This combination hormone medication is used to prevent pregnancy. It contains 2 hormones: norethindrone (a progestin) and ethinyl estradiol (an estrogen). There is a small amount of iron (ferrous fumarate) in each of the 4 inactive pills taken during the fourth week. The inactive pills do not contain any hormones. These pills are meant to keep you in the habit of taking 1 pill each day and do not have enough iron to treat iron deficiency. Besides preventing pregnancy, birth control pills may make your periods more regular, decrease blood loss and painful periods, decrease your risk of ovarian cysts, and also treat acne. Using this medication does not protect you or your partner against sexually transmitted diseases (such as HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia).