Even Margaret Sanger had to travel to France to learn ""the secrets"" of birth control which physicians refused to share with her and her lower class midwifery patients, and years later Mrs. Sanger personally had to convince Gregory Pincus that he ought to investigate the practical possibilities of his research into ovulation. This unusual medical history focuses on the scientists and doctors who unraveled the secret of conception and on the developments in physiology -- particularly the study and synthesizing of hormones -- which led to the oral contraceptive. In keeping with her conservative reservations toward the pill's possible side effects, Loebl also traces the origins of less sophisticated methods (condoms, diaphragms, etc.), improvements in the IUD, and abortion. All are considered in the context of the futile and often dangerous superstitions that preceded them and the barriers of law and moral disapproval which have delayed both research and its dissemination. A highly relevant, cross-disciplinary survey -- recalling and itself demonstrating how far we've come from the conspiracy of silence and ignorance that prevailed only 75 years ago.