Hana is one of two contraceptive pills available over the counter in the UK. It is a type of progesterone-only pill or mini-pill and therefore it contains progesterone and no oestrogen. This means that it does not carry risks of oestrogen-related side effects and it can be taken by some people who would not be able to take the combined pill.
Hana is a progesterone-only pill, this means that unlike standard contraceptive pills, it does not contain any oestrogen. Progesterone thickens the mucus around the cervix. This helps to prevent sperm from passing through the cervix to fertilise an egg. Progesterone can also help to prevent ovulation from occuring.
Hana is 99% effective at preventing pregnancy when used correctly. It is important that you take Hana at approximately the same time every day and that you do not miss a pill. If you miss a pill, or take a pill late, the effectiveness of Hana may be reduced. See the patient information leaflet for instructions on what to do if you miss a pill.
If you start taking Hana on the first day of your period, or immediately after stopping another form of hormonal contraception, you should be protected from pregnancy straight away. However, if there is a gap between your contraceptive methods, or if you start Hana on day 2-5 of your period, you should use condoms during the first week of taking Hana. Hana can also be taken following pregnancy, an abortion or a miscarriage. If you start taking Hana within 21 days of giving birth, or within 5 days of an abortion or a miscarriage, you will not need to use additional contraception, but if you fall outside of this time frame, you should use condoms for the first 7 days of taking Hana. For more information, please see the patient information leaflet.
Hana can cause changes in your periods. This is usually nothing to worry about so you should continue taking Hana as normal if you experience any of the following changes:
You should speak to your doctor if you experience any other changes to your period when taking Hana, if your period is unusually heavy if you find that it occurs too frequently or if you experience bleeding after sex.
Desogestrel is the active ingredient in Hana, but Hana also contains the following inactive ingredients: alpha-tocopherol, maize starch, povidone, stearic acid, hypromellose, macrogol 400, titanium dioxide (E 171) and lactose monohydrate. If you are allergic or intolerant to lactose, other contraceptive pills may be more suitable.
Hana should be taken at the same time each day for maximum protection. The pill packet is labelled with the days of the week. Take the pill labelled with the correct day of the week. Then follow the arrows around the pack and continue to take the labelled pill on each day. This will help to ensure that you don’t miss a pill, or that if you do forget a pill, you know when you missed it. See instructions below for what to do if you miss a pill.
How you start Hana depends upon which various circumstances and whether you are switching from a different hormonal contraceptive or not.
If you are not currently using any hormonal contraceptives, you should start Hana on the first day of your period. If you do this, you will not need to use any additional contraception to prevent pregnancy, you will be protected straight away. You can also start Hana on days 2-5 of your period, but you will need to use condoms to prevent pregnancy for the first week of taking Hana.
If you have been using other hormonal contraceptives such as the pill, vaginal rings or contraceptive injections, you should start using Hana without leaving a gap. So, this means that you should start taking Hana the day after you finish your pill pack (or after you finish the active pills if your pack contains placebos), the same day that your ring or coil is removed or on the day when your next contraceptive injection is due. If you do this, you will be protected from pregnancy straight away and you will not need to use condoms. However, if there is a gap between when you finished using hormonal contraception and when you start Hana, you will need to use condoms for the first seven days to prevent pregnancy.
Please see the patient information leaflet if any of the following conditions apply:
If it is less than 12 hours since you were due to take your pill, you should take the missed pill straight away and you should continue to take the rest of your pills as normal, even if this means you have to take two pills in one day. You should still be protected against pregnancy.
If it is more than 12 hours since you were due to take your pill, you should take the most recent missed pill straight away and then you should continue to take the rest of your pills as usual. You will need to use condoms for the next seven days to ensure that you are protected against pregnancy. If you missed one or more pills in the first week of taking Hana, you are at the greatest risk of pregnancy, and therefore, you should speak to your doctor or a pharmacist about taking the morning after pill.
