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Lovima - The OTC Mini-Pill
Lovima is a progesterone-only contraceptive pill, proven to be 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. It is a new branded contraceptive pill that can be purchased online without a prescription from a GP. Buy Lovima today, from The Independent Pharmacy, when you complete 7 short pharmacy questions without leaving your home with fast delivery in discreet packaging.
No blood pressure check is required before taking Lovima, although your pharmacist or GP may be able to take your blood pressure if you are interested. You don’t need to wait a week to allow for bleeding as you may find you experience irregular bleeding outside your monthly period cycle or even no period bleeding at all.
What is Lovima and what is it used for?
Lovima is an oral contraceptive pill that is taken daily to prevent pregnancy in women of childbearing age. It contains just a synthetic form of progesterone, called desogestrel and is, therefore, known as a progesterone-only pill (POP) or the “mini-pill”.
Lovima is a perfect contraceptive option for women who do not want to or are unable to tolerate contraceptive pills containing oestrogen, known as the combined oral contraceptive pill. Desogestrel gives women more flexibility, when taking the pill, providing effective protection against pregnancy even if taken up to 12 hours late.
Manufactured by Leon Pharma, Lovima has proven to be a very effective and safe medicine and therefore has become the first contraceptive pill, for adult women, to be available to buy through pharmacies without the need for a prescription from your GP.
Lovima contains soy and therefore is not suitable for anyone with soy or peanut allergies.
Why choose Lovima?
With Lovima, you can now buy a contraceptive pill from your pharmacy or online, without seeing your GP for a prescription. It is more effective than using a condom to prevent pregnancies (up 99% if taken correctly), and as effective as combined contraceptive pills that contain both oestrogen and progestogen.
In contrast to the combined pill (containing both oestrogen and progestogen), Lovima can be used by women who are breastfeeding, subject to a pharmacy consultation, which may not be possible with other contraceptive pills. No blood pressure check is required before taking Lovima, although your pharmacist may be able to take your blood pressure if you are interested.
With Lovima, you’re in charge of your contraception choice.
How does Lovima work?
Lovima contains 75 micrograms of the active ingredient, desogestrel which is 99% effective at preventing unplanned pregnancy by replicating how the female body’s natural sex hormone, progesterone works. Desogestrel both thickens the cervical mucus to prevent sperm from entering the uterus and for most women prevents ovulation altogether.
How quickly does Lovima work?
How quickly Lovima takes to work will depend on at what time in your cycle you start taking it and whether you are switching from another form of contraception. When Lovima is started on the first day of your menstrual period or is taken immediately after switching from another form of contraception, without a break, it starts working immediately.
For all other circumstances additional contraception, such as a condom, will need to be used during intercourse for the first 7 days to protect against pregnancy.
Lovima side effects
Like other medications, Lovima may cause some people to experience side effects. These normally improve after the first few months. Before you start using Lovima tablets, please ensure you are aware of all of the side effects listed in the Patient Information Leaflet.
If you experience severe side effects or an allergic reaction while taking Lovima you should get immediate medical advice from a doctor or your nearest emergency department.
If you are concerned about any side effects or you find they do not improve after the first few months or after you stop using Lovima you should speak to a doctor, pharmacist or nurse for advice.
The most common side effects of taking Lovima are:
- Irregular periods, spotting or no periods
- Mood changes - low mood, depression, anxiety
- Low libido or sex drive
- Acne and spots
- Breast pain and tenderness
- Weight gain
How to use Lovima
Before you start taking Lovima, please ensure that you have read and understood the directions in the Patient Information Leaflet, which are summarised below.
Lovima is for oral use only to prevent pregnancy. Lovima can be issued by our medical team at The Independent Pharmacy for women over the age of 18 years once a health questionnaire is completed. You do not need to have taken a contraceptive pill before to take Lovima.
- Take one Lovima tablet every day at a similar time, with a glass of water if needed, until the packet is empty.
- Start each new packet on the top row taking the tablet that correlates with the right day of the week printed on the pack over each tablet and follow the direction of the arrows.
- When you finish a pack, every 28 days, start a new packet the next day. Do not have a break.
