We understand that changing or starting a new contraceptive pill can feel like a big decision. Whilst contraceptive pills are the most commonly used type of contraception in the UK, that doesn’t mean that everyone has the same experience with them. We’ve all heard stories about one person who absolutely loves a specific type of contraceptive pill and someone else who didn’t get on with it at all.
It makes sense that when starting a new contraceptive pill, you may want to try it and see how your body feels while using it before deciding to use this type of contraception long term.
Now that some progestogen-only contraceptive pills like Hana® are available to buy over-the-counter with a pharmacy consultation rather than a doctor’s appointment, you may be given the choice between purchasing a one-month or three-month pack. If this happens, you may be wondering about the pros and cons of each option and which would be the best choice for your personal circumstances.
Contraception is all about choice, so we have created this article to help you make up your own mind about which option (if either) you wish to take.
Should I get a one-month or three-month supply of contraceptive pills?
When you have first been prescribed a contraceptive pill, you will usually be given a three-month supply. This is because it can take longer than a month to really know how your body responds to a specific contraceptive pill. It is also important that you take Hana® every day without a break, so having 3 months supply will help make sure you don’t run out
Everyone is different and may experience a contraceptive pill differently. Some may feel no side effects at all, others may feel mild side effects for a few weeks before it settles down, and others may have to wait slightly longer for their body to settle.
Contraceptive pills are usually tolerated well by most women and people with uteruses, but some may experience long or short-term adverse reactions to a specific contraceptive pill, so may wish to switch to another type of contraceptive pill or try another form of contraception.
What to look out for when starting a new contraceptive pill like Hana®
Hana® is a progestogen-only pill, which means it is suitable for people who cannot take or do not want to take oestrogen. For example, it can be suitable for people who are breastfeeding.
When buying Hana®, either online or in a pharmacy, you will complete a checklist which asks you questions about your medical history, other medications you may be taking, whether or not you may be pregnant and other queries that help the pharmacist decide if Hana® is the right choice for you.
Like any medication, some people may experience side effects when taking Hana®. These side effects tend to be mild and can balance out within a few months. Serious side effects are rare, but if you do experience any you should stop taking Hana® and speak to a doctor or other health care professional. Find out more about the potential side effects of Hana®.
It’s really important to listen to your body and talk to a healthcare professional if you want to change your contraception. Your body and needs are unique, so just because your friend, mum or sister absolutely loves a specific pill doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for you. One of the great things about the contraceptive pill is that you can stop taking it at any time if you want to.
Remember that contraceptive pills are only effective at preventing pregnancy if you are taking them as instructed, so you will not be protected from pregnancy (and could in fact get pregnant) after you stop taking them.
If you want to get a good idea of how a specific pill interacts with your body, it would be a good idea to choose a three-month supply over a one-month supply as this gives you a better indication of how the pill interacts with your body once it’s had time to settle down. Read on to find out more.
A three-month pack of Hana® can give your body time to settle
It can take a few months for the body to settle into taking the pill. Three months is a good amount of time to see how you feel using Hana®. One month is not really enough time to get a good sense of how Hana® makes you feel.
Take Hana® everyday
It is important that Hana® is taken every day, without a break between packs. Having three months helps ensure you have another pack to start when the last one ends, which may help you avoid missing your pill.
It is more cost-effective to buy a three-month rather than a one month supply – you would save around 10p a day.
Hana® is something you’re likely to take every day for a few months, years or even decades. Many people may find they don’t have the time to go to the pharmacy every month, so it is simply more convenient to have a longer supply.