What is Lovima
Lovima contains 75 micrograms of the progestogen desogestrel in every tablet. This is known as a progestogen-only pill (POP), but you may know it better as the ‘mini-pill.
Lovima is a new desogestrel contraception pill that is now available to buy without a prescription, following a consultation with a pharmacist. Desogestrel has previously only been available for women on prescription. When used correctly, it is as effective in preventing pregnancy as prescription-only combination contraceptive pills (containing oestrogen and progestogen together).
Why choose Lovima
With Lovima, you can now buy a contraceptive pill from your pharmacy without seeing your GP for a prescription. It is more effective than using a condom to prevent 99% of pregnancies if used correctly.
With Lovima, you should take one tablet each day simultaneously without a break between each pack. This means you can take one tablet every day until the Lovima packet is empty, then start a new packet with no 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.
In contrast to the combined pill (containing both oestrogen and progestogen), Lovima can be used by breastfeeding women, subject to a pharmacy consultation.
No blood pressure check is required before taking Lovima, although your pharmacist may be able to take your blood pressure if you are interested. Lovima may be taken whilst breastfeeding, which may not be possible with other contraceptive pills. Your pharmacist will check if Lovima is suitable for you.
With Lovima, you’re in charge of your contraception choice.
How does Lovima work
Lovima contains the progestogen desogestrel, which works in two ways to prevent pregnancy:
- It helps prevent ovulation when an egg is released from your ovaries around the middle of your menstrual cycle. There is nothing for sperm to fertilise if there is no egg, which means pregnancy is avoided.
- It thickens your cervical mucus, making it difficult for sperm to get through and reach any eggs that may have been released.
This dual-action means Lovima is 99% effective in preventing pregnancy when used correctly.
Who can take Lovima
Lovima is suitable for women of childbearing age, following a consultation with a pharmacist. That means any age from starting your first period, all the way through to having gone through menopause. Your pharmacist will go through some questions to make sure Lovima is right for you.
You may even be able to take Lovima if you:
- have just had a baby
- are breastfeeding
- have migraines
- are over 35 years and smoke
- are overweight
You should not take Lovima if you:
- are pregnant or think you may be pregnant
- have a thrombosis (a blood clot)
- have or have ever had jaundice or severe liver disease
- have or think you might have cancer that is sensitive to sex steroids (e.g. some forms of breast cancer)
- have any unexplained vaginal bleeding
- are allergic to soy, peanut, lactose or any of the ingredients in Lovima.
How should I take Lovima?
Start Lovima on the first day of your period. This is known as day one of your menstrual cycle.
Take one Lovima tablet simultaneously every day so that you have 24 hours between each dose. Take one tablet every day until the Lovima packet is empty, then start a new packet with no break. You don’t need to wait a week to allow for bleeding, and you may find your periods become lighter, less frequent, less regular or can stop altogether.
You can take your Lovima tablet with or without food (on an empty stomach), but it is best to swallow it whole and not crush or chew. Taking with water can make it easier to swallow.
To remind you to take Lovima at the same time every day helps to make this a routine, so try and tie it into something that you do at the same time every day. You could take it every morning or night, or take it with a specific meal, whatever works best for you. You could also use an electronic calendar, alarm clock or electronic device to remind you.
Although you can start Lovima on days 2-5 of your cycle, you will need to use additional contraception for 7 days to help keep you protected against pregnancy.
How long does Lovima take to work?
How long Lovima takes to work depends on which day of your period you started Lovima and if you are switching from any other contraceptive.
If you start Lovima on the first day of your period
You do not need to use an additional barrier contraception method (e.g. condom) to protect you from pregnancy.
If you start Lovima after the first day of your period
You can start Lovima on days 2-5 of your period, but you will need to use additional barrier methods of contraception, such as condoms, for the first 7 days of taking Lovima.
If you switch from another hormonal contraception to Lovima
If you are switching from another contraception pill (for example, a combined pill containing oestrogen and progesterone), start taking Lovima the next day after taking your last active pill. You do not need to use additional contraception to protect yourself from pregnancy.
If you are switching from a patch, vagina ring, implant or IUS, start taking Lovima on the day your patch, vaginal ring, implant or IUS is removed. You don’t need to use additional contraception to protect yourself from pregnancy.
If there is a break since you last stopped your previous type of hormonal contraception, before starting Lovima, you will need to use a barrier method, such as condoms, for the first 7 days of taking Lovima to protect you from pregnancy.
If you have taken emergency hormonal contraception before using Lovima
This depends on the type of emergency hormonal contraception you have taken:
If you have taken levonorgestrel (the brand name Levonelle), you can start Lovima straight away, but you will need to either abstain from sex or use barrier methods of contraception, such as condoms, for the first 7 days of taking Lovima to protect you from pregnancy.
If you have taken ulipristal (the brand name ellaOne), you should wait 5 days before taking Lovima. To prevent pregnancy, use additional contraception (either abstaining from sex or using barrier methods of contraception, such as condoms) for these 5 days PLUS an additional 7 days after starting Lovima.
What are the chances of getting pregnant with Lovima?
Lovima is clinically proven to be 99% effective at preventing pregnancy, provided you take it simultaneously each day from the start of your menstrual cycle.
What should I do if I have forgotten or missed a Pill?
If you are less than 12 hours late
Take the missed pill as soon as you remember and take the next pill at the usual time. Lovima will still protect you from pregnancy.
If you are more than 12 hours late
If you are more than 12 hours late taking any pill, you may not be completely protected against pregnancy. The more consecutive pills you have missed, the higher the risk that you might fall pregnant.
Take a pill as soon as you remember and take the next one at the usual time. This may mean taking two pills in one day. This is not harmful. (If you have forgotten more than one pill, you don’t need to take the earlier missed ones.) Continue to take your pills as usual, but you must also use additional barrier contraception (condom) for the next 7 days.
If you are more than 12 hours late taking your pill and have sex, consult your pharmacist for advice.
Missing pills at any time in the cycle can reduce the efficacy of Lovima and risk pregnancy, but if you have missed one or more pills in the first week of taking Lovima and had sex in the week before missing the pill, the risk that you may get pregnant is higher. Ask your pharmacist for advice and if you need to use emergency contraception.
What should I do if I have vomiting or diarrhoea when taking Lovima?
If you have a severe stomach upset, such as vomiting or diarrhoea, your Lovima tablet may not have been fully absorbed into your body, putting you at risk of pregnancy.
If you vomit within 3 to 4 hours of taking Lovima, then the tablet is considered missed. If you have severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhoea, Lovima may not have been completely absorbed, and the contraception effect may be reduced. You should use an additional method of contraception (for example, barrier methods such as condoms) for the duration of your illness and the first 7 days of normal tablet taking.
If you are not sure what to do, talk to your pharmacist.
If you feel nauseous after taking Lovima
If you feel nauseous but don’t vomit or have diarrhoea, you don’t need to worry. Just carry on taking Lovima as normal to prevent pregnancy. If you continue to feel unwell, speak to your pharmacist or doctor.
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