'Norlestrin' oral contraceptive pills

1960-1970 in England
Parke, Davis and Company

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Collection of early contraceptive pills, various manufacturers, 1960-1980, with associated printed ephemera Clockwise
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Combined monophasic early contraceptive pills, "Norlestrin", with instruction leaflet and plastic dispenser, 2 packets, 1960-1970

‘Norlestrin’, shown in the circular pack, is one of the earliest oral contraceptive pills. This ‘dial pack’ reminded women when to take the pill. Manufacturers designed special packaging such as this soon after the oral contraceptive pill was launched in the 1960s.

Monophasic pills such as Norlestrin are taken for 21 days, at the same time each day, with a week in between packets. The pill suppresses ovulation, which is the release of eggs into the womb. They also make it difficult for sperm to reach an egg, or for an egg to implant itself in the lining of the womb. Each pill contains the same amount of oestrogen. The pills are shown with other oral contraceptives.


Obstetrics, Gynaecology & Contraception
oral contraceptive pill
  • drug
  • tablet
Donated by the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine, Contemporary Medical Archive Centre

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