Injectable Contraception

Meghan Hackney & Kayla Harper


Depo-Provera is a birth control method for women. It is made up of a hormone similar to progesterone and is given as an injection by a doctor into the woman's arm or buttocks. Each shot provides protection against pregnancy for up to 14 weeks, but the shot must be received once every 12 weeks to remain fully protected. It prevents pregnancy by preventing ovulation (the release of an egg from the ovary). If your ovaries do not release an egg, you are unlikely to get pregnant. Birth control with Depo-Provera begins immediately after the first shot if given within the first five days of your menstrual period.

This type of contraception is 99 percent effective. Depo-Provera is as effective as tubal ligation (having your tubes tied) and more effective at preventing pregnancy than several other methods. With Depo-Provera, you could become pregnant as soon as three to four months after your last shot. However, it may take some women up to a year or two to conceive after they stop using this type of birth control.

Most women can use Depo-Provera. However, it is not recommended for women who have:

  • Unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • Liver disease
  • Breast cancer
  • Blood clots

Side effects

  • Irregular menstrual periods, or no periods at all
  • Headaches
  • Nervousness
  • Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Acne
  • Changes in appetite
  • Weight gain
  • Excessive growth of facial and body hair
  • Hair loss
  • Loss of bone mineral density

What Are the Advantages of Using Depo-Provera?

There are several advantages to using Depo-Provera:

  • You don't have to remember to take it every day or use it before sex.
  • It provides long-term protection as long as you get the shot every three months.
  • It doesn't interfere with sexual activity.
  • It's over 99% effective.
  • It's less expensive than the Pill.

What Are the Disadvantages of Using Depo-Provera?

Disadvantages to using Depo-Provera include:

  • It can cause unwanted side effects.
  • It does not provide protection against sexually transmitted diseases.
  • It can cause irregular menstrual periods.
  • You need to stop taking Depo-Provera several months ahead of time if you plan to become pregnant.
  • Regular doctor visits can be inconvenient.

Talk to your doctor to determine if Depo-Provera is right for you!

Does it protect against STD?

Depo-Provera does not protect against STDs.

Comment Stream