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What happens when you take Hana or Lovima for the first time?

Woman holding a pack of contraceptive pills in her hands and taking one out of the blister pack
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What happens when you take Hana or Lovima for the first time?

Hana and Lovima are two new types of contraceptive pill that are available to buy over the counter in pharmacies, without a prescription. This is great news for women who want easy access to birth control without having to make time for a GP appointment or a visit to the contraception clinic. 

If you’re thinking about trying either of these pills, read on to find out what to expect. 

How do you take Hana and Lovima?

The first thing to know is that both Hana and Lovima are progestogen-only or “mini” pills and not combined pills. If this is your first time trying a progestogen-only pill, bear in mind that you’ll have to take it every single day – there is no seven-day break with the mini pill. 

The second thing to know is that both these pills contain desogestrel. This type of progestogen works in a slightly different way to other types, which means it can be taken in a slightly different way. 

Older types of progestogen-only pill (POP) must be taken within the same three-hour window each day. Hana and Lovima, however, can be taken within a 12-hour window. In other words, while you should aim to take your pill at the same time each day, you do have some wiggle room. As an example, if you take your pill at 8am, you’ll need to take your next pill by 8pm the following day. 

To help you remember to take your pill each day, the packets for Hana and Lovima are printed with the days of the week³. When you take your first pill, make sure you take one corresponding to that day of the week, as this will help you take your remaining pills correctly.

How long does it take for Hana and Lovima to start working?

The answer to this question depends on when in your cycle you start taking your pill, and whether you’ve switched from another type of contraception. 

For detailed information on how long they take to work please see summary of product characteristics for Hana or Lovima as this is dependent on many different key factors. 

Will I get side effects from Hana and Lovima?

As with any medication, it’s possible to experience side effects from these types of pill. The most common side effect for Hana and Lovima is a change to your periods:

  • Your periods might be more irregular
  • Your periods might be lighter or heavier and/or shorter or longer
  • You might experience spotting between periods
  • Your periods might stop altogether

Other side effects include:

  • Mood changes e.g. feeling depressed
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Acne
  • Breast pain
  • Weight gain

The good news is that not all women experience these side effects – and those who do usually find that symptoms improve within a few months.

However, if you are affected by side effects and finding them difficult to deal with, you should speak to your GP or visit a contraception clinic – there might be a different type of contraception that’s better for you.

What happens if I forget to take my pill?

Within the 12-hour window

If you forget to take your Hana or Lovima pill, but you’re still within the 12-hour window, you should take your next pill as normal. If you do this, you’ll be protected from pregnancy.

As an example, if you take your pill at 8am and then forget to take your next pill at 8am the next day, you’ll be protected if you remember to take it by 8pm that same day.

Outside the 12-hour window

If you forget to take your Hana or Lovima pill, and you’ve missed the 12-hour window, you should do the following:

  • Take a tablet as soon as you remember
  • Take your next tablet at the usual time – even if this means you take two in one day
  • Continue taking your pills as normal, but make sure you use barrier contraception for the seven days after you missed your pill

Getting Hana or Lovima from LloydsPharmacy

If you’d like to try Hana or Lovima, you can visit your nearest LloydsPharmacy to buy it over the counter. Our pharmacist will make sure the pill is right for you and answer any questions you may have. You can also buy Hana and Lovima online, you’ll need to fill in a set of questions so our online pharmacist can make sure it’s safe for you to take.