OCP full form

OCP full form

OCP Full Form

The full form of OCP is Oral Combined Contraceptive Pill, which is commonly used as a contraceptive pill for pregnancy prevention. OCP is the medical abbreviation for Oral Combined Contraceptive Pill. Here in this article, we have discussed the OCP uses, OCP side effects, OCP contraindications, OCP mechanism of action & other contraceptive methods. In all these medical terms, OCP refers to Oral Combined Contraceptive Pill. Commonly, in hospitals, pharmacies, and even among the public, OCP medical abbreviation stands for Oral Combined Contraceptive Pill. 


Contraceptives are medications, devices, or methods used to prevent pregnancy by inhibiting or reducing the chances of conception (fertilization of an egg by sperm) or implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus. These methods are employed by individuals or couples to plan and control their reproductive choices and prevent unintended pregnancies.

As a medical student, it's important to have a good understanding of contraceptive methods and their classification. Contraceptives are medications or devices used to prevent pregnancy by either blocking or reducing the chance of fertilization or implantation. Contraceptive methods can be broadly classified into several categories:

A. Hormonal Contraceptives:

1. Oral Combined Contraceptives Pill (OCP): Combined Oral Contraceptives Pill (OCP) contains both synthetic estrogen and progestin hormones to prevent ovulation and change cervical mucus, making it difficult for sperm to reach the egg.

2. Progestin-Only Pills (Minipills): Mini pill (POP) contains only progestin hormone and primarily works by thickening cervical mucus and partially suppressing ovulation.

3. Contraceptive Patch: Contraceptive Patch is a patch that releases estrogen and progestin hormones through the skin to prevent ovulation.

4. Contraceptive Vaginal Ring: A flexible ring placed in the vagina, releasing estrogen and progestin hormones to prevent ovulation.

5. Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARCs):

  1. Intrauterine Devices (IUDs): IUDs is the small T-shaped devices inserted into the uterus to prevent fertilization and implantation. They come in hormonal and copper varieties.
  2. Contraceptive Implants: Contraceptive Implants are small, flexible rods placed under the skin, releasing progestin hormone to prevent ovulation.

B. Barrier Methods:

1. Male Condom: A sheath worn over the penis to prevent sperm from entering the vagina.

2. Female Condom: A pouch inserted into the vagina to prevent sperm from reaching the cervix.

3. Diaphragm: A shallow, flexible cup placed over the cervix to block sperm.

4. Cervical Cap: A smaller version of the diaphragm that covers only the cervix.

C. Emergency Contraception:

Emergency Contraception is also known as the "morning-after pill," these are used after unprotected sex or contraceptive failure to prevent pregnancy. Emergency contraception can be hormonal (e.g., levonorgestrel) or copper IUD.

D. Natural Methods:

1. Fertility Awareness-Based Methods: Involves tracking menstrual cycles and avoiding intercourse during fertile periods.

2. Withdrawal Method: Involves the man withdrawing the penis before ejaculation to prevent sperm from entering the vagina.

E. Sterilization:

1. Tubal Ligation: Surgical procedure to permanently block or remove the fallopian tubes in females.

2. Vasectomy: Surgical procedure to cut or block the vas deferens in males.

It's essential for medical students to be familiar with the effectiveness, benefits, and potential side effects of each contraceptive pill & abortion pill. Additionally, understanding patient preferences, medical history, and individual needs is crucial for providing appropriate contraceptive counseling and care. Always emphasize the importance of comprehensive sexual health education and informed decision-making for patients seeking contraceptive options.

Hormonal contraceptives:

These are based on the knowledge of the action of different reproductive hormones in the process of ovulation, uterine priming, endometrial stability, fertilization, and embryogenesis.

Oral Combined contraceptive pill (OCP)

Oral Combined contraceptive pills (OCP) make combined use of estrogen and progesterone, the commonly used estrogens being ethinyl estradiol or mestranol and the commonly used progesterones being levonorgestrel or norethisterone, or desogestrel

Oral Combined contraceptive pill is the most effective form of contraception apart from sterilization. Depending on the formulation the OCP pill is taken daily for 28 days or 21 days and a withdrawal blood will normally occur in the pill-free days or during the 7 placebo days of everyday preparation.

