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On-line version ISSN 2340-7948Print version ISSN 0211-9536


RODRIGUEZ-OCANA, Esteban; IGNACIUK, Agata  and  ORTIZ-GOMEZ, Teresa. Ovulation inhibitors and contraceptives: Medical knowledge of the "pill" in Spain during Francoism and the democratic transition (1940-1979). Dynamis [online]. 2012, vol.32, n.2, pp.467-494. ISSN 2340-7948.

This paper explores the reception and assimilation of knowledge on oral contraception by gynaecologists in Spain, starting with an analysis of a wide spectrum of medical publications, especially journals. We observe that the management of synthetic hormones in Spain followed a similar pattern to that in other European countries. Thus, the option of inhibiting ovulation as a therapeutic measure was known and used during the 20 years that followed the Spanish civil war. However, its contraceptive use had to overcome the restrictions of a dictatorial regime, its pro-natalist ideology and the predominance of the catholic church. After a decade of doubts, the church had included the pill in their general condemnation of sterilisation and abortion. Nevertheless, professional pressure, religious admonition and directly suppressive action failed to prevent development of the first contraceptive medical services from 1969 onwards.

Keywords : contraception; pill; biological drugs; Spain; Francoism.

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