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Oral contraceptive

The oral contraceptives are often referred to as the "pill" or "contraceptive pill". These medicines inhibit ovulation to prevent an undesired pregnancy occurring.

Use and prescription of oral contraceptives

The oral contraceptives contain hormones which mimic the effects of natural hormones. They always require a prescription in order to be taken. They must be combined with regular medical follow-up. The oral contraceptives are very widely used particularly because of their ease of use, low pregnancy rate (under 1%) and relatively low incidence of side effects.

Do they have contraindications?

The oral contraceptives can be combined. In other words they contain an combination of estrogen and a synthetic progestogen. Note that this type of contraception is particularly contraindicated in smokers over 35 years old because of a large increase in the risk of cardiovascular events. When estrogens are contraindicated the doctor may offer to prescribe an oral contraceptive which only contains a progestogen.


  • Merck Manual, 4th edition
  • Principles of internal medicine, ed T.R. Harrison, Flammarion Edition

The oral contraceptives prevent undesired pregnancy.  © Phovoir The oral contraceptives prevent undesired pregnancy. © Phovoir

Oral contraceptive - 1 Photo



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