Types of OCP pills

  • Monophasic pills
  • Multiphasic pills
    - Biphasic
    - Triphasic
  • Sequential pills

1. Monophasic pills: Monophasic pills have the same estrogen and progesterone in 21 tablets.

2. Biphasic pills:  In the Biphasic pill first 10 pills have one dosage of estrogen and progesterone and the next 11 pills have some other estrogen and progesterone dosage.

3. Triphasic pills: In the triphasic pill First 7 pills have the same dosage (ethinyl estradiol- 30mcg, levonorgestrel-50mcg). Next 7 have another dosage (ethinyl estradiol-40mcg, levonorgestrel- 75mcg) and last 7 have yet another dosage (ethinyl estradiol-30mcg, levonorgestrel-125mcg)

Instructions for using Oral combined contractive pill (OCP)

Following instructions are commonly given by physicians or pharmacists while prescribing or giving Oral combined contractive pill (OCP).

  • Start on the first day of menstrual bleeding or, start on the fifth day of menstrual bleeding
  • Begin a new pack immediately after the completion of the pack if you are using a 28-day pack irrespective of menstrual bleeding. Skip no days between packages.
  • If you are using a 21-day pack, stop taking pills for 7 days and then start your new pack.
  • After termination of pregnancy or abortion, the pill should start from the first day ( or fifth day) of termination.

Mechanism of action of Oral Combined Contraceptive Pill (OCP):

The common mechanism of action of Oral combined contractive pill (OCP) is OCP inhibits ovulation & follicular growth as well as makes the cervical mucus thicken & endometrium unfavorable for implantation. The mechanism of action of Oral combined contractive pill (OCP) has been described below in brief.

1. Inhibition of ovulation: both hormones synergistically act on hypothalamo-pituitary axis preventing the release of gonadotropin-releasing hormones from the hypothalamus and no peak release of FSH and LH from the anterior pituitary. tus follicular growth and ovulation are prevented.

2. Static endometrial hypoplasia: the endometrium shows stromal edema, decidual reaction, and regression of glands and thus is non-receptive to the embryo.

3. Alteration of the character of cervical mucus (thick, viscid, and scanty) preventing sperm penetration.

4. Interference with tubal motility and sperm transport.

5. Estrogen inhibits FSH rise and prevents follicular growth.

6. Progesterone has an anovulatory effect, primarily by inhibiting LH surge.

Contraindications of Oral Combined Contraceptive Pills (OCP):

A. Absolute contraindications of Oral Combined Contraceptive Pill (OCP)

The absolute contraindications of Oral combined contractive pill (OCP) are given below.

1. Cardiovascular diseases: Arterial or venous thrombosis, severe HTN, stroke, valvular heart disease, ischemic heart disease, diabetes with vascular complications, focal migraine.

2. Hepatic diseases: Active liver diseases, liver adenoma, liver tumors

3. Others:

  • Pregnancy
  • Undiagnosed genital tract bleeding
  • Estrogen-dependent neoplasm (e.g. breast cancer)
  • Major surgery, or prolonged immobilization.

B. Relative contraindications of Oral Combined Contraceptive Pill (OCP)

In the following conditions, it is better not to use or prescribe the Oral combined contractive pill (OCP), and if used, should be under regular follow-up. 

  • Age > 40 yrs
  • Smoker
  • History of jaundice
  • Diabetes
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Post breast cancer
  • Breastfeeding (6 weeks- 6 months postpartum)
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN)

Benefits of oral combined contraceptive pill (OCP)

Oral combined contractive pill (OCP) has both contraceptive benefits & non - contraceptive benefits like decreasing pre-menstrual tension, dysmenorrhoea, decreased the risk of fibroid, ovarian cancer, etc. 

A. Contraceptive benefits of Oral Combined Contraceptive Pill (OCP):

  • Protection against unwanted pregnancy
  • Convenient to use
  • Not intercourse related
  • Reversible

B. Non-contraceptive benefits of Oral Combined Contraceptive Pill (OCP):

Decreases risk of:

  • Uterine cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Fibroid uterus
  • Ovarian cyst
  • Benign breast disease
  • Endometriosis
  • Ectopic pregnancy

OCP is also helpful in:

  1. Dysmenorrhea, premenstrual tension and mittelschmerz syndrome
  2. By decreasing blood loss they are helpful in menorrhagia and polymenorhea.

