Definition of Combination Birth Control Pills:
Also Known As:
Types of Combination Birth Control Pills:Combination birth control pills are categorized as monophasic, biphasic, or triphasic depending on whether the level of hormones stays the same during the first three weeks of the menstrual cycle or if it changes.
In this type of pack, the pills are taken for the first three weeks, and a woman takes nothing during the fourth week. She will start a new pack of pills eight days after the previous pack is completed. An example of a pill brand that comes in a 21-Day pack is Loestrin. These pill packs can be tricky because women need to remember to start their new pill pack without any reminder pills.
- Please Share: How Do You Remember When to Take Birth Control Pills?
- Yaz 28 (and Beyaz): the dosage regimen of Yaz is unique in that it contains 24 days of hormone pills, followed by 4 reminder day pills. This option may offer patients fewer hormone fluctuations than the traditional 21 days of active pills per 28 day cycle.
- Loestrin 24 Fe: approved by the FDA in February 2006, the pill brand was the first 24-day oral contraceptive approved in the US.
Extended Cycle Pills:
- Seasonale is a continuous dosage pill that contains ethinyl estradiol/levonorgestrel. It can be taken continuously for 91 days and was FDA approved for routine contraception in September 2003. This regimen allows women to have less menstrual periods per year. This pill pack has have 84 active pills and 7 placebo pills
- Seasonique is another continuous dosage combination birth control pill and was approved by the FDA in May 2006. Seasonique is similar to Seasonale in that ethinyl estradiol/levonorgestrel is taken continuously for 84 days; but with Seasonique, the final 7 days of the 3 month cycle contain low-dose ethinyl estradiol rather than placebo tablets. LoSeasonique is also available - this formulation has lower amounts of both estrogen and progestin.
- Lybrel is a low-dose continuous birth control pill. It is taken all 365 days of the year. In May 2007, it was the first pill FDA-approved to be used to completely stop a woman's monthly period. Many women who use Lybrel love not having their periods but share varying experiences with this pill brand.
A Warning About Yasmin and Yaz 28:
Estrogen Dosages:Ethinyl estradiol is the type of synthetic estrogen found in oral contraceptives. The higher the number of micrograms of ethinyl estradiol leads to more potent effects of estrogen.
Low Dose Combination Pills:These pills contain the lowest amount of estrogen (20 mcg) plus one of the types of progestin. Brand names of this type of pill include:
Regular Dose Combination Pills:These pills contain 30–35 mcg estrogen plus one of the types of progestin. Brand names of this type of pill include:
- Demulen 1/35
- Femcon Fe
- Necon 1/35
- Norinyl 1/35
- Ortho-Novum 1/35
- Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo
- Ovcon 35
- Zovia 1/35E
Phasic Combination Pills:These pills have changing levels of estrogen and progestin to more closely mimic the hormonal phases during a woman’s menstrual cycle. Brand names of this type of pill include:
- Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo
- Ortho Tri-Cyclen
- Ortho-Novum 10/11
- Estrostep Fe
- Ortho-Novum 7/7/7
High Dose Combination Pills:These combination pills have around 50 mcg of estrogen plus progestin. Brand names of this type of pill include:
Common Questions About Combination Birth Control Pills:
- How Do I Switch to a New Pill?
- How Do I Use the Pill?
- What Medications Lower the Pill's Effectiveness?
- Are There Noncontraceptive Benefits of the Pill?
- How Can I Skip My Period Using The Pill?