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ASTRID & HANNS-FRIEDER MICHLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ASTRID & HANNS-FRIEDER MICHLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Contraceptive pills. Three packs of contraceptive pills used for birth control by women. Each pack contains 21 pills, in this case used for a three week period between menstruation. For maximum contraceptive effect, each oral pill should be taken at about the same time each day. These pills contain one or more synthetic female sex hormones, usually both progesterone and oestrogen. Progesterone acts to affect the menstrual cycle; oestrogen is used to block the monthly release of a mature egg (ovulation). The pregnancy rate is less than 1 per 100 woman years, a highly effective birth control method.
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