Abstract The effect of daily ingestion for 7 days of ethinyloestradiol (30 μg) plus DL-norgestrel [0.5 mg] (Eugynon-30) on the lipid composition of duodenal bile in 8 healthy young women was investigated from the fifth day after onset of menstrual bleeding. This treatment did not significantly affect the concentrations of cholesterol, phospholipid and total bile acids expressed as mmol/1, nor the mean molar percentage of phospholipid. However, the treatment caused a significant increase in the mean molar percentage of cholesterol which was accompanied by a significant decrease in the mean molar percentage of total bile acids. The cholesterol saturation index of the bile of 7 subjects was elevated after treatment while both serum cholesterol and testosterone were significantly reduced. The results show that administration to healthy young women, not previously exposed to oral contraceptives, with a low oestrogen-progestin preparation for only 7 days produces a more lithogenic bile, accompanied by a decrease in serum cholesterol and plasma testosterone concentrations.