How You Can Get Your Contraception Over The Counter

Did you know you can now get contraception from your local pharmacy?

As of last month, the first progestogen-only contraceptive pills were made available to purchase from pharmacies, without a prescription. This offers a greater sense of choice surrounding where you can access contraceptives. We are proud to be a part of this much-needed change; you can now get contraception in Redditch, Bishop Auckland and at any other Knights Pharmacy across the country!

Which contraception is available over the counter?

The MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency) has recently reclassified Lovima 75 microgram film-coated tablets. This means that they have changed from being prescription only to being available over the counter.

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What is Lovima?

Lovima is a tablet containing 75mg of desogestrel; it is used to prevent pregnancy in women of childbearing age.

How does it work?

A desogestrel progestogen-only pill works to prevent pregnancy by thickening the mucus in the cervix. This stops sperm from reaching an egg. You must take the pill every day in order for it to work. You can use the pill if you are unable to use contraception that contains oestrogen. You should choose a time that is convenient for you to take your first pill, and then take it at the same time every day. The desogestrel pill can be started at anytime during your menstrual cycle; it is important to note that there are no breaks between packs.

How effective is the pill?

When taken correctly, the pill is more than 99% effective in preventing pregnancy. However, if it is not taken correctly, this can reduce its effectiveness to 91%. If it is taken more than 12 hours late, it may not be effective.


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What can I do if I miss a tablet?

If you miss a pill, and are less than 12 hours late, you should take the late pill as soon as you remember. You should then take the remaining pills as normal, even if it means taking 2 pills in one day. The pill will still work in this case; you will not need emergency contraception following sexual intercourse.

However, if you are more than 12 hours late, you will need to use extra contraception, such as condoms, for the next 2 days. if you have unprotected sex between the missed pill and the 2 days after you start taking it consistently again, you may need emergency contraception. You can contact or visit us for discreet, professional advice if you need it.

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You can find out more with regards to who can use the pill and its effectiveness, as well as what you can do when you miss a tablet, on the NHS website.

Why is this change important?

As cited by Dr Edward Morris, the increased availability of progestogen-only contraception will remove the barriers preventing women and girls from accessing much-needed contraception. The opportunity to choose will result in women gaining a greater sense of control over their reproductive health.

Where can I get contraception in Redditch, Bishop Auckland & beyond?

Seeking contraception is nothing to feel embarrassed about; we are here for you, whenever you need us. You can get your contraception at any of our Knights branches across the country; you can find your local branch below.

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This post was written on behalf of Knights Pharmacy by Carla Moore from Pharmacy Mentor