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Hormonal Method

The contraceptive injection is a shot of hormones
that lasts for 1 up to 3 months.


1-3 Months

STI protection
Low cost
Easy to use

Details / How to


The contraception injection provides a slow release of the hormone progestogen into your bloodstream to prevent pregnancy. Progesterone prevents the release of an egg from your ovary (ovulation) and also thickens the mucus in your cervix to stop the sperm from entering your uterus. You would need to have an injection every 2 or 3 months, depending on the type of injection you use. This is an effective form of contraception, with the highest risk of pregnancy being if you miss an injection.


Ask your healthcare provider is the contraceptive injection is the right contraceptive method for you. Depending on the type of contraception injection your healthcare provider recommends, you will need to return to the clinic every 2 or 3 months for another injection. The injection is usually given in your bottom but can be given in your upper arm. There can be a delay of up to 1 year before your periods return to normal and you can become pregnant.

Pros / Cons


  • It is an effective form of contraception
  • You do not have to remember to take a pill every day
  • It does not interrupt sex
  • For some women, it may reduce heavy, painful periods and help with premenstrual symptoms
  • It may be an option if you cannot use oestrogen-based contraception


  • You will need to remember to have a repeat injection before it expires or becomes ineffective
  • Some women may experience side effects
  • It can take up to 1 year for your fertility to return to normal after the injection wears off, so it may not be suitable if you want to have a baby in the near future
  • It does not protect you against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as HIV), so you may need to use condoms as well


You may experience:

  • Changes in your monthly bleeding patterns, including:
    •  Lighter bleeding and fewer days of bleeding
    • Irregular bleeding
    • Infrequent bleeding
    • Periods that last longer
    • No monthly bleeding
  • Weight gain
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Tender breasts

Frequently Asked Questions

The injection must be given by a healthcare provider. Depending on where you live, you can have the injection done at your local doctors or family planning clinic.

You do need to have the injection once every month or every three months, depending on the type of injection you have. The amount of hormone which is injected to prevent unintended pregnancy will only last around 4-12 weeks depending on the type, so if you miss an injection you will not be protected against pregnancy.

If you are sexually active and do not currently wish to have children, you can continue having the injections to protect against pregnancy, providing you find the method suits you and you have regular check-ups with your doctor or healthcare provider.

No. There may be a delay in regaining fertility after stopping monthly injections, but in time the woman will be able to become pregnant as before, although fertility decreases as women get older. The bleeding pattern a woman had before she used injectable contraceptives generally returns a few months after the last injection. Some women may have to wait a few months before their usual bleeding pattern returns.

Periods and fertility may take up to a year to return after stopping injections, depending on the type of injectable, and this may vary from woman to woman.

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