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Shot (Injectables)

There are two types of birth control shots: the combined shot and the one-hormone shot.

Combined shot

This method is very similar to the combined birth control pills.

The combined shots is a birth control method with very low failure rate. It is an injection of two different hormones, oestrogen and progestin. You have to have this injection every month. It stops your ovaries releasing an egg, so you can’t get pregnant.

The combined shot is not common in Kenya.

One-hormone shot

The one-hormone shot is a birth control method with very low failure rate. It is an injection of just one hormone, progestin. You only have this injection every three months. It works by making the mucus around your cervix thicker so the sperm can’t get through. It can also stop your ovaries producing an egg.

It’s often sold under the brand name Depo-Provera.

On the shot, your periods generally get lighter, some women even stop having periods altogether. Many women also have fewer period pains. There is the chance that the shot can help with preventing some cancers (endometrial and ovarian cancer).

This method is great for women with sickle cell disease.

Many women experience spotting and irregular periods during the first three months of being on injectables. There is also the risk of a possible increase in depression, anxiety, and other mood changes. Also, quite a few women gain weight while on the shot.

Another disadvantage is that you won’t be able to immediately get pregnant when you stop; it may take around ten months to get back to your normal fertility.

This is also a very private method. If you need to hide that you are on birth control, injectables are a great option.

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Recent Comments (38)

  1. Av never had my P’s since I…
    Av never had my P’s since I received the shot, am worried

    1. Hi, this is one of the…
      Hi, this is one of the expected side effects because of how the shot works, one is likely to experience irregular periods, which are more common in the first 6 to 12 months after the first injection.

  2. Can i get pregnant while am…
    Can i get pregnant while am using depo

    1. Hey Faliza, the Depo-Provera…
      Hey Faliza, the Depo-Provera shot has a very low failure rate which means there is a really small chance one could get pregnant. This is why it is encouraged to use atleast two methods at a time to increase the rate of success. For instance, you could include condoms as part of prevention of unplanned pregnancy.

  3. I stopped used the…
    I stopped used the injections in december but I have not become pregnant. what is the problem?

    1. One of the disadvantage of…

      One of the disadvantage of using the shot or getting birth control injections is that you won’t be able to immediately get pregnant when you stop; it may take around ten months to get back to your normal fertility and thus get pregnant. Some women get pregnant sooner than the ten months, there is no way to tell how long it will take for you. We wish you well.  Check out this article;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/birth-control/types-of-birth-control/shot

  4. Hello. My wife stopped using…
    Hello. My wife stopped using this method about one year ago after using it for one year but about 1 year after she stopped using it she has not become pregnant. What is the problem and we have one child from before.

    1. Hello Mike, one disadvantage…

      Hello Mike, one disadvantage is that you won’t be able to immediately get pregnant when you stop; it may take around ten months to get back to your normal fertility. If this time has already elapsed to over one year it maybe important to seek the services of a Gynecologist for a check up and further advice. Have a look at the article above and also the following link;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/pregnancy/before-pregnancy/getting-pregnant-dos-and-donts

    2. My wife has the same problem…
      My wife has the same problem how can it be handled

      1. Hello Ian, thank you for…

        Hello Ian, thank you for reaching out to us. The best thing to do is for her to visit her gynecologist to get proper consultation on what is the best form of family planning she can use. Please keep us posted and have a wonderful weekend ahead. Stay safe!

  5. Thank you for this info but…
    Thank you for this info but does the shot always cause weight increase in all women?

    1. Hey Kaz, weight gain is one…

      Hey Kaz, weight gain is one of the expected side effects. This however doesn’t mean that every woman will gain significant weight, you can only get to know the side effects you will experience after you start to use the shot. Some of the other side effects include, nausea, headaches, breast tenderness among others. These do clear in a couple of months.

  6. I have stopped using depo…
    I have stopped using depo after using it for only three months.. How long can I stay before getting pregnant again

    1. Hi Carol, one of the…

      Hi Carol, one of the disadvantages of the shot is that one won’t be able to immediately get pregnant when they stop using it; it may take around ten months to get back to normal fertility and perhaps to get pregnant. We wish you you all the best. 

  7. Is this method likely to…
    Is this method likely to lead weight gain?

    1. Hey Rael, weight gain is one…

      Hey Rael, weight gain is one of the side effects that can result from the use of the shot. Unfortunately, there is no way to tell if this will happen with you until after you start using the method.

  8. Why iz it dat wen ma hubby…
    Why iz it dat wen ma hubby around n I use depo I experience blood spots n somtymz looks lyk dirt BT wen he leave it stops n am still in depo,does making love have anything 2do with blood spots

    1. Hi Maggie, one of the side…

      Hi Maggie, one of the side effects of using Depo, is that one will experience spotting. Many women experience spotting and irregular periods during the first three months of Using this method. On the other hand, bleeding during or after sex may be caused by several things, such as, inflammation of the cervix, infection of the vagina, vaginal dryness, atear or rip in the vagina during sex, friction during sex, or inadequate lubrication, presence of a Sexually Transmitted Infection among other reason. If this happens each time you have sex it is important to seek medical advice. Have a look at the following article for additional information;- https://lovemattersafrica.com/birth-control/types-of-birth-control/shot

  9. Will you gain alot of weight…
    Will you gain alot of weight if you use this method?

    1. Dear Selpher, the Shot can…

      Dear Selpher, the Shot can lead weight gain among other side effects. There is no way to tell whether you will experience weight gain until you start using this method. 

