Ask Hana

How long can I be on the contraceptive pill?

Is Hana suitable for me?
What Happens If I Stop Taking Hana?
How Long Will It Take Me To Get Pregnant If I Stop Taking The Pill?
Will Hana Keep Being Effective If I Use It For A Long Time?

Not sure if you want to take the plunge into a long-term relationship with Hana? We know it can be hard to tell which contraceptive option is right for you, so it’s important to have all the facts you need to make an informed decision about your body.

Hana is a progestogen-only contraceptive pill which you take once a day – at the same time every day – to help prevent pregnancy. You’re in control of taking your contraception every day, and you’re in control of when you stop – if you decide Hana is not for you, we want you to feel confident in being able to stop taking it on your own terms. 

If you’re thinking about starting Hana (or you’re already using a progestogen-only contraceptive pill), you may be wondering how long you can take it for, whether there are any long-term effects, or what happens if you stop taking it.

Is Hana suitable for me?

There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to contraception. Some people can’t take the combined pill or have sensitivities to oestrogen, and in those cases Hana (a progestogen-only pill) may be the contraceptive option that works for them.

Hana is a progestogen-only pill (also known as PoP or mini pill) that is used to prevent pregnancy. Its active ingredient is called desogestrel, which works to prevent pregnancy by inhibiting ovulation (meaning no egg is released, so the sperm will have nothing to fuse with) and by thickening the mucus in the cervix to prevent the sperm from getting in. 

This is how Hana works and can continue to work if you take your pill at the same time every day. If Hana is suitable for you, you can continue using it for as long as you like, or until you no longer need contraception. 

If you choose to buy Hana or another progestogen-only pill over the counter, your pharmacist will complete a consultation with you to see whether it’s the right choice for you. Remember to tell your pharmacist about any allergies or intolerances you may have, as well as any medications you take or health conditions you may have.

What Happens If I Stop Taking Hana?

When you stop taking the contraceptive pill, your hormone levels will return to normal very quickly. This is why you should use a barrier method, such as condoms, if you miss your contraceptive pill as there is a chance you could become pregnant straight away. 

Some people may find that their periods will take a few months to regulate. This is usually nothing to worry about and your periods should go back to working the way they used to. If it’s been longer than three months you may want to speak to your doctor to rule out any underlying factors.

How Long Will It Take Me To Get Pregnant If I Stop Taking The Pill?

Hana will not have any long term effect on your ability to get pregnant, so there’s nothing stopping you trying for a baby straight away, once you come off the pill.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been taking the progestogen-only pill for a few months or 10 years; when you come off it, your fertility should return to your normal level very soon.

Everyone’s experience with fertility is different and your fertility levels can change over time, so speak to your doctor if you have any concerns or if you’re struggling to get pregnant.

If you have just had a baby and want to go back on the contraceptive pill,  you can start taking it between day 1 and day 21 of giving birth. If you want to start taking it after day 21 that’s fine too, but you should use an additional method like condoms for 7 days after you start taking Hana. As Hana does not contain oestrogen, it can be suitable for people who are breastfeeding.

Will Hana Keep Being Effective If I Use It For A Long Time?

Desogestrel (the active ingredient in Hana) does not “build up” in the body or cause the body to create resilience. If you choose to, you can take the progestogen-only pill up until you reach menopause. If you think you are experiencing the symptoms of menopause, speak to your doctor who can help advise you on the next steps.

Progesterone is a hormone that occurs naturally in the body and is part of the human body’s regular functions. When you reach menopause, your body starts producing a lot less oestrogen and progesterone which can lead to symptoms like hot flashes, insomnia and vaginal dryness.

Some people only experience mild symptoms, but if someone is significantly struggling then they may be prescribed hormone replacement therapy, where oestrogen or oestrogen and progestogen are taken in pill, spray or gel form. If this is something you’re struggling with, speak to your doctor who can help.

The bottom line is: if you are healthy and you are taking Hana correctly, it is over 99% effective and won’t become any less effective regardless of how long you’ve been taking it.  You can take Hana for as long as you need to, and you can stop any time you want. You’re in control of your contraception.