Credit: TheMedGuru

The small pill that altered the direction of women's rights and human sexuality - introduced in the US back in 1960 and marketed in Australia six months after - turns fifty on Tuesday.

The oral contraceptive pill has become the most widely-used and socially-approved way for women to have an upper hand in the matters of their own fertility.

According to Dr Edith Weisberg from Sydney, social reforms that had taken place all these years would not have occurred without the significant role played by the contraceptive commonly referred to as the pill.

She said, I think that the fact women could control their own fertility gave them far more options in their life.

It certainly offered women broader alternatives to further their studies, to become professional, build careers and at the same time able to plan when and if they are ready for a child, said Dr Weisberg.

... it gave them many more reasons to fight for equal rights, she said.

Nearly 100 million women across the globe are on the pill, which consists of a mix of hormones that interrupt their fertility cycle.

The pill carries a 99 per cent success rate, if taken properly, thus making it the most efficient method of birth control.

It was also prescribed to lessen period pain, excessive bleeding and acne in young women, said Dr Weisberg.

Studies have revealed women who took the pill for more than 4 years had decreased incidence of ovarian and womb cancer.

Dr Weisberg believed that the oral contraceptive pill has made a significant contribution to the way sex was talked about - nudging it away from the limited context of contraception - and it consequently resulted to more liberal perception regarding sexuality.