  10. …and someone say it made…
    …and someone say it made them to bleed alot. Is this normal and will it happen to everyone who uses it?

    1. Hi there, most women have…

      Hi there, most women have some change in their periods, including bleeding more days than usual, spotting between periods, or no periods at all. This is most common during the first year.

  11. Can I get this shot from a…
    Can I get this shot from a chemist?

    1. Hello Nafula, it depends on…

      Hello Nafula, it depends on what services are being offered at the chemist. It is better to go a health care facility. 

  12. hello I injected depo once…
    hello I injected depo once and stopped due to heavy bleeding since that I have not injected it again it’s nw two months will it affect me if I inject it again or I leave it completely

  13. Hello Sharon, thank you for…

    Hello Sharon, thank you for reaching out to us and we hope you are having a pleasant Easter weekend. Seeing as the last time you injected deep into your system caused you to bleed heavily, the best thing to do is to maybe look at a different alternative. We strongly advise you see a medical professional to provide you with advice based on your body. 
    Here is a list of health institutions that should be of help
    https://lovemattersafrica.com/get-help/clinics  

    1. Hello Doreen, thank you for…

      Hello Doreen, thank you for reaching out to us and asking a brilliant question. Injectable contraceptives are an injection into a woman’s arm, thigh or buttock to prevent unplanned pregnancy. Keep safe!

  14. Hi, my question is since one…
    Hi, my question is since one-hormone shot is a very private method, can a family with medical experience used depo-provera without consulting the doctor?

    1. Hi Emma, thank you for…

      Hi Emma, thank you for reaching out to us. When it comes to long-term hormonal contraception methods it is best to get advice from a medical professional.

  15. Hi I took postinor 2 but not…
    Hi I took postinor 2 but not immediately after me and my husband had sex then three days later We had unprotected sex could I be pregnant though have already menstrated before all of this event

    1. Hi Joce, thank you for…

      Hi Joce, thank you for reaching out to us. You have asked a great question that is a little complicated to answer. First, if you take Postinor within 72 hours of having unprotected sex then you are within the protection window. However, if you have unprotected sex after taking the pill, you are not under the umbrella of the pill.

      Avoiding pregnancy with unprotected sex needs you to track your period. Your cycle begins on the first day of your period to the first day of your next period.

      To know how long your cycle is, you will need to track it closely for a few months. Most women’s cycle’s last between 28 and 30 days. However, yours may be longer or shorter. Day one through seven are considered to be infertile. Day eight through to day 19 are considered to be your most fertile. From day 20 to the day 26 to 30 are considered to be your infertile days.

      This article should provide more information. Please remember, that using this method can prevent pregnancy but you will still be exposed to STI’s. This method is not full proof and pregnancy could still occur.

      https://lovemattersafrica.com/birth-control/types-of-birth-control/safe-days-pros-and-cons?fbclid=IwAR16Aj90XjCzFNMEo3HV_4sgn8S1ve4qI-ih7v-NlwmqpPohTBYYw_7fmEs

  16. Can this method cause…
    Can this method cause miscarriage?

  17. Hello Lilian, thank you for…

    Hello Lilian, thank you for reaching out to us and asking a great question. Truth be told, it all depends on the type of birth control injection you use and we also recommend that you do not use any form of birth control while you are pregnant. 

  18. Hai I would like to know am…
    Hai I would like to know am avirgin gal en am 22yrs if I use injection ( shot) for one month what effect would I face

  19. Hi Angel, thank you for…

    Hi Angel, thank you for getting in touch and asking a great question. Whether you use them as a virgin or not, the possible side effects are still the same. Possible side effects of the contraceptive injection:

    • headache
    • abdominal pain
    • weight gain
    • nausea or bloating
    • dizziness
    • acne and other skin problems
    • fluid retention
    • weakness
    • irregular bleeding or spotting 
    • vaginal discharge
    • breast tenderness or pain
    • changes affecting your mood and sex drive
    • thinning of the bones

    In addition, once you stop taking the contraceptive injection, it may take up to a year for your periods and fertility to return to normal.

    The injection is not suitable for everyone and your doctor will have a consultation with you to determine whether you can use it or not. It is not suitable if you, are pregnant, have or have had breast cancer, suffer from vaginal bleeding between periods, have problems with your arteries (including if you have had a heart attack or stroke), have or have had liver cancer or severe liver disease, are allergic to any of the ingredients

    It may not be suitable for you if you suffer from certain other medical conditions so you should always chat with your doctor before starting this.

  20. How long does it take for…
    How long does it take for the drug to work after injection?

    1. Hi Sheila, 

      After about…

      Hi Sheila, 

      After about seven days after getting the shot. However, within the first 7 days after the start of your period, you’re protected from pregnancy immediately. Otherwise, you need to use some form of backup birth control e.g. a condom whenever you have sex during the first week after getting the shot.

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