Side effects of Combined oral contraceptive pills (OCP):

A. Minor side effects of OCP

  • Nausea, vomiting, headache, and leg cramps
  • Mastalgia
  • Weight gain
  • Chloasma and acne
  • Causes menstrual abnormalities like hypomenorrhea, breakthrough bleeding, menorrhagia, and amenorrhea.
  • Diminished libido
  • Leucorrhea

B. Major side effects of OCP

  • Depression
  • Hypertension
  • Cholestatic jaundice
  • Vascular complications such as arterial thrombosis and  venous thromboembolism

Early OCP pill warning signs (@ACHES)

  • A- Abdominal pain (severe)
  • C- Chest pain(severe), cough, shortness of breath
  • H- Headache(severe), dizziness, weakness, or numbness
  • E- Eye problems, speech problems
  • S- Severe leg pain (calf or thigh)

Missed pills

If an OCP pill is missed it should be taken when remembered and the next pill is taken at the usual time. If two OCP pills are missed in the first 7 days, take two OCP pills on each of the next two days, and continue the rest. If two OCP pills are missed in the last 7 days or more than 2 OCP pills, additional precautions should be used for the next 7 days and the next new pill should be started.

Progesterone-only pills (POP/mini pills)

These are devoid of estrogens and contain very low dose of progestins such as levonorgestrel, norethisterone, desogestrel, lynestrenol or norgestrel. Examples of Progesterone-only pills (POP) are levonorgestrel 75 mcg, norethisterone 350 mcg, desogestrel 75mcg, etc.


Mechanism of action Progesterone-only pills (POP):

Progesterone-only pills (POP) cause thickening of cervical mucus which prevents the penetration of sperm, this is the main mechanism of action for all progesterone pills. Newer desogestrel-containing progesterone pill acts by preventing ovulation.


How to use progesterone-only pills?

Irregular cycles: Recent WHO recommendation suggests POP should be started within 1st five days of the menstrual cycle without the need for additional contraception (preferably 1st day).

Amenorrhea: Start any time being sure that there is no pregnancy (additional protection or abstinence from sex being advised for the first 48 hrs).

During lactation: As per CDC guidelines it can be started any time after delivery, according to  WHO  it is started after 6 weeks. Traditional progesterone-only pills should be taken every day without a break and at the same time (Safety margin- 3 hrs). Precaution for the next 2 days if the delay was 3hrs i.e. backup method should be used. For newer desogestrel-containing pills, a delay of about 12 hrs can be accepted.

Indications of Progesterone-only pills (POP)

  • Estrogens contraindicated or otherwise unsuitable
  • Age over 35 yrs
  • Heavy smokers
  • Hypertension
  • During lactation

Contraindications of Progesterone-only pills (POP)

  1. Pregnancy
  2. Unexplained vaginal bleeding
  3. Recent breast cancer
  4. Arterial disease

Advantages of Progesterone-only pills (POP):

  • Side effects due to estrogen are completely eliminated
  • No adverse effect on lactation and easily prescribable in lactating women (lactation pill)
  • There is no on-and-off regimen so it is easy to take.
  • Can be given in patients with epilepsy, smoking, hypertension, fibroid, and a history of thromboembolism
  • Reduces the risk of PID and endometrial cancer

Disadvantages of Progesterone-only pills (POP):

  • Acne, mastalgia, headache
  • Breakthrough bleeding or at times, amenorrhea in about 20-30% of cases
  • Simple cyst of the ovary


Common Question Related to OCP full form / medical abbreviation

Q. What does OCP stand for? 

A. OCP stands for Oral Combined Contraceptive Pill.


Q. How to abbreviate Oral Combined Contraceptive Pill?

A. Oral Combined Contraceptive Pill can be abbreviated as OCP. 


Q. What is the meaning of the OCP?

A. The meaning of the OCP abbreviation is  Oral Combined Contraceptive Pill. 


Q. What is the WNL abbreviation? 

A. One of the definitions of WNL is Within Normal Limits 


Q. What is the full form of OCP in medical?

A. The full form of OCP in medical is Oral Combined Contraceptive Pill.