You don’t need to wait a week to allow for bleeding as you may find you experience irregular bleeding outside your monthly period cycle or even no period bleeding at all. If you are worried about your bleeding pattern, speak to your pharmacist.
How to start (or switch to) Lovima
If you have not used any hormonal contraception in the past month:
- You should wait for your period to begin and take your first Lovima tablet on the first day of your period.
- You will not need to use any additional contraception such as a condom to prevent pregnancy.
- If you start Lovima anytime after day 1 of your period use barrier contraception for 7 days.
If you are switching from a combined pill, vaginal ring or transdermal patch:
- Take your first Lovima tablet, the day after your last active tablet, or the day your ring or patch is due to be changed.
- You will not need to use any additional contraception such as a condom to prevent pregnancy.
- If you have any break between stopping your previous contraception and starting Lovima you will need additional contraception for the next 7 days.
If you are changing from any other progestogen-only-pill:
- You can switch on any day and you will not need to use additional barrier contraception.
If you are changing from an injection or implant or hormonal IUS such as the coil:
- Start your first Lovima tablet the day your next injection is due or on the day that your implant or your IUS is removed. You will not need to use additional barrier contraception.
If you are using Lovima after having a baby:
- You can start taking Lovima anytime before your period starts.
- If you start taking Lovima tablets over 21 days after giving birth you must use additional contraception such as condoms, for the first 7 days.
What to do if you are late or miss a Lovima pill
If you are over 12 hours late taking your Lovima tablet, you vomit or have diarrhoea within 3-4 hours, this counts as a “missed pill”:
- You should take the “missed pill” as soon as you remember or as soon as you feel better and then continue to take your pills at the usual time the next day. You may need to take 2 on the same day.
- You should use a barrier method of contraception such as a condom for 7 days as you may not be protected from pregnancy.
- If you are more than 12 hours late taking your pill and have had sex, you can use emergency contraception to protect you from pregnancy. See the “warnings” section for more important information.
If you are less than 12 hours late taking your Lovima tablet:
- Take the late pill as soon as you remember and take the next tablet at the usual time.
- You will still be protected from pregnancy.
The active ingredient in each Lovima tablet: 75 micrograms of Desogestrel
The other ingredients include: lactose monohydrate, maize starch, povidone K30, soybean oil, polyethylene glycol, titanium dioxide. For a comprehensive list of ingredients please see the Patient Information Leaflet.
Please read the Patient Information Leaflet for full details on the warnings and precautions associated with Lovima tablets.
- Lovima, like other hormonal contraceptives, does not protect against any sexually transmitted infections.
- Speak to a doctor before taking Lovima if you suffer from liver disease, diabetes, thrombosis, unexplained vaginal bleeding or high blood pressure.
- Lovima contains desogestrel which may increase your risk of developing breast cancer - you should ensure you regularly check your breasts for changes and see a doctor if you are concerned.
- Lovima in very rare circumstances can increase the chance of developing a blood clot. If you think you may be experiencing symptoms of a blood clot you should see your doctor as soon as possible.
- If you are currently or have recently been taking any other prescribed or non-prescribed medication you should speak to a doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking Lovima.
- Lovima contains soy and lactose.
Lovima and emergency contraception
There may be some circumstances whilst taking Lovima that you may need to take emergency contraception to protect you from pregnancy. This may be because you have missed a pill and had unprotected sex within 7 days of your missed pill.
- It is safe to use emergency contraception containing Levonorgestrel, such as Levonorgestrel, whilst taking Lovima. You should continue taking Lovima every day after, but you will also need to use additional contraception, condoms, for the next 7 days to protect against pregnancy.
- Emergency contraception containing ulipristal acetate, such as Ella One, when taken at the same time as Lovima can reduce the effects of both medicines, which increases the chances of pregnancy. If you take emergency contraception containing ulipristal acetate during a cycle you should stop taking Lovima for 5 days. You will need to use additional contraception, condoms, for these 5 days and then for the next 7 days after restarting Lovima, to protect against pregnancy.
Lovima in pregnancy & breastfeeding
You should not take any hormonal contraceptives if you are pregnant or are trying to get pregnant. You can, however, take Lovima while you are breastfeeding but you should discuss your contraceptive options with a doctor, your midwife or health visitor first.