Today, most of us take birth control for granted, with information and advice on sexual health and contraception widely available. However, less than 100 years ago this was not the case. In 1921, Marie Stopes, pictured, opened Britain’s first birth control clinic. Prior to this, birth control had not been considered necessary. Children often died, and couples often had lots of children in the hope that a few would survive. However, as hygiene and medicine improved, children began to live longer and attitudes changed. Stopes’ clinic offered advice on reproductive health and provided contraceptives such as spermicides and cervical caps. In 1925, the clinic relocated from north to central London, where it remains today. It is now head of the worldwide Marie Stopes International organisation. Beyond birth control, Stopes campaigned for women’s rights, and was the first female academic at the University of Manchester where she worked on plant fossils.
BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.
BPoD is also available in Catalan at www.bpod.cat with translations by the University of Valencia.