Hana 75mcg Contraceptive Pill
- Newly Approved to buy without prescription
- Mini Pill containing Desogestrel
- UK Registered Service
Hana 75mcg Contraceptive Pill
Hana is a contraceptive pill containing desogestrel, also known as the mini pill or POP, ideal for women who do not tolerate oestrogens or who are breastfeeding.
It is one of the first contraceptive pill available without a prescription in the United Kingdom.
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Hana is one of the first contraceptives available to purchase over the counter in the UK. It can be bought from pharmacies after consulting a pharmacist, or from registered online pharmacies like Cloud Pharmacy.
You do not require a prescription from a doctor to get Hana contraceptive pill, but you should still be aware of the warnings and side effects in the patient information leaflet. Hana is a type of contraceptive called a progestogen-only pill, also known as a mini pill.
Another mini pill, called Lovima, has also been approved to be sold over the counter. Lovima contains soya bean oil and should not be taken by women with soya or peanut allergy. Hana does not contain soya bean oil.
What is Hana Contraceptive Pill?
Hana contains the active ingredient desogestrel 75 mcg. This is a synthetic version of the hormone progesterone. Unlike another type of contraceptive called combined pills, Hana doesn’t contain oestrogen. For this reason, Hana might be a suitable contraceptive choice for women who can’t take contraceptives containing oestrogen.
Combined pills may not be suitable for certain women, such as those aged over 35 and smoking, very overweight women, and breastfeeding women. Unlike combined pills, Hana can be used by women who are breastfeeding.
How does Hana Contraceptive Pill work?
Desogestrel is a synthetic version of the hormone progesterone. Taking this helps to prevent pregnancy because it stops ovulation, preventing the ovaries from releasing an egg each month. It also has a secondary effect of thickening the mucus in the cervix, which helps to prevent sperm from reaching the egg.
When taken correctly, progestogen-only pills like Hana are more than 99% effective. However, under real-life conditions, it’s thought to be around 91% effective.
Due to the way that Hana works, some women may notice irregular vaginal bleeding when taking this medicine. Some women will experience bleeding less often, some will experience bleeding more often, and some women will experience none at all. Bleeding patterns may settle with time. If you have frequent bleeding, heavy bleeding or bleeding during sex, you should contact your doctor or pharmacist for medical advice.
How to start Hana Contraceptive Pill?
The advice on starting Hana is different depending on whether you’re switching from another contraceptive, and which type of contraceptive you’re switching from.
If you’re not using other hormonal contraception now or in the past month, you should ideally start taking Hana on day 1 of your period. In this scenario, you do not need to use any extra contraception initially. If you take your first tablet on days 2-5 of your period, you should use extra contraception (e.g. condoms) for the first 7 days of taking Hana.
If you are switching from another hormonal contraceptive (e.g. combined pill, implant, hormonal coil, vaginal ring) see section 3.2 of the patient information leaflet for a detailed explanation on switching to Hana.
Hana Contraceptive Pill Summary
Ingredient Desogestrel 75mcg How does Hana work?
Hana is a mini pill which contains 75mg of desogestrel, which is a synthetic version of the hormone progesterone. The pill works by releasing this hormone into your body, which prevents pregnancy by:
Stopping your ovaries from releasing an egg
Increasing the thickness of the fluid around the neck of the womb, so it is harder for sperm to reach the egg
Reducing the lining of the womb, so it is harder for a fertilised egg to implant itself
How long does Hana take to work?
Hana starts working straight away if you start taking it in the first 5 days of your period. This means that you are protected from pregnancy, and won’t need to use additional methods of contraception, such as condoms, to stop you from getting pregnant.
If you start taking Hana at any other point in your cycle then it will take a few days to start working. You should use additional contraception for the next 2 days as you will not be protected from pregnancy right away.
How effective is Hana? Hana is over 99% effective in preventing pregnancy when taken correctly. However, certain factors, such as missing pills, becoming ill with vomiting or diarrhoea, or taking other medications that interact with Hana, might make it less effective. When taking these factors into account, Hana is around 91% effective in practice. This is similar to other contraceptive pills.
Is Hana safe?
Yes, studies have shown that Hana is a safe and effective contraceptive for most women, which is why it is available to buy over the counter. There is no evidence that Hana is any less safe to take than other mini pills.
Who shouldn't take Hana Contraceptive Pill?
You should not take Hana if any of the following apply to you:
- think you might be pregnant
- have unexplained vaginal bleeding
- are taking other medicines that might affect it
- have arterial disease, heart disease or have had a stroke
- have liver disease, severe cirrhosis or liver tumours
- have or have had breast cancer
- have a thrombosis
- are allergic to desogestrel, or any of the other ingredients of Hana
In this case, the doctor or pharmacist may suggest you try a mini pill that contains a different type of progesterone, such as Norgeston or Noriday. Some women may also see better results on combined contraceptive pills, as oestrogen can make bleeding more regular. If you have any of the following conditions, you should tell your doctor or pharmacist as there can be increased risks associated with taking Hana:
- have ever had breast cancer
- have liver cancer
- have ever had a thrombosis
- have diabetes
- suffer from epilepsy
- have tuberculosis
- have high blood pressure
- have or have had chloasma (yellowish-brown pigmentation patches on the skin, particularly of the face)
Some medicines and herbal supplements can make Hana less effective. Always tell your doctor or pharmacist what other medications or supplements you are taking or if you plan to start taking them after starting the pill.
