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GMB: Susanna Reid shocked by professor's contraception confession

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Contraceptive pills are now available to buy over the counter in pharmacies for the first time in the UK thanks to a sweeping regulatory overhaul. The two progestogen-only pills – widely known as the “mini pill” have been reclassified from prescription only medicines to pharmacy medicines. This change allows them to be made available over the counter.

Hana and Lovima – daily, oral hormonal contraceptives that are used to prevent pregnancy – have been deemed safe for most women by regulators.

Purchasers will still need to have a consultation with a pharmacist before being sold the tablets, which cost as little as £7.50 for a month’s supply.

Speaking to Sky News, Pharmacist Bina Mehta said: “This is a landmark in the history of women’s health.

“Ever since the contraceptive pill first came about over 60 years ago, if a woman wanted to get hold of a contraceptive medication they needed to make an appointment to see a GP. Now it’s so much more accessible.

“I think there’s going to be a great demand for this. You don’t need to make an appointment.”

Contraceptive pills have been available to purchase over the counter in other countries for many years.

Ms Mehta said the reason it’s taken so long in Britain is to ensure the risk of side effects is very low.

Other forms of contraception

Contraception is free for most people in the UK, and there are are about 15 types to choose from.

These include:

  • Combined pill
  • Condoms
  • Contraceptive cap
  • Contraceptive implant
  • Contraceptive injection
  • Contraceptive patch
  • Diaphragms
  • Female condoms
  • Intrauterine device (IUD)
  • Mirena (intrauterine system or IUS)
  • Natural family planning
  • Progestogen-only pill (mini-pill)
  • Vaginal ring.

When to start taking the pill

You can normally start taking the combined pill at any point in your menstrual cycle, according to the NHS.

The combined oral contraceptive pill, often just called “the pill”, contains artificial versions of female hormones oestrogen and progesterone, which are produced naturally in the ovaries.

As the NHS explains, maximum lexapro dose “there is special guidance if you have just had a baby, abortion or miscarriage”.

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