Contraceptive injection

What is it?

The contraceptive injection is given every three weeks, and contains the hormone progestogen. There are two types available in the UK. The first is Depo-Provera, the most commonly used, lasting for twelve weeks, and the second, Noristerat, lasting for eight weeks.

How does it work?

The injection works to stop the ovulation process, through the release of the hormone progestogen into the body. This works to thicken the mucus in the cervix, and also to prevent any sperm from reaching the egg.

How dependable is it?

The contraceptive injection is 99% effective, and is therefore best used in conjunction with another form of contraception, such as a condom. It does not protect against STIs.

Other important information

Side-effects can include an increase in weight, headaches, mood swings and tenderness of the breast area. It can be difficult to get pregnant for up to a year after taking the injection, and your period may become irregular or stop all together for a short time after. Depo-Provera can cause a thinning of the bones, which is not usually problematic, unless you have difficulties with osteoporosis. You should check with your GP to see if the contraceptive injection is safe for you to use.

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