So you’re interested in a progestogen-only contraceptive pill that you can buy over the pharmacy counter? In that case, you’ll need to know how you can access contraceptive pills like Hana®, available from your pharmacist without a prescription.
Getting Hana® at a pharmacy
As you may already know, Hana® is one of the contraceptive pills that can be purchased without a prescription – this means you don’t need a doctor’s appointment to obtain it. We know that it can sometimes be difficult trying to attend appointments if you have a busy schedule, so getting one booked might not be feasible. That’s where Hana® comes in.
Hana® and other progestogen-only pills (also called the POP or mini pill) should be available in all good pharmacies – both independent, local stores and larger chain stores like Boots, Superdrug and Lloyds. If you are unsure whether or not your pharmacy offers contraceptive pills like Hana®, you can always ask the pharmacist. These contraceptive pills are still available to get from your GP on prescription, pharmacies are just another access option for anyone who might need it.
Hana® is a contraceptive pill containing desogestrel, designed to be taken at the same time every day, without breaks. When taken correctly, Hana® is over 99% effective at helping to prevent pregnancy.
The pharmacist consultation
In order to purchase an over the counter contraceptive pill (like Hana®), you will need to have a conversation with the pharmacist to make sure that it is right for you. There is really no difference between this and the conversation you’d have with a GP; the pharmacist will be asking similar questions and discussing contraceptive options with you. There should be no waiting time, either – you can walk straight into a pharmacy near you.
There is no requirement for a blood pressure check when purchasing the progestogen-only pill, and this is true regardless of whether you get it on prescription or not. Blood pressure checks are more closely associated with the combined contraceptive pill.
We get it: if you’ve been seeing a GP to access your contraceptive pill up until now, you’re bound to have questions about this new route of access that we are offering – especially given it differs from what you’re used to.
Are pharmacists qualified to distribute the contraceptive pill?
A lot of the online conversations and debates we have seen around contraceptive pills without prescription focus on concerns about whether or not pharmacists are qualified to distribute said pills.
We want to assure you that pharmacists are highly trained medical professionals, and go through specific training with regard to contraception. To become a pharmacist, there is a four-year degree course followed by a mandatory pre-registration year. Pharmacists study as scientists and clinicians and, because of this, are able to offer specialist advice around medication.
We have previously interviewed Deborah Evans, who told us about the 5 years of training it took for her to qualify as a pharmacist.
Alternative ways to access the POP
Hana® can also be purchased online via Hana® direct! There will also be a pharmacist consultation if you choose to purchase online. You’ll complete a checklist of eight questions, which is then reviewed by one of our registered pharmacists who will check to see whether or not the progestogen-only pill is a good fit for you. If they agree that Hana® is a good option for you, the order will be processed and delivered to your house.
Subscription not prescription
We have recently launched our subscription service on HanaDirect.co.uk. This means that there are two options for purchasing online: as a one-time guest purchase (for a three month supply), or by signing up for our subscription service. Our subscription service is a great way to spread the cost, as you only have to have three months supply in one go. Other benefits are that you’ll get free delivery on all orders, and handy reminder emails when your supply is running low and the next delivery needs triggering. There is no minimum sign up period, so don’t worry about being trapped if things don’t work out with Hana® – you are free to cancel your subscription at any time.
Should I get my contraceptive pill over the counter?
Looking after yourself and your sexual and reproductive health should be empowering, and nothing to be ashamed of. Working out what kind of contraceptive best suits your body and lifestyle is a huge part of looking after your sexual health. As we are all different, our relationships with and reactions to various contraceptive options will be different too.
If you’re considering accessing your contraceptive pill without a prescription, the pharmacist consultation should clear up any concerns you may have, and we recommend purchasing the three month pack to give your body a chance to regulate after any initial side effects (as would be the case if you were prescribed the medication by a GP).
Hana® 75µg film-coated tablets contains desogestrel and is an oral contraception for women of child bearing age to prevent pregnancy. Always read the instructions on the package leaflet carefully.