So, you’ve decided you want to try the pill. And then you hear your doctor mention the word biphasic…and you’re lost.

Here is a handy guide to some common terminology you might here, that will hopefully clarify the difference between monophasic, biphasic and triphasic birth control pills.

  1. Monophasic birth control pills – have the same amount of estrogen and progestin in each active pill in the pill pack. Because the hormone amounts are the same in each pill, it can be that you experience fewer side effects, because side effects are often caused by fluctuating hormones. Lo Loestrin Fe is an example of a low dose monophasic birth control brand, as are Alesse, Loestrin, Ortho-cyclen, Seasonale, and Yaz.
  2. Biphasic birth control pills – change the level of hormones one time during the pill pack (so there are two phases, hence biphasic). Biphasic birth control pills deliver the same amount of estrogen each day, but the level of progestin is increased about halfway through the pill cycle. Kariva and Mircette Ortho-Novum 10/11 are examples of biphasic birth control pill brands (descriptions coming soon on our website)
  3. Triphasic birth control pills – contain three different doses of hormones so the hormone combination changes approximately every seven days throughout the pill pack. Depending on the pill brand, the amount of estrogen may change as well as the amount of progestin.  Example brands include: Cyclessa, Ortho Tri-Cyclen, and Ortho-Novum 7/7/7 (descriptions coming soon to
  4. In the US, there is also a quadriphasic birth control pill brand available, where the hormone levels change 4 times in the pill cycle. Natazia is the only brand available.

So there, now you know the difference. Check the information leaflet on your pill pack to understand what type of pill you’re taking.

More information on more brands of birth control will be available soon at

What is your experience of birth control? Share your experience