Ask Hana

What happens if I stop taking Hana?

What Is Hana®?
What happens if I stop taking Hana?
What do I do if I want to change my contraceptive pill?
What do you do if you want to switch from one progestogen-only pill to another?
What to do if you want to switch from the progestogen-only pill to the combined pill?

Want to take a break from Hana® – or break up altogether? Don’t worry, we won’t be offended. There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to contraception and sometimes people just don’t get on with certain pills. 

Maybe you want to have a baby, or switch to another form of contraception? Whether you want a short or longer term relationship with Hana®, read on to find out what happens if you stop taking the progestogen-only pill.

What Is Hana®?

Hana® is a progestogen-only pill for women and people with uteruses who want to prevent pregnancy. Hana® contains the active ingredient desogestrel and it works by inhibiting ovulation, so no egg is released. It also works by thickening the cervical mucus to make it harder for sperm to enter the womb. Hana® contains only one hormone, so it’s known as a progestogen-only pill (POP) or mini pill.

Hana® is one pill taken every day at the same time with no break in between packs. Be aware that hormonal contraception does not protect you against sexually transmitted infections (STI’s). Only condoms can do that, so remember to use condoms with any new partner(s).

What happens if I stop taking Hana?

We know there are many reasons someone may want to stop taking their contraceptive pill. Our recent survey of 984 people found that 10% stopped taking the pill because they wanted to have a baby, whilst 13% kept forgetting to take their pill and so chose to stop using it. 

Some people do also experience side effects, and whilst these generally subside after a few months, some people find that a progestogen-only pill just isn’t right for them. There is no one size fits all when it comes to contraception, and there are a lot of other options out there if your current method isn’t working out. Find out more about side effects here.

If you want to stop taking Hana®, just stop taking it. From the day you stop, you are no longer protected against pregnancy, so if you still don’t want to get pregnant you should consider an alternative method, such as condoms or another contraceptive pill.  Talk to your pharmacist or doctor about your contraceptive options.

*Deborah Evans, a pharmacist with over 35 years of experience, says: “When you stop taking the pill, your hormone levels will return to normal and you will start ovulating again. There will also be changes to your cervical mucus, meaning it will be easier for sperm to reach the egg if you have unprotected sex.”

“Some people find their periods take a few cycles to return to ‘normal’, which is usually nothing to be concerned about. If your periods haven’t returned – or if they are longer, shorter or more irregular than they were before you went on the pill – you should speak to your pharmacist or doctor for advice.”

If you do want to get pregnant, your fertility should return quickly. Please contact your doctor if you have any concerns about fertility or pregnancy.

What do I do if I want to change my contraceptive pill?

Everyone is different and there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the pill. If you want to change your pill for whatever reason, here is what you need to know.

What do you do if you want to switch from one progestogen-only pill to another?

Speak to your doctor if you want advice about switching contraceptive pills. You should not take a break in between progestogen-only pills, so you will usually be advised to start your new pill straight away or start taking it the day after you finish the last pack of your old pill.

Your new pill could take a short time to be effective, so you may be advised to use a barrier method of contraception (like condoms) for up to 7 days.

You can purchase some progestogen-only pills in a pharmacy or online, following a consultation with a pharmacist or by completing an online checklist that will be reviewed by a pharmacist.

What to do if you want to switch from the progestogen-only pill to the combined pill?

The combined pill is not currently available without prescription over the pharmacy counter, so book an appointment with your doctor or local sexual health clinic if you are interested in switching to the combined pill. Let them know about your contraceptive history and any concerns you might have so they can help make the right choice for you.

If you are interested in a long-acting reversible contraceptive method (LARCS) like the Intrauterine device (aka the IUD or the coil), please speak to your doctor or sexual health clinic where you will be able to ask questions and schedule an appointment to get it fitted. You can also discuss other options like the patch or injection with a doctor or at a sexual health clinic.

Making sure you’re using the right contraceptive method for you is really important, so don’t be afraid to ask questions, evaluate how you feel regularly and change your contraception if it’s not working out. Whatever you ultimately decide is best for you, Hana® is here to help you make the right choice when it comes to your contraception.

*Deborah Evans does not endorse any products or brands.