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Contraceptive Injection

Contraceptive Injection
Contraceptive Injection

How do Contraceptive Injections prevent pregnancy?

The Contraceptive Injection, also known as the injectable or Birth Control injection/shot, is a liquid containing synthetic versions of the hormones in a woman’s body. It is usually injected into a woman’s body to prevent pregnancy. Once injected, the hormone is slowly released into the body. The injectables work primarily by preventing the ovaries from releasing an egg. It also thickens the cervical mucus to help block sperm from getting to the egg [1].

Types of Contraceptive Injections

Monthly or the Combined Injectables.

Also referred to as a combined injectable contraceptive. It contains two hormones – progestin and estrogen – that keep you protected from pregnancy for a month.

Progestin-only injectable

This injectable contains progestin, a synthetic hormone similar to the progesterone hormone found naturally in a woman’s body. It can either be injected directly into the muscle (intramuscular) or under the skin (subcutaneous). There are two types of progestin injectables [2].

NET-EN or the two-month injectable.

This short-term use injectable protects from pregnancy for two months. It can be used by women whose partners have had a vasectomy and are waiting for it to become effective, women who have received a rubella vaccination and are waiting for immunity to develop, or for any other circumstance that may prevent one from using another short- or long-term reversible contraceptive method. NET-EN is also available under the names Norigest, Noristerat, and Syngestal.

DMPA or 3-month contraceptive injection.

It keeps you protected for three months. Recommended for either short- or long-term use. It can either be injected into the muscles or subcutaneously.

The intramuscular three-month injection is commonly referred to as “the injection,” “the shot,” the “jab,” “Depo Provera,” “Depo,” or “Petogen.”

The subcutaneous version is available in two forms – as a Uniject injectable, marketed under the brand name Sayana Press, and as a prefilled single-dose disposable hypodermic syringe available on the market under the name “Depo-SubQ Provera 104′. The Uniject system of Sayana Press has a very small needle that is easy to use. Based on the laws in your country, you can either get the Sayana press injection in a healthcare facility or inject it on your own[3]. To learn more about the self-injectable. Visit injectsayanapress.org.

How are Contraceptive Injections administered?

When you decide to start using the injectable, the first thing you need to do is discuss your eligibility with your healthcare provider or community health worker. You will be asked a few questions to determine whether this method is the right one for you. You will also be made aware of the period of protection to expect from your injectable, the side effects to look out for, and when to go for another injection.

The intramuscular Injection is given by a healthcare provider, while a subcutaneous injection is either administered by a healthcare provider or by the user in the comfort of her home.

When is the first dose of Contraception Injection given?

  • any day between the first and fifth day of your menstrual period without the need for backup contraception (this is because protection is achieved immediately).
  • on any other day of your menstrual cycle as long as a backup contraceptive, like a condom, is used for the next seven days.
  • immediately after an IUD is removed (in this case, a backup method is not required).
  • immediately after a 1st- or 2nd-trimester abortion or any other time afterward.
  • at any time after the post-partum period or even earlier in non-breastfeeding women [4].

On which part of my body will I get the contraceptive shot?

The DMPA Intramuscular Injection.

It Is administered into the upper arm, hip, or buttocks. At the same time, the subcutaneous injection is usually given just under the skin or on either the abdomen, the back part of the upper arm, or the front part of the thigh. Where self-injection is an option, your healthcare provider will provide the required instructions [5].

The NET-EN (two month-injections).

This is a deep intramuscular injection administered into the upper arm, hip, or buttocks and may be more painful than the DMPA intramuscular shot.

The monthly injection

This is also a deep intramuscular injection administered to the upper arm, hip, buttock, or on the outer part of the thigh.

How early or late can I get my injection?

Being late for your injection can reduce the effectiveness of this contraceptive. If you are likely to forget your injection date, set a reminder on your phone or a physical calendar so that you can keep track of it. If you are unavailable for an injection on the scheduled date, there is a limit to how early or late you can have the contraceptive injection.

For DMPA (months injection).

You can have it two weeks before the scheduled date or four weeks after the scheduled date.

For NET-EN (two-month injection).

You can have it two weeks before or after the scheduled date.

For monthly Injections.

You can have it seven days before or after your scheduled date.

Women who prefer using DMPA(Depo or 3 months injection) as a long-term contraception

If you prefer to use DMPA as a long-term contraception, it is recommended that you go for a review every two years to assess your situation and discuss potential risks and benefits. Those who have reached the age of 50 are advised to switch to a different method, but if they wish to continue, they should first be assessed for potential risks and advised accordingly.

Contraception Quiz

Not sure on the method? - Take our dynamic Contraception Quiz.
When it comes to sex, protection is as important as pleasure. But what should one do to start their safe sex journey? Answer some simple questions and based on the responses, we will recommend the next steps.

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External Condom

Compare with similar Contraceptive Methods

Are you wondering if condoms are better than daily pills? Or if you should opt for a birth control implant? We're here to assist you in making this decision. You can select up to 5 contraceptive methods and compare them side by side to weigh the pros and cons of each.

Give a try to our Contraceptive Tool

In the example below, you'll find similar methods to the one you're currently reading about. Feel free to click on any that catch your interest or revisit our Contraceptive Methods page

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