Two types of female oral contraceptive pill are widely available in health centers and public health departments:

  • The combined oral contraceptive pill contains estrogen and a progestogen, and is taken once per day.
  • The proestogen only pill contains only progestogen, and is also taken once per day.

Other types of female oral contraceptive are experimental or only available in limited areas in select health care centers:

  • Mifepristone is an antiprogestogen which has been used as a daily oral contraceptive in investigational clinical trials.
  • Ormeloxifene (also known as Centchroman) is a selective oestrogen receptor modulator which is taken one to two times per week.

Women who use oral contraceptives swallow a pill each day to prevent pregnancy. Combined oral contraceptives contain two hormones similar to the natural hormones in a woman’s body—an estrogen and a progestin. Also called combined pills, COC’s, OC’s, the pill and birth control pills.

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