Prescription onlyMultiple hormonesClass: Hormonal

The Pill

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Our bottom line

The pill is one of the most popular forms of hormonal birth control. It's easy to get a prescription for and highly effective when used correctly.

What’s the failure rate?
of people using this method got pregnant in a year

This method is ranked 7 out of 17 birth control methods listed. The lower the number, the better.Source

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  • Undetectable and won't get in the way of spontaneity.
  • Might help with more regular lighter periods and fewer PMS symptoms.
  • Women often use combination pills to control and limit how often they get their periods.
  • You can choose between 21-day packs or 28-day packs depending on how well you remember to start a new pack of pills.
  • Estrogen can help clear up acne.
  • Oral contraceptives can help women reduce the risk of ovarian cancer.
  • Fertility typically returns 3-12 months after stopping the pill.


  • There are many brands and types to choose from, which can be confusing.
  • You have to remember to take the pill every day – and at the same time every day if it's the progestin-only pill.
  • Combination pills should not be taken when breastfeeding as estrogen reduces milk production.
  • Increased risk of blood clots for women who are obese, over 35, smoke, on prolonged bed rest, or have a history of blood clots.
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Side effect rates for The Pill

0 reports
These are side effects of The Pill (All) reported to the FDA by people taking it, and by doctors and pharmacists.