A wide variety of different types of combined oral contraceptive pill are available. All contain synthetic:
- oestrogen - either ethinyloestradiol or menstranol
- a progestogen
The oestrogen content is 20 to 50 mcg. In general, a combined oral contraceptive pill with the lowest oestrogen and progestogen content which provides good cycle control and gives minimal side effects is chosen.
The combined pill can be given to women up to 50 years of age. In older women low strength preparations (containing 20 mcg of oestrogen) are appropriate. Low strength preparations are also appropriate for obese women.
The summary of product characteristics should be consulted before prescribing a particular combined oral contraceptive pill.