Oral contraceptives

Oral contraceptives combined pill ("The pill")

The pill contains the hormones estrogen and progestin. It is taken daily to keep the ovaries from releasing an egg. The pill also causes changes in the lining of the uterus and the cervical mucus to keep the sperm from joining the egg.

Some women prefer the "extended cycle" pills. These have 12 weeks of pills that contain hormones (active) and 1 week of pills that don't contain hormones (inactive). While taking extended cycle pills, women only have their period three to four times a year.

Many types of oral contraceptives are available. Talk with your doctor about which is best for you.

Your doctor may advise you not to take the pill if you:

Antibiotics may reduce how well the pill works in some women. Talk to your doctor about a backup method of birth control if you need to take antibiotics.

Women should wait three weeks after giving birth to begin using birth control that contains both estrogen and progestin. These methods increase the risk of dangerous blood clots that could form after giving birth. Women who delivered by cesarean section or have other risk factors for blood clots, such as obesity, history of blood clots, smoking, or preeclampsia, should wait six weeks.

Source: OWH (DHHS)1

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Contraceptives, Oral: Compounds, usually hormonal, taken orally in order to block ovulation and prevent the occurrence of pregnancy. The hormones are generally estrogen or progesterone or both.2

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Oral Contraceptive: An agent taken orally to prevent conception.3


Types may include:4

Types of Oral Contraceptive:

  • Azastene
  • Xinidamine

Categories for Oral contraceptives

Category of Oral Contraceptive:

  • Therapeutic Hormone

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  1. Source: OWH (DHHS): womenshealth.gov/ publications/ our-publications/ fact-sheet/ birth-control-methods.html
  2. Source: MeSH (U.S. National Library of Medicine)
  3. Source: NCI Thesaurus
  4. ibid.
  5. ibid.

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Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.