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What is Birth Control Shot?

Snr By Gunjan Rastogi , Onlymyhealth editorial team / Feb 10, 2012
What is Birth Control Shot?

Birth control shot is an effective method to prevent pregnancy and it is taken in every three months. In birth control shot, progestin (a hormone) is inserted in the body of a woman through injection. It does not offer protection from sexually tra

What is birth control shotBirth control shot is an effective birth controlling method in which an injection of progestin (a hormone) is given on the upper arm or in the buttocks of a woman once every 3 months to protect her from conceiving. This birth controlling injection stops woman’s body from releasing an egg each month. It is a very effective method, but a woman can get pregnant if she does not receive the next shot within 3 months.


How does birth control shot affect menstrual cycles?


In most women, menstrual cycles become fewer and lighter. After 6-12 months, half of the women using birth control injection report a complete stoppage of periods. Some women may also experience longer periods with heavy bleeding.

How does birth control shot work?

The progestin inserted by the birth control injection prevents the ovaries from releasing eggs. Progestin does not let the sperms move to your eggs as it thickens your cervical mucus thus, preventing fertilisation. Progestin also thins the uterus lining, affecting its shape so a fertilised egg fails to attach to the uterus.

Advantages of birth control shot

  • It is convenient to use and you do not have to remember taking a daily pill.
  • Birth control shot helps in the prevention of cancer of the lining of the uterus.
  • This birth controlling injection does not contain estrogens and therefore, a good choice for breastfeeding women or women, who cannot take estrogens.
  • Without the hassles of contraceptive pills, your sex life will improve.
  • It is a long-lasting way of preventing pregnancy.
  • Use of birth control shots decreases the chances of ovulation pain, functional ovarian cysts and pelvic inflammatory diseases.


Side effects of birth control shot

  • You may feel hungry more often, which can result in weight gain.
  • Birth control shot can cause acne, depression and headache.
  • This progesterone injection increases the risk of developing osteoporosis.
  • You may experience change in sex drive, sore breasts and hair loss.  
  • Irregular menstrual cycle is the most common side effect of these injections.
  • Birth control shot does not protect you from sexually transmitted diseases.

Birth control shot or birth control injection is taken every 12 weeks to prevent pregnancy. This shot contains a hormone called progestin, which is similar to a woman’s natural hormones. This injection does not contain estrogens (which affects milk production) and therefore, is suitable for breastfeeding women. Birth control shot majorly affects the menstruation cycle of a woman, but is a highly effective method of birth control. Before taking a birth control shot, you must consult a doctor.


Read more articles on Contraception.






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