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Which hormones are used in the contraceptive pill?

LRHMC Admin
Administration Specialist
The Pill was the first medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for long-term use in healthy women, and it still functions as a go-to drug for many different clinical situations. The Pill works primarily through influencing estrogen and progesterone, the hormones that cycle in women naturally.

There is a progesterone-only pill that works somewhat differently than the combined hormone pills and is an appropriate clinical choice for women unable to take estrogen.

Estrogen stabilizes the uterine lining, reducing breakthrough bleeding and significantly reduces bleeding for each month that women are on the pill. Estrogen also inhibits the development of eggs and helps to prevent ovulation. This combination of effects helps treat menstrual disorders as well as provides contraception.

Today, there are many different combinations of the amount of estrogen as well as the amount and type of progesterone available in different medications, including a combination transdermal patch and a removable vaginal ring.

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