Femodette tablets are a type of hormonal contraception commonly known as 'the pill' or combined oral contraceptive pill. Femodette tablets contain two active ingredients, ethinylestradiol and gestodene. These are synthetic versions of the naturally occurring female sex hormones, oestrogen and progesterone. Ethinylestradiol (previously spelt ethinyloestradiol in the UK) is a synthetic version of oestrogen and gestodene is a 'third generation' synthetic form of progesterone. Combined oral contraceptives like Femodette work by over-riding the normal menstrual cycle. In a woman's normal menstrual cycle, levels of the sex hormones change throughout each month. The hormones cause an egg to be released from the ovaries (ovulation) and prepare the lining of the womb for a possible pregnancy. At the end of each cycle, if the egg has not been fertilised the levels of the hormones fall, causing the womb lining to be shed as a monthly period.