What should I know about combined pills birth control pills with estrogen and progestin

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Birth control pills will protect you from pregnancy as long as you take one pill every day. There are many different brands of combined pillswith different types of estrogen and progestin in them and different amounts of each hormone. The most common combined pills are “low-dose” pills with 20, 30, or 35 micrograms (mcg) of estrogen. Low-dose pills and minipills are different—lowdose pills have both estrogen and progestin, while the minipill has only progestin. Never use a method that contains more than 50 micrograms of estrogen.

Combined pills are usually available at family planning clinics, health posts, pharmacies, and through health workers.

Once you start taking pills, you should try to stick with one brand (and if you can, buy several packets at once). If you must change brands, try to get another with the same hormone names and strength. You will have fewer side effects and better protection.

  • Burns, A. A., Niemann, S., Lovich, R., Maxwell, J., & Shapiro, K. (2014). Where women have no doctor: A health guide for women. Hesperian Foundation.
  • Audiopedia ID: en020422