• Hana
  • Hana


From £8.49

Medication features

  • Newly approved to buy over the counter
  • Mini pill containing desogestrel
  • Progestogen-only pill


Buy Hana Contraceptive Pill Online

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 Simple Online Pharmacy. 

You don’t need a prescription from a doctor to get Hana, 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?

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 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.

Starting Hana

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 summary

Hana dosing

One tablet at the same time every day with no break

How it works

Stops ovulation and makes it harder for sperm to reach an egg


From £9.99

Side effects

Headache, nausea, breast pain, libido changes


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.

What alternatives are there to Hana?

Another over the counter mini pill is available, called Hana. This contains the same active ingredient as Lovima. Other contraceptive pills can be prescribed by a doctor such as Yasmin, Cerelle, and Rigevidon. These are available from our online doctor contraceptive clinic.

You can visit the NHS website to read about other contraceptive methods such as the implant, the coil, and vaginal rings.

Side Effects

Hana Side Effects

The most common side effects women experience with Hana include nausea, headache, breast pain, decreased sex drive, altered mood, and irregular or no periods. Up to 1 in 10 women may experience these side effects. 

A rare but serious side effect that has been reported is ectopic pregnancy. This is when a baby develops outside the womb and it is a medical emergency. If you notice a sudden or severe pain in the lower stomach area with or without vaginal bleeding you should contact your doctor immediately.

Women taking hormonal contraceptive pills are at increased risk of blood clots, although more research is needed to study the link between progestogen-only pills and blood clots. If you notice any symptoms of a blood clot you should seek medical attention immediately.

Most women will notice changes to their periods when taking Hana. These changes can be having no periods, having infrequent periods, or noticing spotting or bleeding when you are not having your period. You can continue taking Hana as normal if you experience these changes. However, you should see your doctor if your periods are unusually heavy or frequent, you bleed during or after sex, or you think there are unexpected changes to your period when taking Hana.

For a complete list of side effects, see section 4 of the patient information leaflet.

Info Leaflet

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.


How to take Hana

You should take one tablet a day at the same time every day. You should not take a break between packs or strips. The strips are printed with the days of the week to make it easier to take your pill. When a pack is empty, you must start with a new pack of Hana on the next day, without taking a break, and without waiting for a bleed. 

If you forget to take a pill but are less than 12 hours late, you should take the missed pill straight away and take your next dose as normal. You will still be protected from pregnancy.

If you forget to take a pill, and you are more than 12 hours late, Hana may be less effective at protecting you from pregnancy. You should take your missed pill straight away and leave any earlier missed pills in the strip. You can then take your next pill as usual. However, you should use extra contraception (e.g. condom) for the next 7 days because you may not be protected from pregnancy.


Hana Cautions

Hana is not suitable for every woman to take. This medicine should not be taken if:

  • You’re pregnant or think you may be pregnant
  • You have unexplained vaginal bleeding or bleeding after sex
  • You have, or have had, jaundice or severe liver disease
  • You have a blood clot
  • You have cancer that is affected by sex hormones such as endometrial or breast cancer
  • You’re allergic to desogestrel or any of the other ingredients in Hana

For a complete list of warnings, see section 2 of the patient information leaflet.

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