Oral Contraceptive Pill Hormonal Activity 

Updated: Apr 02, 2016
  • Author: Abimbola Farinde, PharmD, PhD; more...
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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)

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)