Lovima 75mcg Tablet
- Newly Approved to buy without prescription
- Mini Pill containing Desogestrel
- UK Registered Service
Lovima 75mcg Tablet
Lovima 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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Buy Lovima Contraceptive Pill Online
Lovima 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 Lovima 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 Hana, 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 Lovima Contraceptive Pill?
Lovima 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 Lovima 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 Lovima are more than 99% effective. However, under real-life conditions, it’s thought to be around 91% effective.
Due to the way that Lovima 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 Lovima Contraceptive Pill?
The advice on starting Lovima 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 Lovima 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 Lovima.
Lovima Contraceptive Pill Summary
Ingredient Desogestrel 75mcg How does Lovima work?
Lovima 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 Lovima take to work?
Lovima 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 Lovima 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 Lovima? Lovima 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 Lovima, might make it less effective. When taking these factors into account, Lovima is around 91% effective in practice. This is similar to other contraceptive pills.
Is Lovima safe?
Yes, studies have shown that Lovima 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 Lovima is any less safe to take than other mini pills.
Who shouldn't take Lovima Contraceptive Pill?
You should not take Hana if any of the following apply to you:
- allergic to soya or peanuts
- 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 Lovima be available to purchase over the counter?
Lovima 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.
What is Lovima?
Lovima contains 75 micrograms of the progestogen desogestrel in every tablet. This is known as a progestogen-only pill (POP), but you may know it better as the ‘mini-pill’.
Lovima is a new brand of desogestrel contraception pill that is now available to buy without a prescription, following a consultation with a pharmacist. Desogestrel has previously only been available for women on prescription. It is as effective in preventing pregnancy as prescription-only combination contraceptive pills (containing oestrogen and progestogen together), when used correctly.
Why choose Lovima?
With Lovima, you can now buy a contraceptive pill from your pharmacy, without seeing your GP for a prescription. It is more effective than using a condom, to prevent 99% of pregnancies if used correctly, and as effective as combination contraceptive pills containing oestrogen and progestogen.
With Lovima, you should take one tablet each day at the same time without a break between each pack. This means you can take one tablet every day until the Lovima packet is empty, then start a new packet with no break. You don’t need to wait a week to allow for bleeding as you may find you experience irregular bleeding outside your monthly period cycle or even no period bleeding at all. If you are worried about your bleeding pattern, speak to your pharmacist.
In contrast to the combined pill (containing both oestrogen and progestogen), Lovima can be used by women who are breastfeeding, subject to a pharmacy consultation.
No blood pressure check is required before taking Lovima, although your pharmacist may be able to take your blood pressure if you are interested. Lovima may be taken whilst breastfeeding which may not be possible with other contraceptive pills. Your pharmacist will check if Lovima is suitable for you.
With Lovima, you’re in charge of your contraception choice.
How does Lovima work?
Lovima contains the progestogen desogestrel, which works in two ways to prevent pregnancy:
- It helps prevent you ovulating – this is when an egg is released from your ovaries around the middle of your menstrual cycle. If there is no egg, there is nothing for sperm to fertilise, which means a pregnancy is avoided
- It thickens your cervical mucus, making it difficult for sperm to get through and reach any eggs that may have been released.
This dual action means Lovima is 99% effective in preventing pregnancy when used correctly.
Who can take Lovima?
Lovima is suitable for women of childbearing age, following a consultation with a pharmacist. That means any age from starting your first period, all the way through to having gone through menopause. Your pharmacist will go through some questions to make sure Lovima is right for you.
You may even be able to take Lovima if you:
- have just had a baby
- are breastfeeding
- have migraines
- are over 35 years and smoke
- are overweight
You should not take Lovima if you:
- are pregnant or think you may be pregnant
- have a thrombosis (a blood clot)
- have or have ever had jaundice or severe liver disease
- have or think you might have a cancer that is sensitive to sex steroids (e.g. some forms of breast cancer)
- have any unexplained vaginal bleeding
- are allergic to soya, peanut, lactose or any of the ingredients in Lovima.
