New Year’s Eve is renowned as a time of contraceptive mistakes

Sweetening the Pill

What one girl found out about the birth control pill that you ought to know

Balancing act

Happy New Year – according to the Back Up Your Birth Control campaign, the night of New Year’s Eve is renowned as a time of contraceptive mistakes, broken condoms and missed pills. Or ‘birth control oops’ as they like to call it. The campaign encouraged young women to send their friends a ‘funny morning after message’ through their web page, reminding them of the availability of the emergency contraceptive pill in case they had indeed had a birth control oops.

The title of this project is Don’t Drop The Ball, which I am assuming is a reference to the ball drop in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, but comes across as some sort of an affront. Like, once women have had their fun, they mustn’t forget it is totally their responsibility to make sure that no baby comes of it all. It kind of suggests in a patronising way that a woman can fail a man by not taking a massive dose of synthetic hormones to prevent her body getting pregnant. Like if she did get pregnant, it would be all her fault for being irresponsible.

It even seems to suggest young women should be taking the emergency contraceptive pill after casual sex even if they are on the birth control pill or used a condom, therefore implying that they were probably too drunk to remember if they did take their pill or use a condom and generally not to be trusted. Rather brilliant marketing on the part of the makers of emergency contraceptive pills. We have been convinced we need to use the pill to ‘back up’ perfectly safe condoms and now we need to use the emergency pill to ‘back up’ the every day pill and the condoms.



Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.