What is Saheli?

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What is Saheli? Blog Image


Dr Nitya Anand, who discovered India’s first oral contraceptive pill, ‘Saheli’, passed away recently.

About Saheli:

  • Saheli is the world’s first and only oral non-steroidal contraceptive pill.
  • ‘Saheli’, aka Centchroman (ormeloxifene 30mg), is the only non–steroidal pill with zero side effects available in the world.
  • The pill, launched by HLL in 1991, is free from side effects like weight gain, nausea, vomiting and headaches as it contains the molecule Centchroman (ormeloxifene) as the active ingredient.
  • All common brands of oral contraceptive pills contain hormones like oestrogen or progesterone, or a combination of both; only Saheli is free of these steroids and hence has no side effects. 
  • This drug was included in the National Family Welfare Programme in 1995.

Oestrogen and Progesterone:

  • Oestrogen (also called 'estrogen') and progesterone are hormones that are important for sexual and reproductive development in women.
  • Production:

o The ovaries are a pair of ova-producing organs (that is, they produce egg cells) that maintain the health of the female reproductive system.

o In addition to their role in producing ova, the ovaries also have the distinction of being an endocrine gland because they secrete hormonesprimarily estrogen and progesterone.

  • They are both important for the menstrual cycle and maintenance of pregnancy in females and are combinedly prescribed in birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy for menopause.

· While they are often thought of as ‘female hormones’, oestrogen and progesterone are also found in men. 

Q1: What is an endocrine gland?

Endocrine glands release hormones into the bloodstream. This lets the hormones travel to cells in other parts of the body. The endocrine hormones help control mood, growth and development, the way our organs work, metabolism , and reproduction. The endocrine system regulates how much of each hormone is released.Important endocrine glands include the pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, thymus, and adrenal glands.

Source:Dr Nitya Anand, man who discovered India's first oral contraceptive pill 'Saheli', dies at 99