Oral Contraceptive Pill (Birth Control Pill) Hormonal Activity

Updated: Jul 26, 2022
Author: Abimbola Farinde, PharmD, PhD;

Hormonal Activity of Oral Contraceptive Pills

Monophasic pills

Monophasic oral contraceptive pills contain a constant amount of estrogen and progestin in each active pill.[1]

  • Ethinylestradiol and norethindrone (Brevicon, Modicon, Wera, Balziva, Briellyn, Gildagia, Philith, Zenchent)

  • Ethinylestradiol and norgestimate (Estarylla, Previfem, Sprintec)

  • Drospirenone and ethinylestradiol (Ocella, Yasmin, Zarah, Yaz)

  • Drospirenone, ethinylestradiol, and levomefolate (Safyral, Beyaz)

  • Ethinylestradiol and norgestrel (Cryselle, Elinest, Ogestrel)

  • Ethinylestradiol and desogestrel (Apri, Desogen, Juleber, Reclipsen, Solia)

  • Ethinylestradiol and levonorgestrel (Levora, Altavera, Daysee, Lessina, Lybrel)

  • Ethinylestradiol and levonorgestrel extended-cycle (Amethia, Jolessa)

  • Estetrol/drospirenone (Nextstellis)

Biphasic pills

Biphasic oral contraceptive pills deliver the same amount of estrogen each day while progestin dose is increased halfway through cycle.

  • Ethinylestradiol and levonorgestrel extended-cycle (Amethia Lo, Camrese Lo, Daysee)

  • Ethinylestradiol and desogestrel (Azurette, Kariva, Mircette, Viorele)

  • Ethinylestradiol and levonorgestrel (LoSeasonique)

Triphasic pills

Triphasic oral contraceptive pills have 3 different doses of progestin and estrogen that change approximately every 7 days.

  • Ethinylestradiol and norethindrone (Aranelle, Tri-Norinyl, Leena, Alyacen 7/7/7, Necon 7/7/7, Notrel 7/7/7, Dasetta 7/7/7, Cyclafem 7/7/7)

  • Ethinylestradiol and levonorgestrel (Enpresse, Trivora)

  • Ethinylestradiol and desogestrel (Caziant, Cyclessa, Velivet)

  • Ethinylestradiol and norgestimate (TriNessa)

Four-phasic pills

Four-phasic oral contraceptive pills provide 4 different doses of progestin/estrogen during a 28-day cycle.

  • Dienogest and estradiol (Natazia)

  • Ethinylestradiol and levonorgestrel extended-cycle (Quartette)

Ninety-one-day pills

Ninety-one-day oral contraceptive pills provide a constant dose of estrogen and progestin for 84 days.

  • Ethinylestradiol and levonorgestrel (Introvale)

  • Ethinylestradiol and levonorgestrel extended-cycle (Amethia, Ashlyna, Jolessa, Quasense)

  • Ethinylestradiol and levonorgestrel (Seasonique)

Progesterone-only pills

Progesterone-only oral contraceptive pills provide a constant dose of progestin.

  • Norethindrone (Aygestin, Camila, Errin, Jolivette, Lyza, Nora-Be, Nor-QD, Ortho Micronor)


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