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Birth Control Injection

What is the birth control injection?

The birth control injection is an injection of the hormone called depot medroxyprogesterone acetate. It provides protection against any pregnancy for 3 months.

How does the injection work?

The injection has several effects that work together to prevent pregnancy:

  • It effectively stops ovulation.
  • It thins the lining of the uterus, making it less likely that a fertilized egg can attach to it.
  • It thickens and decreases the amount of cervical mucus which makes it difficult for sperm to enter the uterus and fertilize an egg.

How is the injection given?

A health care provider should give the injection. The first shot can be given at any time during your menstrual cycle as long as you and health care provider are reasonably sure you are not pregnant.

How often do I need injections?

You must return to your health care provider every 13 weeks for repeated dose of injections. The repeat injection can be given up to 2 weeks late (that is 15 weeks from the last injection). If it is given more than 2 weeks late, you will need to avoid having sex or use a backup method of birth control, such as condoms, for the next 7 days.

What are the benefits of the injection?

  • The injection does not need to be taken daily.
  • No one can tell you are using birth control.
  • It does not interfere with sex or your daily activities.
  • Injection has several health benefits not that are related to birth control
  • Reduces the risk of uterine cancer if used long term
  • Gives Possible protection against pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Possible absence of periods can occur
  • Reduces the pelvic pain caused by endometriosis
  • Possible relief from certain symptoms of sickle cell disease and seizure disorders
  • Possible decrease in bleeding which is associated with uterine fibroids

What are possible risks of injection?

Bone loss might occur while using the birth control injection. When injections are stopped, most of the bone that is lost is gained back. Women who have multiple risk factors for heart disease may be at increased risk when they are using the injection as birth control. This increased risk may last for some time after the injections are stopped. Women with a history of stroke, vascular disease, or high blood pressure may be at increased risk of cardiovascular disease when they are using this method.

What are side effects of the injection?

The injection may cause irregular bleeding in some . Few women report weight gain while using progestin-only birth control methods.The average amount of weight gained among women was less than 5 pounds. It takes an average of up to 10 months for pregnancy to occur after stopping the injection.