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Oral contraceptives, better known as birth-control pills, are taken to prevent pregnancy. They come in packets of 21, 28 or 91 tablets and are generally taken by mouth once a day, every day or almost every day of a regular cycle. Birth control pills come in different formulations, but they generally either contain progestogen or a combination of estrogen and progestogen. Birth control pills work by preventing ovulation. If no egg is released, pregnancy cannot occur.
Oral contraceptives are one of the most common forms of birth control. They are highly effective when used correctly, but they will not prevent the transmission of HIV or other sexually transmitted infections. As such, it's smart to use an alternate form of contraception such as condoms to ensure truly safe sex. Oral contraceptives can be prescribed by a doctor or by a local family planning clinic.