Oral contraceptives can cause liver damage and jaundice but this is very rare in women in the United Kingdom. The drugs are contraindicated where there is a history of recurrent intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy and acute or chronic disturbance of liver function which can be congenital or acquired. It is not yet known whether the oestrogenic or progestogenic components of oral contraceptives cause the hepatic abnormalities. The available data suggest that neither oestrogens nor progestogens in low doses impair hepatic excretory processes. The full implications of the continued administration of oestrogens and progestogens for many years on liver proteins are not yet known.