Why will Hana be available to purchase over the counter?
Hana will be available over the counter because the UK medicines regulator, the MHRA, found this pill to be safe when prescribed by a pharmacist, rather than needing a prescription from a doctor. The pharmacist will still need to go through an in-store assessment to make sure that Hana is safe for you before you can buy the pill from a pharmacy such as Cloud Pharmacy.
This does not mean that other mini pills are not as safe or effective as Hana. Some mini pills, such as Cerelle and Cerazette, contain the same ingredients and work in exactly the same way. However, these medications have not been reclassified by the MHRA, so you can’t get those pills without a prescription from a prescriber.
How effective is Hana?
Research has shown that progestogen-only pills like Hana are more than 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. However, with typical real-life use, it’s thought to be around 91% effective. Typical use takes into account things like missing pills, taking medicines that reduce the effect of Hana, and vomiting or diarrhoea which can also make the pill less effective.
Can I take Hana if I’m breastfeeding?
Hana is safe for breastfeeding women to take because there is no evidence that it affects the quality of breast milk. Combined pills that contain oestrogen are not recommended for breastfeeding women.
When should I start taking Hana?
You can start taking Hana at any point in your menstrual cycle, and when you start taking it will not change how effective it is. However, you may not be protected straight away if you take it at certain times in your cycle.
If you want to be protected from pregnancy straight away, you should start taking Hana in the first 5 days of your menstrual cycle. If you take it after the first 5 days of your cycle you won’t be protected immediately, and you will have to use additional protection, such as condoms, for the next 2 days.
You should start taking Hana the same day the ring, coil or patch is removed then you do not need to use another form of contraception.
What should I do if I am sick or have diarrhoea after taking Hana?
If you vomit within 4 hours of taking your tablet, or you have severe diarrhoea after taking the pill, you should treat it like you’ve missed a pill.
Can I take Hana to delay my period?
Can I use Hana as emergency contraception?
No, Hana can’t be used as an emergency contraceptive. If you have had unprotected sex, or the protection you used failed, you should use emergency contraception such as Levonelle (effective for up to 72 hours after unprotected sex) or EllaOne (effective for up to 120 hours after unprotected sex) or intrauterine device (coil).
Can I drink while taking Hana?
Yes, alcohol does not make Hana any less effective, and doesn’t cause additional or worse side effects. However, drinking alcohol can make it more likely that you will forget your pill, and drinking excessively may cause you to become sick which can make the pill less effective.
Can I take painkillers when taking Hana?
Yes, painkillers do not interact with Hana. Taking painkillers will not cause any additional, or worse, side effects and it will not make the pill any less effective.
How will Hana affect my periods?
When you start taking a mini pill, like Hana, one common side effect is experiencing changes to bleeding. This includes making your period lighter, heavier, more frequent or less frequent. These changes usually stop after 3 months of taking it.
How will Hana affect my skin?
Progesterone, the active ingredient in Hana, can cause an increase in sebum production, the oily substance which helps protect the skin and can cause acne. This means some women find that taking Hana makes their acne worse.
How will Hana affect my sex drive?
Hana causes hormonal changes, which can have an effect on your sex drive. These changes effect women differently, so some women may see their sex drive increase, while others may have a lower sex drive after taking the pill. Most women will not see an impact on their sex drive. If you think taking Hana is negatively impacting your sex life, you should talk to your GP or pharmacist.
Does Hana cause bloating or weight gain?
Despite weight gain and bloating being commonly reported side effects of the contraceptive pill, there is no scientific evidence that it causes long-term changes to your weight or directly causes bloating.
Can Hana cause headaches?
Yes, Hana can cause headaches because it is a type of hormonal contraception. Hormonal contraceptives cause changes in your body, which can trigger headaches.
If you do get headaches after taking Hana, they will usually go away on their own as your body gets used to the hormonal changes caused by the pill. If you continue to get headaches after 3 months, or are unable to deal with them, you should contact your GP.
Does Hana cause hair loss?
Hormonal changes caused by taking contraceptive pills, such as Hana, can cause hair loss. This is not a common side effect of the pill, and if it does occur it is usually a temporary side effect while your body adjusts to these changes. If you continue to see hair loss after 3 months, or are concerned about the amount of hair you are losing, you should speak with your GP.
Hana Contraceptive Pill Side Effects
Like all medications, Hana may cause side effects in some women. Side effects are most likely to occur in the first 3 months of taking Hana, as your body gets used to the hormonal changes caused by the pill. If you get side effects that don’t go away after 3 months, or you find them too difficult to deal with, talk to your GP or contact one of our pharmacists.
Common side effects reported by women taking Hana include:
- mood changes
- breast pain
- weight increase
Uncommon side effects include:
- vaginal infections
- contact lens intolerance
- ovarian cyst
- breast discharge
Rare side effects include:
- painful blue-red skin lumps
Before taking any medication, it is important to read the Patient Information Leaflet. You can find information leaflets for your medicines by typing them into the search bar at medicines.org, or by contacting us.