Combination birth control pills, also known as the pill, are oral contraceptives that contain estrogen and a progestin.
Combination birth control pills keep your ovaries from releasing an egg. They also cause changes in the cervical mucus and the lining of the uterus (endometrium) to keep sperm from joining the egg.
Different types of combination birth control pills contain different doses of estrogen and progestin. Continuous-dosing or extended-cycle pills allow you to reduce the number of periods you have each year.
If you want to use combination birth control pills, your health care provider can help you decide which type is right for you.
Nov. 15, 2017
- Hatcher RA, et al. Combined (estrogen & progestin) contraceptives. In: Managing Contraception 2017-2018. 14th ed. Tiger, Ga.: Bridging the Gap Foundation; 2017.
- Frequently asked questions. Contraception FAQ185. Combined hormonal birth control: Pill, patch and ring. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. http://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Combined-Hormonal-Birth-Control-Pill-Patch-and-Ring. Accessed Sept. 29, 2017.
- Martin KA. Overview of the use of estrogen-progestin contraceptives. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Sept. 29, 2017.
- Stewart M, et al. Choosing a combined oral contraceptive pill. Australian Prescriber. 2015;38:6.
- Martin KA. Risks and side effects associated with estrogen-progestin contraceptives. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Sept. 29, 2017.
- Hatcher RA, et al. Combined oral contraceptives (COCs). In: Contraceptive Technology. 20th edition. New York, N.Y.: Ardent Media Ltd.; 2011.
Combination birth control pills