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Birth Control Shot

One of your contraception choices is the birth control shot. You should try it, but before that, you might have birth control questions, right?

What is this shot?

It is a very practical method of birth control. You do not have to worry about daily pills or intrauterine devices. You apply a shot and forget to apply the next injection till 1, 2 or 3 months. Sounds practical, right? Indeed it is.

This type of birth control is not very complicated. However, like any other contraceptive method, you must take some precautions and learn how to use this method.

All injections have three functions basically:

Prevent ovulation (releasing an egg from the ovary), thickens the cervical mucus and, prevent implantation of an egg.

How many types of birth control injections are there?

There are three types of birth control shots:

  1. Injections that contain a mixture of synthetic progestin and estrogen. These injections prevent pregnancy for only one month. Here you have some types: Lunelle, Mesigyna and Cyclofem. According to the American Pregnancy Association, Lunelle is no longer available in the United States. This medication was recalled due to a concern with the effectiveness. However you may find it in any other country. But remember, no matter what country you are, your doctor is who should tell you the type of injection more convenient for you.
  2. Injections that contain a synthetic progestin called norethisterone. These injections prevent pregnancy for two months.
  3. Injections that contain only synthetic progestin. These injections prevent pregnancy for three months. Included in these types of shots are: Depo-Provera and Depo-subQ Provera.

How effective is this birth control shot?

It is quite effective; in fact this contraceptive is considered one of the most effective methods of birth control after the abstinence method and male sterilization.

The effectiveness of these injections is around 97 to 99.5%. Pretty good right?

Is there anything I should worry about contraceptive injections?

Birth Control Shot

Any injection has a major human disadvantage, many people are afraid of injections. I hope you are not.

This contraception injection is applied either in the arm, leg or buttocks, and it has to be applied by your doctor.

Personally I have never used this method of contraception. I'm one of those women who are afraid of injections, and according to the side effects of this birth control method, I do not think it's something for me. I am also fearful of complications or risks to my health. But, each head is a world, and every woman has their own preferences and customs.

You have to decide together with your doctor if this method is appropriated for you.

Unlike the contraception pill, which contains a small dose of hormones on a daily basis, the birth control injection contains a large dose of progestin at one time. As a result, side effects of this type of contraceptive tend to be more pronounced.

Another aspect you should take into account before considering the birth control shot is: you may not become pregnant immediately after discontinuing the shot. Your body must be decontaminated of the large doses of progestin. There are even women who have to wait until a year before they can become pregnant.

Experts say that the type of injection containing norethisterone, used for protection from pregnancy for 2 months, may be reversible, which means that you can get pregnant after discontinuing the shot.

Does the injection have side effects?

One of the most common side effects of the birth control shot is that you may stop menstruating during the first year of use. This happens in 30% to 50% of women. The remaining 50% may have irregular periods.

Depo-Provera contraceptive injection may cause you to lose stored calcium in your bones. The longer you use Depo-Provera contraceptive injection the more calcium you are likely to lose.

Among the most common side effects include:

  • Weight gain
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Dizziness
  • Nervousness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Change in libido
  • Headaches
  • Rash or skin discoloration
  • Breast tenderness
  • Depression
  • Hair loss

You should not use the injections if you think you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Your baby may have serious birth defects, even it could die.

Your doctor should consider your medical history in order to prescribe the birth control shot. There are potential risks in your health if you:

  • Smoke
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Have a history of blood clots
  • Have a history of heart attack or stroke
  • Are allergic to hormones
  • Have diabetes
  • Have liver disease
  • Have breast or uterine cancer

Final Thoughts:

Your gynecologist must prescribe the type of injection more convenient for you.

Do not attempt to apply the injection yourself. Let your doctor, nurse or specialist apply the shot.

Everything has its price, nothing is free. Consider that the easier method of birth control may have the more risks and complications.

If you want to become pregnant in the short term, the birth control shot may not be the most convenient method for you. I recommend using another method like the pill.

If you suspect that you are pregnant or have symptoms of pregnancy, immediately stop the birth control shot, because the effects are quite dangerous for your baby.


You might be interested in the following birth control methods:

Contraception Pill

Contraception pill:

The oral contraception pill is the most popular type of birth control and contains estrogen and progesterone. Its presentation usually is in packs with 21 pills. There are different brands, ask your doctor to recommend you one. More...

Natural BIrth Control

Natural birth control:

This method works according to your periods of fertility and infertility in your body. You learn to know when you are ovulating to choose the precise moment of fertilization, when the sperm makes its appearance in the egg, and begins the process of a new life. In periods of fertility you should abstain from sexual intercourse. More...

The Morning After Pill

Morning after pill.

The morning-after pill or emergency contraception (EC) is a contraceptive pill with an over dose of hormones. It has to be taken after intercourse if there are suspicious of a contraception failure. More...

Aviane Birth Control


Aviane birth control:

Its generic name: ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel. This means that contains a combination of female hormones that are used to prevent ovulation, or preventing the union of sperm and ovum (fertilization). More...

Birth Control Shot


Birth control shot:

It is a very practical method of birth control. You do not have to worry about daily pills or intrauterine devices. You apply a shot and forget to apply the next injection till 1, 2 or 3 months. More...

Birth Control Patch

Birth control patch:

Commonly known as Ortho Evra, is a trans-dermal contraceptive (through the skin). Just paste the patch on your body three times a month and you will be protected of getting pregnant.. The contraceptive patch has embedded two hormones in its adhesive layer, estrogen and progestin. These two hormones are slowly released through the skin into the bloodstream. More...

IUD Birth Control

IUD birth control:

IUD stands for "intrauterine device". The IUD is a device with a form of "T" which is placed inside the uterus to prevent pregnancy. There are two types of devices, a metallic (usually made of copper), and a flexible plastic.The plastic device delivers a small amount of a hormone called progestin, which is used to prevent pregnancy. More...

Nuva Ring


Nuva ring:

NuvaRing® is a trade name manufactured by Merck (Pharmaceutical Company). In other words is known as the hormonal vaginal ring. The vaginal ring is a method of birth control made of a flexible plastic and transparent, and it is about 5 cm in diameter (2 inches). More...

Seasonal Birth Control

Seasonal birth control:

Seasonale is practically a contraceptive pill that suppresses your menstruation for a period of three months. You menstruate only four times a year and not 13 times as the normal pill. Seasonale is an extended cycle regimen that offers the same amount of estrogen and progestin every day for three months. More...


You may also be interested in birth control after pregnancy:

Contraception After Pregnancy

Contraception after pregnancy:

Find out what are the most important aspects you should take into account when choosing a suitable type of birth control after childbirth. More...

Lactation Amenorrhea

Lactation Amenorrhea:

Amenorrhea is considered a physiological suppression of menstruation. However, when you are breastfeeding your baby, this suppression can be used as a postpartum contraception. More...



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