5.8/ 7 average rating with 2896 reviewsforPill

The Pill

No
Yes
Back to: Full Site NavigationSkip to: side effects sectionSkip to: Common concerns from users and pharmacists
Skip Upsides & Downsides section. Skip to side effects section.

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.

Quick facts about The Pill
  • Method class: Hormonal
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: No lower cost generic available
  • Hormone status: Multiple hormones
People’s experience with The Pill

2896reviews so far. What do you think?

Worth itNot sureNot worth it

Upsides

  • 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.
What’s the failure rate?
9%
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

More birth control methods

Downsides

  • 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.
How it works

There are two types of oral contraceptives: progestin-only and combined (progestin and estrogen). These hormones are released into the body to prevent ovulation. Different brands of oral contraceptives have different doses of each hormone.

Quick facts about The Pill
  • Method class: Hormonal
  • Rx status: Prescription only
  • Generic status: No lower cost generic available
  • Hormone status: Multiple hormones
Skip side effects section. Skip to common concerns.

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.