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A decade since their much-publicized introduction, low-dose birth control pills are still struggling to gain popularity in Japan due to strong fears about side effects.

September marked the 10th anniversary of their introduction in the country, but the number of users was estimated at just 3 percent of women between the ages of 16 to 49 — considered the prime childbearing years — as of 2008, according to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.

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