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BBC DOCUMENTARY: Did you take the Pill in the 1970s?

(24 Posts)
MEDIA: Tamar @ 7Wonder Mon 26-Feb-18 15:01:01

…and do you remember getting the Pill for free after 1974?

We’re making a BBC4 history series about the NHS for their 70th anniversary this summer, and are keen to to include a story about the Pill becoming free for all women irrespective of their marital status and income in 1974.

So, if you took the Pill in the 1970s and remember when it became free, please email Tamar at [email protected] - all conversations are confidential.

We’re particularly keen to speak to women who kept their Pill boxes!

tanith Mon 26-Feb-18 15:30:57

I had my first child in 1969 and I'm pretty certain I was prescribed the pill on the NHS after I had the baby, sorry but there's no chance I kept the box it came in.

Charleygirl Mon 26-Feb-18 15:35:01

I also was on the pill in those days but I would have had at least 5 house moves so no way would I have kept the box that the pill was dispensed in. It is not something I would have kept.

Smithy Mon 26-Feb-18 15:59:28

I was prescribed the pill from 1973 -1974 then again from 1975 for several years. I can't remember if /when they were free and I wouldn't think anyone would have kept the boxes - it is a long long time ago!

Nonnie Mon 26-Feb-18 16:21:05

I was on the pill in 1968/9 when there was a big scare and the one I was on was high on the list of ones not to take! I don't think I paid anything more than the prescription price but maybe no one even pays that now.

I would be worried about anyone who had kept a pill packet that long!

BlueBelle Mon 26-Feb-18 16:41:35

I was on the pill after 73 I would have been on benefits then on my own with three small children so didn’t pay There would be no reason to keep the pill packet as I ve moved a few times since then

silverlining48 Mon 26-Feb-18 16:52:34

I was on the pill from 1968 to 1974. It was only given to married women or those who were about to marry. Date of wedding and name of fiancé had to be provided. Like many others I bought a metal curtain ring to wear and went along with my then boyfriend ( now husband of 48 years)and we sat in the waiting room. Everyone was called in as Mrs somebody, ie their married name. When I was called in as Mrs boyfriends name I just kept on reading my magazine and totally ignored/ didn’t recognise it was my turn. This was London, and they talk about the swinging 60’s? Ha!

M0nica Mon 26-Feb-18 17:54:42

I also took the pill from 1968 to 1971 and then from 74 - 79. I cannot remember ever having to pay for it. I always had it on prescription from 1968 onwards.

NonnaW Mon 26-Feb-18 19:22:47

I took the pill from 1970, just before marrying, must have stopped sometime in 1975, started again after firstborn in 1976. I really don’t remember if it was free or not. No box, sorry, why would you.

f77ms Mon 26-Feb-18 19:30:58

I was on the pill from 68 -74 , it was free from the family planning clinic married or single . Of course I didn`t keep the box !

fiorentina51 Mon 26-Feb-18 19:42:47

I was a dispenser back in the late 60's and 70's and can remember when you could only get the pill on private prescription. You had to pay the doctor for writing the script then pay the chemist for the pills. I think they were only available to married women at first.
Early 1970's family planning association clinics became more widespread making all forms of contraception easier to access.
By 1973 the pill was free of charge.
Such a rapid period of change!

Chewbacca Mon 26-Feb-18 19:52:45

I was on the pill from 1973 - 1981 and obtained it, free of charge from the Family Planning clinic. My GP refused to prescribe it because I was only engaged to be married and didn't have a wedding certificate! Can't remember the name of the pill but it began with M, I think.

Cherrytree59 Mon 26-Feb-18 19:56:54

1978. Free - family planning clinic
No box
Good luck with that.grin

Have you researched museums
There are quite a few that display tins and packets from bygone ages including the seventies.
I visited a National Trust property last year (unfortunately cant remember which one) that had a large display case with previous families medicines and tablets etc still in original packaging.
May be worth getting in touch with English and Scottish National Trusts.

varian Mon 26-Feb-18 20:07:37

My GP prescribed the pill for me in 1966 when I told him I was about to get married.

trisher Mon 26-Feb-18 20:16:49

I started on the pill in 68/69 and was on it until 1976 Married in 1970. A very sympathetic GP prescribed it for the girls in my college who were sexually active- no questions asked. As far as I remember it was in a plastic sheet and you popped it out- days of the week written on each one, so never saw a box.

Ailsa43 Tue 27-Feb-18 00:07:39

Can't remember if there was a box or not, I suspect there must have been but I do remember the days of the week on each strip of pills. I was first on the pill in 1973 , it was free, and I was never asked if I was married or engaged..I wasn't but was given the pill without any problems . I came off the pill in '75, and restarted again after the birth of my child in '76 and stayed on until around '86

janeainsworth Tue 27-Feb-18 07:37:27

And then there was the Gillick case
which had all sorts of consequences for young people giving consent to medical treatment, quite apart from contraception.

Blinko Tue 27-Feb-18 11:20:47

I was on the Pill from around 1968 to 84. C-quens21 and Minovlar. C-quens21 was on that list of pills which were found to be harmful. Mine were prescribed through a family planning clinic from the outset and I don't recall paying for them. I did have to give expected date of marriage and other personal info quite unconnected with the actual pill.

How times change.

Willow500 Tue 27-Feb-18 13:07:58

I was on it from the birth of my first baby in 1971 - can't remember the name and definitely don't have any packets left - would anyone?! I didn't pay for it though - it was given free at the family planning clinic.

Grandma2213 Wed 28-Feb-18 00:12:20

I went to the family planning clinic as a college student and was given the pill free without my relationships being questioned though I was an older student at 21. That was about 1969/70 and I continued to take it until my first baby in 1977 when I married, though I had to have a 3 month break for it to 'get out of my system' every couple of years.

I too remember a plastic pack with the days of the week written on them. I think that might have been in a box but I'm not sure.

I remember the time of the scare and my pill was changed. I recall the names Gynovular and Minovular but don't know which came first.

I conceived my second two babies during enforced breaks from the pill so clearly my 'system' continued to work despite taking it for 10 years plus.

OurKid1 Wed 28-Feb-18 14:53:35

I took Ovysmen from 1975 till 1979; then Logynon (I think that was what it was - it was phased to avoid high doses all month) intermittently, having a break in 1982/3 to have my second child, then until 1990 or so. No problems, except that I did develop a brown line (chloasma??) along my upper lip. It's gone now though!

activerelaxer Wed 28-Feb-18 15:49:49

I was prescribed the pill in 1977 when I turned 18. I had not been sure of confidentiality before then. When I visited my GP, he insisted on giving me a smear test then and there as condition of prescribing - I have always wondered if this was standard practice or for his own amusement.

I continued to take some form of pill for the next 14 years.

rascal Wed 28-Feb-18 16:02:58

Yes it I think it was was called Minovlar. smile

Morgana Wed 28-Feb-18 17:51:15

Oh yes I remember the family planning clinics. They were always staffed by older women (they were probably in their 40's!). I came off the pill after a few years, had a copper coil and got pregnant!