If you find you have difficulty keeping track of your pills and remembering to take them, you should speak to your doctor for advice and to discuss alternative contraceptive methods that may be more suitable for you.
Common side effects, affecting up to 10% of women who take Hana include:
For a full list of side effects, please read the patient information leaflet. You should always read the leaflet before taking any medication, so that you are aware of all the side effects you could experience, some of which may be severe.
Acne is a common side effect of Hana and other contraceptive pills. If acne is causing a problem for you, you may want to speak to your doctor about acne treatments or alternative contraceptives that may be more suitable for you.
Weight gain is a common side effect of Hana. If this is concerning you, you should speak to your doctor about alternative contraceptive methods or ways to get your weight back under control.
You should not take Hana if you:
You should let your doctor know if any of the following conditions apply to you:
You should let your pharmacist or doctor know if you are taking any other medications, supplements or herbal remedies as these could interact with Hana.
The following medications have a known interaction with Hana and may make it less effective:
Hana and Lovima both contain the same amount of the same active ingredient, 75mg desogestrel. The main difference between Hana and Lovima is that Lovima contains soya bean oil, which means it is not suitable for people with an allergy to soya, legumes or peanuts. For these people, Hana would be the better option.
Cerelle contains the same active ingredient as Hana and in the same amount. The only difference is that currently, Cerelle is only available on prescription. Therefore, some women may choose to take Hana as they do not need a prescription.
Cerazette and Hana contain the same active ingredient in the same amount, 75mg desogestrel. Currently, Cerazette is only available on prescription, so women may choose to take Hana as they do not need to make a doctor’s appointment and they can obtain it from a pharmacy.
Yasmin is a combined oral contraceptive pill. This means that it contains two active ingredients, oestrogen and progesterone. Hana is a progesterone-only pill, so it does not contain any oestrogen. Therefore Hana may be more suitable for women who experience oestrogen-related side effects, such as acne, mood swings, headaches etc. or for women who cannot take the combined pill due to medical conditions such as migraines or high blood pressure. However, you should always let the pharmacist or doctor know of any medical conditions before taking the pill.
Hana is a progesterone-only pill. This means that it works using only one hormone, progesterone. Rigevidon is a combined contraceptive pill, so it contains two hormones, oestrogen and progesterone. Some women, such as those over 35, smokers and people who suffer from migraines, are advised not to take combined pills as they can carry a greater risk and progesterone-only pills may be more suitable. In addition, some women choose to take progesterone-only pills because they experience side effects from oestrogen, such as acne, moodswings, headaches or nausea. For these reasons, women may choose to take progesterone-only pill like Hana, over a combined pill like Rigevidon. In addition, Hana is one of only two contraceptive pills that are available over the counter in a pharmacy. Therefore, you do not need a prescription to access Hana. However, Rigevidon is only available on prescription and therefore you will need to make a doctor’s appointment and have regular pill checks whilst taking it.
Microgynon is a combined pill, whereas Hana is a progesterone-only pill, also known as the mini-pill. Microgynon contains progesterone, but it also contains oestrogen. Therefore, Microgynon may not be suitable for women who experience oestrogen-related side effects such as acne or headaches. Hana may also be more suitable for women who cannot take the combined pill for health reasons, such as women over the age of 35, smokers, migraine-sufferers and people with high blood pressure. Another difference between Hana and Microgynon is that Microgynon is currently only available on prescription, whereas Hana is available over the counter from a pharmacy.
There is no age restriction for Hana in the UK, however at Dr Felix, we are only able to supply medication to people over the age of 18. If you are under 18, you can get Hana from a pharmacy, or for more contraceptive options, you may want to speak to your GP or local sexual health service.
Hana affects women differently and may, in some cases, cause your period to stop. If this happens, you may want to take a pregnancy test to rule out pregnancy as the cause. However, it is common for Hana to cause changes in your periods.
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