The birth control shot is a hormonal injection. There is only one federally approved shot in the US, the Depo Provera shot, also known as the Depo shot or DMPA (Depo Medroxyprogesterone Acetate).
HOW DOES IT WORK?
You are given the Depo shot in either your upper arm or buttocks and it should be administered every 3 months (13 weeks). The shot releases the hormone progestin into your bloodstream.
The progestin in the Depo shot thickens the cervical mucus and weakens sperm mobility, thins the uterus lining making it harder for eggs to attach there, and suppresses ovulation.
HOW EFFECTIVE IS IT?
The Depo shot has a 94% effectiveness for contraception, and if the shots are administered routinely (exactly on time) every 3 months, it can prevent pregnancy up to 99% effectiveness.
BENEFITS + SIDE EFFECTS + RISKS
|Potential Benefits||Low maintenance, temporary, possible decrease in bleeding from fibroids, progressively lighter periods – 50% of users reported no period after steady usage.|
|Common Side Effects||Change in bleeding pattern, may have a longer/shorter/no bleeding during period, spotting, heavier periods than usual, headache, cramps, dizziness, bruising, infection in shot area, weight gain|
|Serious Risks||Blood clots, heart attack, stroke, cardiovascular diseases, ectopic pregnancy, temporary bone thinning – long term usage over 2 years may increase risk of osteoporosis and bone breakage|
YOU SHOULD NOT USE THE BIRTH CONTROL SHOT IF YOU are pregnant or suspect you may be pregnant, have current or past blood clots or disorders, have breast tumors or cancer, have liver disease or undiagnosed vaginal bleeding.
Always consult with your doctor for your personal health. Don’t hesitate to voice your concerns with them. They are there to provide you more information and recommendations about the most suitable options for your body and overall wellness.