What are the different Types of Birth Control Pills?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jun 03, 2011

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different Types of Birth Control PillsBirth control pills are currently the most popular form of contraception amongst women. More than 100 million women globally swear by the pill. With recent medical advancement, women now have a choice when it comes to birth control pill. However, one must have a clear understanding of the different types of birth control pills that are available in the market.


Birth control pills are essentially of 3 types.

  1. Combination Pills
  2. Minipill
  3. Extended Cycle Pill


Combination pills


Combination pills are most common kind of birth control pills used by women worldwide.

  • Combination pills contain both estrogen and progestin.
  • Combination pills work by maintaining the hormone levels in the body which tend to shoot up during ovulation. This in turn curtails the chances of reproduction.
  • Combination pills also thicken the walls of the uterus which makes it difficult for the fertilised egg to plant itself.
  • Combination pills come in 21 day packs and 28 day packs. All the pills in the 21 days pack are active, whereas 7 pills in the 28 day pack are inactive placebo pills.
  • There are 3 kinds of combination pills that are used for contraception:
  1. Monophasic combination pills have the same level of hormones in them.
  2. Biphasic combination pills have 2 levels of estrogen and progestin.
  3. Triphasic combination pills have 3 levels of hormones and their dosage changes every 7 days.




The minipill contains only one hormone and that is progestin.


  • These pills are frequently used by lactating mothers because it has no estrogen which affects milk production in the body.
  • The minipill is also a preferred option for women who have been medically advised to not consume estrogen. 
  • The minipill works by thickening the cervical mucus which makes it hard for the sperm to reach the egg.
  • It also thickens the walls of the uterus which makes it difficult for the fertilised egg to plant itself in the uterus.
  • The use of minipill reduces the incidence of cramps and extensive blood loss during menstruation but their usage can also lead to irregular period.
  • It is of critical importance that the minipill is taken on time. Even one missed pill can cause complications.


Extended Cycle Pills


The extended cycle pill regularises one’s period and restricts it to a few times in a year and works in the same way as combination pills when it comes to contraception.


  • This pill contains both estrogen and progestin and the intake of active hormones in a row decreases the number of periods a woman has.
  • The extended cycle pill causes a thinning in the lining of the uterus. Therefore, one does not need to have a period in order to shed it.
  • This type of pill is also considered more effective because it is easier for women to use.
  • The extended cycle pill alleviates many symptoms of menstruation such as cramps, headaches and also symptoms of migraine due to pain.


Read more articles on Contraception



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