Combo pill packs typically come in a one month supply and are generally available in either 28-day or 21-day packs. Both of these versions have 21 active pills (the pills that include the hormones that prevent a woman from becoming pregnant). The 28-day packs contain 7 placebo (or reminder pills) during the last week to help you keep on track with your pill use.
There are also extended cycle pills that are FDA approved to allow women to have less menstrual periods per year. These include:
- Seasonale (taken continuously for 84 days - it has 77 active pills and 7 placebo pills), so a woman only has 4 periods a year.
- Seasonique (taken continuously for 77 days, but the final 7 days of the 3 month cycle contain low-dose ethinyl estradiol rather than placebo tablets)so a woman only has 4 periods a year.
- Lybrel (taken all 365 days of the year), so a woman has no monthly period all year long