How should I take Lovima?
Start Lovima on the first day of your period. This is known as day one of your menstrual cycle.
Take one Lovima tablet at the same time every day, so that you have 24 hours between each dose. Take one tablet every day until the Lovima packet is empty, then start a new packet with no break. You don’t need to wait a week to allow for bleeding and you may find your periods become lighter, less frequent, less regular or can stop all together.
You can take your Lovima tablet with or without food (on an empty stomach), but it is best to just swallow the tablet whole, don’t crush or chew. Taking with water can make it easier to swallow.
To remind you to take Lovima at the same time every day, it helps to make this a routine, so try and tie it in to something that you do at the same time every day. You could you take it every morning or night, or take it with a specific meal, whatever works best for you. You could also use an electronic calendar, alarm clock or electronic device to remind you.
Although you can start Lovima on day 2-5 of your cycle, you will need to use additional contraception for 7 days to help keep you protected against pregnancy.
How long does Lovima take to work?
How long Lovima takes to work depends on which day of your period you started Lovima and if you are switching from any other contraceptive.
If you start Lovima on the first day of your period
You do not need to use an additional barrier contraception method (e.g. condom) to protect you from pregnancy.
If you start Lovima after the first day of your period
You can start Lovima on days 2-5 of your period, but you will need to use additional barrier methods of contraception, such as condoms, for the first 7 days of taking Lovima.
If you switch from another hormonal contraception to Lovima
If you are switching from another contraception pill (for example a combined pill that contains oestrogen and progesterone), start taking Lovima the next day after you take you last active pill. You do not need to use additional contraception to protect yourself from pregnancy.
If you are switching from a patch, vagina ring, implant or IUS, then start taking Lovima on the day your patch, vaginal ring, implant or IUS is removed. You don’t not need to use additional contraception to protect you from pregnancy.
If there is a break since you last stopped your previous type of hormonal contraception, before starting Lovima, you will need to use a barrier method, such as condoms, for the first 7 days of taking Lovima to protect you from pregnancy.
If you have taken emergency hormonal contraception before using Lovima
This depends on the type of emergency hormonal contraception you have taken:
If you have taken levonorgestrel (the brand name Levonelle) you can start Lovima straight away but you will need to either abstain from sex or use barrier methods of contraception, such as condoms, for the first 7 days of taking Lovima to protect you from pregnancy.
If you have taken ulipristal (the brand name ellaOne), you should wait 5 days before taking Lovima. To prevent pregnancy, use additional contraception (either abstaining from sex or using barrier methods of contraception, such as condoms) for these 5 days PLUS an additional 7 days after starting Lovima.
What are the chances of getting pregnant with Lovima?
Lovima is clinically proven to be 99% effective at preventing pregnancy, provided you take it at the same time each day from the start of your menstrual cycle.
There may be times when you need to take additional contraceptive measures to prevent pregnancy when taking Lovima, such as:
- If, when you first start Lovima, you start on days 2-5 of your period (see How should I take Lovima)
- If you miss a Lovima pill
- If you have severe vomiting or diarrhoea
- If you are taking certain medicines
What should I do if I have forgotten or missed a pill?
If you are less that 12 hours late
Take the missed pill as soon as you remember and take the next pill at the usual time. Lovima will still protect you from pregnancy.
If you are more than 12 hours late
If you are more than 12 hours late in taking any pill, you may not be completely protected against pregnancy. The more consecutive pills you have missed, the higher the risk that you might fall pregnant.
Take a pill as soon as you remember and take the next one at the usual time. This may mean taking two pills in one day. This is not harmful. (If you have forgotten more than one pill, you don’t need to take the earlier missed ones.) Continue to take your pills as usual but you must also use additional barrier contraception (condom) for the next 7 days.
If you are more than 12 hours late taking your pill and have sex, consult your pharmacist for advice.
