Make the only non-hormonal birth control pill Centchroman (Saheli) available in the UK

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Women go through endless struggles trying to figure out what contraception is right for them, often facing various side effects which women are told to simply deal with. Advice from GPs can be influenced by pharmaceutical profits, rather than women’s best interests. There is an alternative NON HORMONAL and NON STEROIDAL option we, as a country are unaware of.

It is effective not only against conception, but also has anticancer action (against breast, ovarian and head and neck cancer) and against bone desorption (osteoporosis). Saheli is a friend which guards against several problems!

Launched in 1991, Saheli contraceptive pill is a product of Hindustan Latex Ltd, developed by the Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI), Lucknow. Saheli contains the molecule Centchroman which instead of using oestrogen to prevent pregnancy, blocks oestrogen thus preventing an egg implanting. Marking the freedom of choice for women, Saheli is a safe and reversible contraceptive option. It uses an active ingredient Ormeloxifene which is a unique combination of weak oestrogenic and potent anti-oestrogenic and In turn inhibits pregnancy. Yet, at the same time, it does not alter or disturb the other effects of oestrogen.

1. It need not be taken daily as it stays well absorbed in the body for over 170 hours, a weekly dose suffices.

2. It does not affect ovulation (and thus does not disturb any hormonal balance) but prevents implantation, the key step in pregnancy. 98% effective at preventing pregnancy statistically matching most hormonal birth control pills offered. 

3. It can be taken even after sexual intercourse, thus useful even in cases of rape.

4. Since it has no steroidal component, the associated side-effects are absent.

5. Upon discontinuing the drug, fertility can be regained, thus making it suitable for spacing children.

The Netflix series ‘Sex, Explained’ brought this to our attention and highlighted the UKs lack of education surrounding female contraception options especially the limited non hormonal options (Copper IUD being the sole option).

We want the UK government along with the NHS to recognise this drug as an option for the women of the UK.