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Brevinor tablets are a type of hormonal contraception commonly known as 'the pill' or combined oral contraceptive pill. Brevinor tablets contain two active ingredients, ethinylestradiol and norethisterone. 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 norethisterone is a synthetic form of progesterone. Combined oral contraceptives like Brevinor 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. The contraceptive pill results in lighter, less painful and more regular menstrual bleeding. This means it is sometimes prescribed for women who have problems with particularly heavy, painful or irregular periods.