas, Georgios Koumantakis, Perilkis Panagopoulos, Efthimios Deligeoroglou

Aim: The aim of this study is to summarize the methods used for contraception from antiquity to nowadays and to highlight the latest ones with their advantages and disadvantages.
Materials and Methods: In order to gather the following data, scientific papers from the PUBMED database, ancient texts, historical data, newer article-searching literature, contraceptive methods and the collection of books of the Family Planning Department of the 2nd Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology of the Aretaieion Hospital.
Results: Contraception is a means of controlling fertility, is an old and sexual function. The history of contraception began with the discovery of the relationship between intercourse and pregnancy. Over the years many contraceptive methods have emerged, involving mechanical components up to the use of pharmaceuticals, and several of them were natural and others were artificial.
Conclusions: Today contraception provides the couples with the opportunity to determine both the time and number of pregnancies. The progress in the decrease of the number of unwanted pregnancies and the provision of contraception with minimal side effects is a collective effort requiring constant collaboration of reliable clinics, scientists and volunteers of clinical trials in combination with the collaboration of the pharmaceutical industry, family planning organizations and the government. The new contraception alternatives are going to improve the opportunities of an appropriate, acceptable contraceptive method by the wider public, eliminating thus birth control failure.

Key Words: Contraception, methods of contraception, history of contraception, new methods of contraception.

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