(estrogen/progesterone and progesterone only pills)
Oral contraceptives — also known as birth control pills — are pills that prevent unplanned pregnancies. Most oral contraceptives are taken for 21 days and followed by 7 days of placebo pills, or simply a 7-day break from taking pills. During the 7 days of placebo or pill-taking break, menstruation normally occurs. Oral contraceptives come in estrogen / progesterone combinations, as well as in progestin-only pills. Progestin-only pills are sometimes called mini-pills.
Women who have unprotected sexual intercourse may be prescribed the morning after pill or emergency contraceptives.