Missing pills at any time in the cycle can reduce the efficacy of Lovima and risk pregnancy but if you have missed one or more pills in the first week of taking Lovima and had sex in the week before missing the pill, the risk that you may get pregnant is higher. Ask your pharmacist for advice and if you need to use emergency contraception.
What should I do if I have vomiting or diarrhoea when taking Lovima?
If you have a severe stomach upset, such as vomiting or diarrhoea, your Lovima tablet may not have been fully absorbed into your body, putting you at risk of pregnancy.
If you vomit within 3 to 4 hours of taking Lovima, then the tablet is considered missed. If you have severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhoea, Lovima may not have been completely absorbed and the contraception effect may be reduced. You should use an additional method of contraception (for example barrier methods such as condoms) for the duration of your illness and for the first 7 days of normal tablet taking.
If you are not sure what to do, talk to your pharmacist.
Follow the advice for forgotten tablets (missed a pill) section in the patient information leaflet you have in your pack.
If you feel nauseous after taking Lovima
If you feel nauseous but don’t vomit or have diarrhoea, you don’t need to worry. Just carry on taking Lovima as normal to prevent pregnancy. If you continue to feel unwell, speak to your pharmacist or doctor.
What should I do if I'm taking antibiotics?
Most antibiotics can be taken with Lovima without increasing the chances of pregnancy.
However there are a handful of antibiotics that are used to treat bacterial infections, such as tuberculosis, that interact with Lovima and you may need to use additional methods of contraception, such as condoms, for the time you are taking it for and for up to 28 days after you have stopped.
Tell your pharmacist, doctor or family planning nurse if you are taking, have taken or might take any other medicines or herbal products. Also tell any other doctor or dentist who prescribes another medicine for you that you take Lovima.
Can I switch from another method of contraception to Lovima?
Yes, you can switch from any another method of contraception to Lovima following a consultation with a pharmacist.
If you are switching from another contraception pill (for example the combined pill that contains oestrogen and progesterone), start taking Lovima the next day after you take you last active pill. You do not need to use additional contraception to protect yourself from pregnancy.
If you are switching from a patch, vagina ring, implant or IUS, then start taking Lovima on the day your patch, vaginal ring, implant or IUS is removed. You don not need to use additional contraception to protect you from pregnancy.
If there is a break since you last stopped your previous type of hormonal contraception before starting Lovima, you will need to use a barrier method, such as condoms, for the first 7 days of taking Lovima to protect you from pregnancy.
If you are switching from barrier methods of contraception, such as condoms or diaphragms, if you take Lovima from the first day of your period, you do not need to use additional contraception to protect you from pregnancy. If you start Lovima on days 2-5 of your period, you will need to carry on using your barrier methods of contraception for another 7 days to protect you from pregnancy.
You can also start taking Lovima immediately after using emergency contraception that contains levonorgestrel but additional methods of contraception should be used for at least the first 7 days. See How long does it take to work section if you have taken ulipristal acetate (a type of emergency contraception).
Can I take Lovima if I have or have had cancer?
Do not take Lovima if you have a cancer that grows under the influence of sex steroids, such as breast cancer. If you have ever had liver cancer or breast cancer, speak to your doctor before using Lovima.
Where can I buy Lovima?
The launch of Lovima means, if you are a woman of childbearing age and suitable, you can now buy a contraceptive pill from your pharmacy. With Lovima, you don’t need to make an appointment to see your doctor or family planning clinic or get a prescription.
If you want to get Lovima, all you need to do is complete the online assessment at CloudPharmacy.co.uk. You do not need to get your blood pressure checked, but you can request it from your local pharmacy if the service is available.
Hana Contraceptive Pill Side Effects
Like all medications, Lovima 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 Lovima 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
Evidence shows that taking a combined pill (which contains oestrogen) slightly increases the risk of developing breast cancer. This increased risk is being researched for progestogen-only pills, like Lovima, but the evidence of an increased risk is less certain than it is for combined pills. The NHS page on how to check your breasts is a good source of information on what signs to look out for.
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.