The Shot is a hormonal birth control method.
The shot is just what it sounds like – an injection that keeps you from getting pregnant. Once you get it, your birth control is covered for 12-weeks. Some people call the shot “Depo,” short for Depo-Provera, its brand name. The shot contains progestin, a hormone that prevents the ovaries from releasing eggs.
THERE’S NOT REALLY MUCH YOU HAVE TO DO
in order to use the shot – just make sure to keep regular appointments with your doctor, go to the health center, have an exam, and get an injection. Every 12 – weeks (approximately three months), you’ll go in for another injection. Easy-breezy.
Make sure to discuss the timing of your period and the shot with your doctor, because that’ll help determine how soon after the shot you’ll be protected.
Also, it’s really important to get your shots on time. If you’re more than two weeks late for an injection, you may have to get a pregnancy test before the shot. Talk to your health care provider to learn more and remember, any birth control decision such as the implant should be a fully informed decision free of coercion.
TIPS AND TRICKS
Take additional calcium! 1200mg + 800 units of Vitamin C.
Spotting improves with time. So give it a chance – two or three cycles. (That’s 6–9 months in Depo time.)
Positive “side effects”? You bet. There are actually lots of things about birth control that are good for your body as well as your sex life.
Easy to use
Doesn’t interrupt the heat of the moment
Super private no one will know unless you tell them
You don’t have to worry about remembering to take it every day
Might give you shorter, lighter periods or no periods at all
Your birth control is taken care of for 12-weeks (approximately 3 months) at a time
Can be used by women who can’t take estrogen
It’s very effective at preventing pregnancy if you get the shots on time
Everyone worries about negative side effects, but for many people, they’re not a problem. Remember, you’re introducing hormones into your body, so it can take a few months to adjust. If side effects are unbearable or do not improve, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider.
THE MOST COMMON COMPLAINTS:
Irregular bleeding, especially for the first 6-12 months (This could mean longer, heavier periods, or spotting in between periods.)
Change in appetite or weight gain (It’s common for some people to gain around 5 pounds in the first year, while other people gain nothing.)
LESS COMMON SIDE EFFECTS:
A change in your sex drive
Hair loss or more hair on your face or body
Nervousness or dizziness
There’s no way to stop the side effects of Depo once you have received the injection. If you still feel uncomfortable after the course of at least two shots in a row, switch methods and stay protected. You’re worth it.
*For a very small number of women there are risks of serious side effects.
NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT FOR 12- Weeks
If you’re the kind of person who would have trouble remembering to take a pill every day, the shot might be a good option. You only need to remember to do something once every 12-weeks (approximately three months).
No one can tell when you’re on Depo. There’s no telltale packaging, and nothing you need to do before you have sex.
YES, THERE ARE NEEDLES INVOLVED
If you’re really that scared of needles, then Depo probably is not for you.
IT’S A LOVE/HATE THING
Depo is one of those methods that some people LOVE and some people HATE.
SMOKERS OVER 35
The shot is a better option than other hormonal methods for smokers over 35 years old because it reduces the risk of complications like blood clots. If you’re younger than 35, why not quit smoking now and save yourself the trouble in the future?
THE PREGNANCY QUESTION
It is possible to get pregnant as soon as 12 weeks following the last injection, though for some people it can take up to 10 months for fertility to return.