Birth Control Shot
One of your Choices
What is the 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.
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:
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How many types of birth control injections are there?
There are three types of birth control shots:
- 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.
- Injections that contain a synthetic progestin called norethisterone. These injections prevent pregnancy for two months.
- 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.
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How effective are these injections?
It is quite effective; in fact the birth control shot 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?
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Is there anything I should worry about contraceptive injections?
Any injection has a major human disadvantage, many people are afraid of injections. I hope you are not.
The birth control shot is applied either in the arm, leg or buttocks, and it has to be applied by your doctor.
We use effective birth control methods
Los Cabos, San Lucas. BC México
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.
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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
- Nausea and vomiting
- Change in libido
- Rash or skin discoloration
- Breast tenderness
- 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:
- 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
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. Take a look to the side effects.
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.
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Read about other types of birth control:
Contraception Pill |
Nuva ring |
Return from Birth Control Shot to Types of Birth Control Page